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How Easy is it to Make Money Playing Online Poker?

There is a massive earning potential playing online poker but it's by no means easy money. There are easier ways to make money than playing online poker - but that doesn't mean it isn't for you. Much like any other pastime, it takes time to learn how to become proficient and this takes patience and dedication. One of the questions we get asked most by players starting out is how much they could make. Unfortunately, this isn't an easy question to answer. Every player is different and the amount any one player wins or loses will come down to how good they are. Sadly, not everyone will have the ability to turn a profit - it's a good idea not to risk too much until you know that you have what it takes.


It might come as a surprise that there are considerably more losers to the game who fail to post a profit playing poker online. It's estimated that as many as 70% of all internet players fail to make a profit in the long run. This goes a long way to answering the question on how easy it is to make money playing internet poker.


Focus on the Right Areas

It's only natural to look for easy ways to make money but lets be honest - making money isn't easy, at least in general. Those that make the most money in poker are not players looking for the quick buck. They are the players who constantly stride to improve their game. The game can be hugely profitable however the focus here should be improving your overall game. Do this, and you will increase your profitability. Focusing on the money alone is not going to be a winning strategy - you would be better going to the casino.


Also see: Why Studying our Game is Important.


Earn Rates - Cash Games Vs Tournaments

It is important to remember that the amounts you can earn vary quite a bit depending on whether you chose to play tournaments or ring games. Cash game players are more prone to making more regular profits but they do miss out on the larger scores enjoyed by a deep run in an MTT. Since 2013, the number of game formats has exploded and there are now more and more formats that have helped drive up the hands played per hour and overall win rates.


In cash games online, a solid player might expect to earn between 3-5 BB every 50 hands played. This would double in live cash games as the games online are considered tougher. Whilst many think a win rate above 0 is good, they fail to take onto account the rake paid. A positive win rate is a profit once you have taken into account the level of rake that you have contributed.


In tournaments, good players generally cash ITM around 15% of the time. Of course on it's own, this doesn't mean much. After all, if a player was to min cash in 15% of the tournaments they played in, the might not even break even - especially as a min cash is not a huge amount over the initial buy in. It's crucial that you know how to play for the final table and ultimately the win.


Also see: Difference between live and online games.


Improving Your Win Rate / Earning Potential

Good players are always looking for ways to improve their earning potential. They explore new techniques and methods to reduce their risk and maximise their profits. Do do this, you need to understand what you do well and more importantly where your leaks are. We shouldn't discount either of these. We might do something well but there are always adjustments that we can make to extract more from our opponents. Similarly, when we put our game under the spotlight, we will be able to see where we are not doing so well. For example, you might find that you are constantly losing the biggest amounts of money in particular situations. It might be that you are playing too many hands, which we know is a not a profitable play. Making reasonable adjustments in these spots can kill these leaks and lead to higher earnings.


As the game is constantly evolving, we need to evolve with the game too. What worked yesterday won't necessarily work tomorrow. You can keep up with changes on the felt by reading up on developments and trends in how people are playing. There is a ton of information on poker forums, strategy sites and the many videos that are available online. You can also pick up good techniques watching the top players play online. The biggest names in the game are in action most nights and you can learn a lot watching them play.


Another area we can improve is on the mental side of the game. Learning when we play our best and when we don't will help increase earnings. Also understanding our optimum set up to ensure we induce our best game. Reviewing our game needs to take into account any factor that could contribute to either our state of mind or our ability to play our A-game.


Also see: HUDs and Earn Rates.


Tracking Your Online Poker Results

It's important to track your online results. If you are playing in cash games, keep a track of how much you take to the tables and how much you cash out. If you're a tournament player, keep a track of all your buy ins and cashes. It's crucial to know whether you are posting a profit or are operating in the red. The way you will be able to tell that you are getting better in the long run is by tracking these results to see how much you are making. You also want to be in the know if you are losing money. By making changes to your game, you can see first hand whether the changes are having a positive or negative effect by how much money you are making or losing at the felt.


We all want to be winning players. Winning money takes dedication. Know more than the player next to you and there's a good chance you'll take his money. A famous player once said this;)


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