Making a Living Gambling – Dream or Reality?

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While unusual at first, gambling seems to be a valid career path for plenty of pro players around the world. Professional gamblers develop and integrate their own strategies across various types of gambling; from table and card games to sports betting. Some choose to do it online, while others attend world tournaments and championships.

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary of pro gamblers is about $48,133. Top earners in this field make about $89,500, while about a quarter make only $27,000 a year. Naturally, these amounts vary drastically depending on what games you play, how good you are, and whether you manage to win popular gambling tournaments.

Read on to learn more about some world-recognized professional casino players and their backgrounds. We’ll also go through the benefits and drawbacks of gambling for a living just in case you’re considering this career for yourself.

Famous People Who’ve Made Fortunes by Gambling

Pursuing a career as a professional gambler is not for the faint of heart. You must become accustomed to both winning and losing large amounts of money. It’s also not just about luck. Many expert gamblers have established their own techniques and strategies that help them make money. Some even rely on entirely different professional backgrounds for their gambling success.

Daniel Negreanu

Daniel Negreanu is a professional poker player from Canada. He regularly attends poker championships and has earned 6 World Series of Poker bracelets. Thanks to his wide industry knowledge and stellar betting strategy, he has made $42,000,000 from live poker tournaments. You can find him in the Poker Hall of Fame as of 2014!

Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey is known as the Tiger Woods of Poker due to his outstanding performance in poker championships throughout his career. He owns 10 World Series of Poker bracelets, making him the best professional poker player in the world. As of 2018, Ivey’s total live tournament victories have topped $26,250,000. About $6,600,000 of his total earnings come from the WSOP.


Edward O. Thorp

Edward O. Thorp is an American mathematician who pioneered not the probability theory itself, but its modern applications. This gave him a heads-up in his gambling endeavor and would help him predict the odds of his winning. 

In 1962, Thorp published the book Beat the Dealer, in which he talks about the card counting theory, a mathematical strategy of beating the house edge in a game of blackjack. Since then, he’s moved on to making significant stock market investments.

Gambling for a Living – The Ins and Outs

Becoming a professional gambler takes time and dedication. And just like any other job, it has its pros and cons.

One of the benefits of being a professional gambler is the possibility to earn tons of cash in a  single week. You’re the sole person whom your earnings depend on. If you have a good tournament run, you may win a million bucks just like that. However, when you gamble for money, you must accept that you won’t always win. Occasionally, your entire betting sum will be at stake, and often you’ll lose. As a result, you’ll be facing inconsistent earnings and sometimes having to live on a tight-knit budget.

Image: Kaysha | Unsplash

Being your own boss is yet another benefit of gambling for a living. However, it often comes without any special benefits. Some people enjoy a 9-5 job because it gives them paid vacation as well as a secure retirement fund. However, professional gamblers are pretty much like freelancers; they don’t revel in company benefits, paid leaves, and so on.


And last but not least, we have the entertainment factor as a benefit. For many people, their jobs present a nuisance. However, when you gamble for a living, you get to play games, feel adrenaline rushes, and earn cash – all at the same time!


So, should you pursue a career as a pro gambler? That depends on how eager you are to take a risk. Furthermore, you should learn the rules and strategies of the games you want to pursue a career in. Regardless of whether it’s blackjack, poker, or horse race betting – you have to focus on improving your skills and mastering them completely. That and having luck on your side is what’s going to make your dream of becoming a gambling expert reality!

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