Posted March 17, 2014 by John Baintree in News

The life of a professional gambler


Every one of us who enjoy a little flutter and occasionally secures a trip to the winnings counter for a pay-out MUST entertain the idea, albeit for a fleeting moment of becoming a professional gambler. So, in realty what is the life of a professional gambler really like?

Las Vegas is a great place to examine this dream. There are so many tables, so many luxury hotel suites and so many high rollers in town that the place must be littered with successful professionals.

Forget the suite resident professional image, most professional gamblers actually live in humdrum suburbs, with the kids and the dog and struggle with the same problems as you and I do about paying the mortgage, meeting the bills and feeding the kids.

Meanwhile, back on the casino floor the real picture beings to emerge. While large wins do arise they are few and far between. Most professional gamblers have that week’s bills in mind so chase a few small pot wins so that they can leave the table with a few hundred dollars. To be a successful professional gambler, you need to win little and often to keep your cash flow sweet.

It is also quite tricky to play confidently and reliably against holiday makers who are out for a bit of fun. You just can’t predict what they are likely to do so playing with any certainty of winning is more akin to the certainty of winning on a roulette table.

Then of course, there is the skill level. You need to be playing against other skilled players to be able to depend on the direction a game takes. That means you have to up your own skill levels to be commensurate with other professionals on the table. Don’t forget that it is not exactly the sort of skill you expect to find quality self-help manuals. Keeping ahead of the game in poker is a balancing act that is not always easy to manage.

If you need any convincing about the struggles then consider the story of Archie Karas, the professional gambler who turned a $50 stake into $40m over a three year period – sounds enticing?  Then consider that the same player was arrested at his San Diego home and charged with winning by fraudulent means – cheating in other words!