How much does a professional poker player earn?

Poker is a card game that has evolved from a recreational activity to a profession for some. Professional poker players can generate substantial incomes, but these vary significantly depending on their skill level, the competitions they participate in, and their geographic location. In this article, we find out how much a professional poker player earns in Spain and in international competitions.

How much does a professional poker player earn in Spain?

The salary of a professional poker player in Spain depends on several factors:

  • On his skill and experience. Data suggests that more experienced and skilled players tend to earn more.
  • The type of poker played. Earnings can vary depending on whether poker is played online, in physical casinos, or in tournaments.
  • Frequency of play. Players who participate in more tournaments and playing sessions have the opportunity to win more.

Online poker is one of the most accessible ways for Spanish players to win money. Professional online players usually win through cash games with variable buy-ins. That skill in online poker often translates into success in live poker. That's why many poker pros participate in live cash games and many of them are known to have won large sums of money.

An average professional poker player in Spain could earn between 20.000 and 100.000 euros per year. However, top players can earn significantly more, especially if they are successful in high caliber competitions. Add to that the usual incentives and sponsorship bonuses, and the amounts can be significantly higher.

How much does a professional poker player earn in international competitions?

On the international stage, a professional poker player's earnings tend to be much higher due to a greater number of competitions played, which gives more opportunities to add up to a large amount of money in winnings.

In addition, in international competitions, players are pitted against the best in the world. The level is so high that the reward for winning can be in the millions. That, in turn, attracts new sponsorships, which can add additional amounts to the players who accept them. Some international tournaments such as the WSOP (World Series of Poker), the EPT (European Poker Tour) or the WPT (World Poker Tour) are known for their massive prizes and the roster of players who have passed through their tables.

The WSOP is the most prestigious tournament in the world. The winner of the main event can walk away with millions of dollars in prize money. In 2019, Hossein Ensan won $10 million.

Another important circuit is the EPT, where prizes can also reach millions of euros. EPT events are known for attracting the best players in the world and offering large prize pools.

And, similar to the EPT, the WPT organizes events around the world with significant prize pools. Winners can take home anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.

Players like Daniel Negreanu, Phil Ivey and Erik Seidel are examples of pros who have won tens of millions of dollars over the course of their careers. Their income comes from both tournament winnings and from sponsorships and other poker-related activities.

Annual income estimates for professional poker players internationally vary considerably. The top players in the world can earn several million dollars a year, while average players on the international circuit can earn between $100,000 and $500,000 annually. However, it is important to note that these earnings are subject to significant variations due to the competitive and highly variable nature of poker.

Comparison between earnings in Spain and in international competitions

Players in Spain have access to a good number of local and regional tournaments, as well as the possibility to play online. However, the opportunities to win large sums of money are more limited compared to international circuits. International tournaments offer larger prize pools and a higher frequency of high-value events.

Players competing at the international level have more exposure and, therefore, more opportunities to obtain sponsorships. In Spain, sponsorships are less common and generally smaller compared to those offered worldwide. A successful professional poker player on the international stage not only earns more in terms of tournament prize money, but also has access to more lucrative sponsorship contracts and other sources of income.

Moreover, at the international level, players tend to diversify their sources of income more than players in Spain. In addition to tournament prizes and cash tables, international players can earn money through books, classes, seminars and live broadcasts. This diversification is less common among Spanish players, who tend to rely more on their direct earnings from the game.

On the other hand, it is important to consider that playing internationally also involves higher costs, such as travel, accommodation and tournament buy-ins. These expenses can significantly reduce players' net income. In Spain, the costs are more manageable, as players can play in local and national tournaments without incurring such high travel expenses.

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