Those of us who have decided to “live the dream” and make a career of poker often believe that the sky’s the limit. For too many of us, we discover that poker truly is a “hard way to make an easy living” and we are forced to get a “real job.” Luckily, there are poker-related “real jobs” that some of us are fortunate enough to transition into.
Depending on the situation, these jobs can either supplement one’s income or become their primary income. For those considering getting a “real job” in poker, here are a few options.
One of the more common jobs taken by poker players is that of a dealer. Depending on where one is employed, a dealer may only deal poker while others will deal any table game in the casino.
Dealer jobs are normally entry-level positions and pay is consummate with experience. There are dealer schools that one can attend to learn the finer points of dealing poker and other casino games and one should consider investing in one of these schools.
There are other opportunities for dealers besides working full-time in a casino. Some dealers will travel the live tournament circuit and deal for larger events. Those of you that like to travel may want to consider such an option.
One perk of working as a dealer in a poker room is that you are constantly exposed to poker and can work on the mental aspects of the game while running the game. There are many dealers that have gone on to become successful poker players and others that play poker as a side income.
Poker Tournament Staff
Another potential option for poker players is to take a job as part of a casino or poker tour’s tournament staff. These workers help to ensure that a poker event runs smoothly. Most often you will hear these workers referred to as floor supervisors or floor staff.
Depending on the location, job duties will vary but tournament staff does more than just walk around and make rulings on hands. They do everything from setting up the tournaments to making sure that players are paid correctly after busting out of the event.
Some of you are wondering how this job isn’t classified under the poker dealer section. The main reason is that dealers aren’t necessarily a permanent part of a poker staff. Many venues will use a mix of in-house and short-term dealers for each event.
Tournament staff is a more permanent fixture. Like any other job, you aren’t going to start out as a “tournament director” unless you’re running the events for a small casino. Often you will start out as a floor supervisor for side events or even satellites. You have to work your way up but competent tournament staffers are in high demand so if you do a good job, you will likely always have work.
For those skilled at writing, a job as a poker writer may be ideal. Note that I said poker writer as opposed to poker media. While many consider them one in the same, the reality is that the majority of those that write about poker for pay are really just glorified content writers.
Not everyone that writes about poker as a job is going to have a high profile position with a poker media site. Sometimes a writer will simply provide poker content for various sites and never receive a byline. Either that or they receive a byline on an obscure site that the general poker public may not see.
For those that write about the game as a job, a general knowledge about poker and many of its forms is ideal. While there are jobs out there for specialists, those that are more versatile will tend to find and keep work when others struggle to stay employed.
Poker coaching is one form of “variance free” income that some players take on to make ends meet. For example, someone that plays up to $1000NL may decide to coach players up to $500NL.
Some of you are probably thinking that if this person was truly successful, they wouldn’t need to coach anyone to make money. While that position is understandable in theory, the life of a poker player isn’t always so simplistic. Variance happens and life events happen that forces one to take on other forms of income.
Read More: Poker Coaches: What Do They Charge?
The great thing about coaching is that it can be done in various way, and many coaches are entirely virtual. For those starting out, you want to charge enough to make it worth your time but not so much as to drive away potential customers.
Work for an Online Poker Operator
It goes without saying that many that work for online poker rooms have been players at one time or another. Taking a job for an online poker room is one way to get a “real job” but still be entrenched in poker.
Depending on your skill set, you could literally start anywhere from customer service up to Poker Room Manager. The one catch is that you may be forced to move to where the headquarters for the operator is located.
For those living in the United States, this is probably not going to be a very viable option unless you’re willing to move. Granted, if more states start regulating online poker, this could change.