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How many of you reading this article consider yourself to be a poker pro or an aspiring poker pro? If so, we want you to take a few moments to consider your future in the game. While every pro or prospective pro thinks they can make a living at the game, the reality is that most fail.

Even those that stay in poker all their lives will encounter lean periods where they either can barely pay bills or are constantly broke. If you want to become a poker pro, we would like to recommend that you diversity your life and your money.

By diversifying, you give yourself additional revenue streams that are not dependant on the turn of a card. This will also help you focus on your game and make your less “results oriented.”

Continue reading for 7 ways that poker players can diversify.

Go to College / Learn a Non-Poker Skill

One of the worst things that a poker player can do is drop out of college to play poker and never make an attempt to go back or learn another skill. While everyone thinks they will be the next Daniel Negreanu, chances are they will be the next Tommy Johansen from Pumpkin Spice Middle America.

It is important that you develop some type of skill set that you can fall back on in the event that poker does not work out. College is great but that’s not your only option for learning new skills. From personal experience, a large part of what I learned about computers was self-taught and led to a career in IT. If I ever were to leave the poker media, I would strongly consider a return to the IT industry.

Start a Business

Many of your big name poker pros are involved in some type of business venture. In fact, for some players poker becomes secondary to the income made in these businesses. Some players are merely investors in businesses while others work hard to grow the enterprise.

How you go about your own business venture will be determined by your skill sets and time you want to dedicate to running a business. Note that running or being part owner of a business can carry significant risks, but the rewards can sometimes provide a lifetime income.


While you’re making money at the poker tables or one of your side hustles, consider taking some of that money and putting into investments. We aren’t going to tell you what to invest in because that’s something you will need to do on your own. What we will say is that you should dedicate a portion of your income into some type of investment so that your money will work for you.

This is one area where if you do not feel competent in your abilities, there’s no shame in hiring a financial advisor. While this will cost you a few bucks, it is better to spend the money for a little help rather than gambling with your investment funds.

Become a Poker Coach

For some successful players, poker coaching is a natural transition from playing full-time. This is a great variance-free income source that’s normally in high demand. You also have various avenues you can pursue to become a coach.

You can start up your own coaching business or try to get connected with one of the many coaching sites out there. If you are able to successfully coach a few clients, your rep will grow, along with your business.

Take a Job in the Poker Industry

Some players take a job in the poker industry in order to provide a stable income that they can draw on for everyday expenses. Considering that sponsorship opportunities are not as lucrative as in the past, some players end up taking a job in roles such as poker room hosts, tournament directors and other industry related jobs.
Like in other aspects of life, those with skill sets other than “playing poker” will have more opportunities.

Investment Properties / Flipping Properties

Another revenue stream that you may want to consider is either investment properties or even house flipping. Investment properties are properties that you own and rent out for a regular income. You serve as landlord and collect regular payments from renters.

When you flip homes, you are basically purchasing a property to renovate and then sell for a profit. While investment properties and flipping requires a sizable investment capital, the rewards can help provide financial security where you are not required to grind to make your monthly nut.

Poker Sponsorships

You might notice that the last item on this list is poker sponsorships. A few years back, this would have been one of the top two side gigs for poker players. However, the current climate in the industry makes it much more challenging to secure a poker sponsorship that can provide reasonable variance free income.

However, those opportunities still exist and you should always be open to them. Even if the deals are short-term deals, they can provide a bit of cushion for your bankroll. The right deal can ease the variance of everyday poker play.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.