How Do People Gamble Professionally?

Gambling, as a career? Sounds pretty absurd, but it is more and more becoming and acceptable, or at least successful, choice of profession.

The idea of a gambler, as in a person whose livelihood is solely made by playing games of chance, is a rather highly romanticized one - an idea that conjures up ideas of Old West saloons where men get shot for cheating at a poker table. However, the professional gambler has existed for a long time, and still exists today, and some of them make a small fortune doing it. So how, exactly, can somebody live just off of money they win at the casino or poker games?

As the name might suggest, the life of a gambler is a highly risky one, and it takes money to make money. A gambler may very well find themselves at a table, wagering the money they need to pay their mortgage, or electric bill. And it is very hard to start gambling at a professional level without any sort of a bankroll to start off with, unless one is just incredibly lucky. With that "˜don't try this at home' mentality in mind, let's take a look at what those people who have made it as professional gamblers do to make money.

The gamblers who are currently in the spotlight these days are without a doubt, those who play poker professionally. With million-dollar tournaments going on seemingly all the time, it's no wonder that they have garnered a whole lot of attention recently - thanks to the televising of many of these huge tournaments, some of the top players have been made into minor celebrities, almost like professional athletes. Obviously, these players who have won a big tournament are set at least temporarily, between their prize winnings (which can be upwards of $5 million), being paid to advertise for online poker rooms and other endorsements, and even being paid just to show up to a tournament and play. However, this is obviously just a tiny fraction of those who gamble professionally.

A large majority of them still play poker, though - poker is one of the few gambling games in which being a very skilled player actually gives you a significantly better chance of winning money. Many of these live in or around the major gambling centers in America - Nevada, Atlantic City, the casino riverboats in Louisiana, Mississippi, and also the boats in Florida, so long as the casino has a poker room where there are suckers and tourists to win money from. However, it is still possible to live off winnings from poker just playing home games or even larger games in some of the other big cities in America - though, of course, the illicit nature of these creates yet another risk to consider. Making four or five hundred dollars in a week of poker play at such games is not the least bit unreasonable, and if you are doing that every week, you're at least making more money than you'd make at a lot of low-wage jobs.

Another favorite game of people who attempt to make their living gambling is Blackjack, though a lot of this stems from the fact that card counting shifts the odds significantly in favor of the player. Card counters who are really good at it, and are able to move from casino to casino in a place like Vegas without getting noticed too much can certainly make a decent amount of money doing so. While a card counter is almost guaranteed to get thrown out of a casino if caught, the act itself isn't illegal if they use no outside tools or help. There have of course been players who counted cards with the help of a partner, and made enough money to live comfortably for the rest of their lives at a young age - even if they had to go into hiding.

There are other forms of gambling, and certainly some players for every game who live off of their winnings from it, but most other forms of gambling (craps, roulette, horse racing, etc.) are significantly more risky to rely on for income than poker or Blackjack with a skilled player. And as previously mentioned, any form of gambling involves plenty of risks, and it is for this reason that the life of a gambler has always been so attractive to those with the thrill-seeking personality - and probably always will be.

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