Many people dream of becoming professional poker players. Those who do become pros dedicate countless hours to studying strategy and working on their games.
But what happens when one decides to quit playing poker professionally? Where do they go in terms of employment?
This is the big question for ex-poker pros, because the game of poker itself doesn’t work well as a resume builder. In fact, most employers don’t see a poker background as a positive aspect.
Former poker pros may feel like they have nowhere good to turn for jobs. However, the following professions do make for nice transitions into the regular workforce.
1 – Stock Trader
Poker and the stock market have some definite similarities. They both involve tremendous risk in an uncertain environment.
Poker and stock trading are zero-sum games as well. If somebody is gaining money, then another person is losing it.
Additionally, trading and poker also require extensive skills to succeed.
Unsurprisingly, certain poker players have found a home in the stock market. Some have even been hired by top-tier trading firms.
Of course, one doesn’t necessarily have to be hired by a firm just to begin trading. They can instead work as an independent and build their skills and experience.
2 – Trading Cryptocurrencies
Buying and selling cryptocurrencies is much like working in the stock market. However, one key difference is that the crypto world is more volatile than stocks.
It’s not uncommon for Bitcoin cryptocurrency, the most famous and popular cryptocurrency, to gain or lose 10% of its value in a single day. This is an impressive feat when considering that the Bitcoin market cap is currently worth $186 billion at the time of this writing.
Poker pros are used to experiencing downswings due to the luck associated with the game. Therefore, they’re well-conditioned for the wild swings involved with crypto.
This market offers several ways to make money, including day trading, swing trading, and “hodling.” The latter refers to buying and holding cryptocurrencies and waiting for them to gain significant value.
But the problem with hodling is that people can’t rely on it for a steady income. One needs a large amount of money to survive on, because there’s no telling when their investments will pay off.
Day trading is quite risky in the stock market, let alone in crypto. It involves trying to flip quick profits on highly volatile assets.
Swing trading is a bit less risky, because it takes place over the course of several days or even weeks. The best opportunities to swing trade are just before big announcements (e.g. major partnerships), when rumors are swirling. One can purchase an asset admist trustworthy rumors and sell it following an announcement.
Poker pros such as Doug Polk and Dan Bilzerian have gotten heavily involved in the crypto market. That said, others who are up to the risk might consider joining them.
3 – Gambling Industry Worker
Perhaps the most obvious line of work for ex-poker pros is the gambling industry. They should have little trouble landing a job as a poker dealer, especially if they have a relatively clean criminal record.
Casinos are always looking for quality and trustworthy dealers. They especially like people who already know how poker and other casino games work.
One example of moving up involves becoming a poker tournament director. This job requires running tournaments for a casino, hiring and training dealers for events, and settling any potential player disputes.
Dealers can also work their way up to being a floor supervisor or even a pit boss. The floor supervisor is in charge of several tables, while the pit boss oversees the entire gambling floor during their shift.
4 – Sales
Sales isn’t the ideal position for many people. After all, this profession carries the stigma of using seedy tactics to convince people to buy things they don’t need.
However, this stereotype doesn’t apply in all cases. Plenty of companies offer good products and simply need skilled people to do the selling.
Any poker player should find sales to be a natural transition. This job involves psychology, knowing people, and understanding when to and not to be aggressive.
Another parallel between sales and poker is the income structure. While salesmen and women do receive a base salary, earnings come through commissions.
They never know how much money they’ll make from one week to the next. This situation sounds very familiar to poker.
One bonus to this job involves the ability to move up the ladder towards a bigger payday. The top salesman in a given company can make six or even seven figures, depending upon the industry.
5 – Accounting
The best professional accounting firms aren’t looking to hire former poker players. But one can always become an independent accountant based on their poker skills.
Some of these skills that translate well to accounting include a strong command of math, making frequent calculations, and casino bankroll management.
If a former poker pro is looking to get hired into a firm, they can always go for a degree. Again, they can also simply become an independent in the industry as well.
6 – Lawyer
Like with accounting, ex-poker pros don’t usually walk into law firms and immediately land a job. But they may still have the necessary requirements to become a successful lawyer.
Lawyers need an excellent ability to read people, be aggressive in the courtroom, and piece together incomplete information. They might also deal with unsavory people, which are common in poker as well.
Of course, one needs to attend law school before they can begin practicing. This aspect requires quite a few years’ worth of dedication. Nevertheless, the salaries that lawyers can demand make the intense schooling worth the effort.
7 – Entrepreneur
All poker players are entrepreneurs to some degree. They have their own business and need to properly manage their money.
So, why not go from the felt to running a business? Entrepreneurship is yet another field where poker pros can excel.
Instead, anybody can start and run their own business with enough capital and drive.
One of the top entrepreneurial skills involves staying motivated and putting the hours in. Former poker pros should have no problem with this, given that the game demands discipline.
Being comfortable with risk is another aspect that translates well to entrepreneurship. The better one is able to deal with uncertainty, the more likely they are to succeed.
Workplaces don’t put out ads that call for poker players. Nevertheless, an ex-rounder can still find quality employment opportunities that relate to their former profession.
Stock and cryptocurrency trading are both natural fits. Each involves using skills and knowledge to make profitable trades that can net long-term profits.
The gambling industry offers the most opportunities for former poker pros. It especially offers a lot of dealer positions, which can turn into something more lucrative under the right circumstances.
Sales is another realistic patch for poker players. Most sales jobs don’t require degrees, and they involve skills that are similar to pro gambling.
Accountants and lawyers both need schooling in most cases. But they’re good fits for former rounders who are interested in high-paying regular jobs.
Entrepreneurship is one more path that poker players can take. Starting one’s own venture features few barriers and involves standard poker skills, such as bankroll management and risk assessment.
Going from the felt to the workplace isn’t easy. But it’s nice to know that there are at least a few jobs that fit a poker background.