Speaking of Odds

by , Apr 29, 2008 | 10:46 am

We hear about players going broke all the time — whether they are low- to mid-stakes grinders, semi-well-known pros (Eskimo Clark, e.g.), or total big shots (insert major pro’s name other than John Juanda here, as virtually all have been at least rumored to be broke at some point or another).

So here’s an interesting question: Of the tens of millions of poker players worldwide, how many do you think have netted $100k+ at the tables for three years in a row?

13 Comments to “Speaking of Odds”

  1. Fawcett

    Are we including you (Dan M) in that list?

  2. Ben Matlock

    Mike Matusow for sure….he’s the best.

  3. DanM

    Scott, no … I do not make that list and will bet you 100k that i won’t for the next 12 years.

    And just to clarify … CLARIFICATION: We’re not counting endorsement deals, investments, or anything like that. Just on the table buy-ins and expenses minus cashouts.

  4. DanM

    Speaking of Fawcett … a fair follow-up question for perspective is how many golfers can achieve the same on the links.

  5. BJ Nemeth

    It’s all just guesswork from us, because none of us have enough information to work with. We have rumors, and a few reports from a few specific players from a few specific games. If a guy loses a million dollars in a week, that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a great year everywhere else at the tables. And someone with a million in tournament earnings each year could be losing more than that in cash games — we don’t know.

    I hate all these rumors about who among the top pros is rich and who is broke.

    I had an interesting conversation with the Card Player reporters about writing a yearlong series of articles, following a few players from January to December, and tracking their play down to the dime. Even then, we would probably restrict it to just tournaments, but count all the buy ins, all the failed satellites, all the cashes, and figure out the net gain (or loss). Then, work up a separate section for all of their travel expenses, and take those into account as well.

    To do this, you’d need *very* trustworthy players, willing to open themselves up to this level of scrutiny, and a lot of the information would have to come directly from them.

    But it’d be a great series of articles if you could track someone like Barry Greenstein, someone like J.C. Tran, and a young online pro that plays the major tournaments like Tom “Durrrr” Dwan. I think it would definitely be eye-opening (one way or another) for a lot of people.

  6. DanM

    Seriously, you hear pretty much that EVERYBODY is broke so much that I dismiss the notion regularly … though you know it’s true for at least a few people being mentioned.

    I’m not looking to out the bankroll abusers out there, so much as to raise the question of how many people are truly moneymakers on the poker circuit.

    As to your story idea, BJ … that sounds like a GREAT story. Very useful, informative to the lower-stakes players, a deeper look at poker personalities and the money that feeds them …

    I’ve tried to follow Tom’s ups and downs like that, but he keeps changing his banking password every time Karridy steals it for me. Grrr.

  7. Donkey Bomber

    This is the same question I posed to you a few years ago…you stealer of good questions. The answer is between 100 and 300 players. That’s it, I promise.

    The 3 years in a row thing trips up most of the players.

  8. California Jen

    Two years in a row, I’ll say Gavin Griffin and Bill Edler.

    Three years? Maybe David Pham and Scott Clements.

    As BJ said, it’s so difficult to know, especially with backers involved and endorsement deals that put players into tournaments. So many ingredients to factor in…

  9. DanM

    Tom, I’m shocked your number is so high. I was thinking more like a few dozen. But you must be taking into account all those online kids you have so much respect for.

    (And is it that different from golf?)

  10. Fawcett

    Online golf is lame. There are exactly 0 pros who make (net)100k a year that are not on the PGA Tour for 3 years in a row.

  11. DanM

    So how many PGA pros do that? My guess is like 60?

    And while online golf may be lame, Golden Tee isn’t!

  12. Fawcett

    Well last year 216 PGA members made over 100k on the course and every member of the PGA Tour makes over 100k in endorsements. Add to that the Euro PGA, Asia, Japan, Australia and I would think 500 players make 100k or more on a consistent basis.

    60th place on Tour last year (your guess) made 1.5 million plus endorsements. Easily clearing over 2 million. Life is good on the green fairways of the PGA Tour….damn I wish I could putt!

  13. DanM

    Thanks for those numbers Fawcett. Interesting perspective.