It can be seen on television, international celebrities play, and with the dominance of the internet over our modern day lives anybody can have a few quick rounds on their phone.

It’s easy to look at these tournaments on television, or take a look at some of the offers in the palm of your hand and think you could do it just as well. And now, research has come out analysing the average salary taken by a poker player comparing it to some of Australia’s most popular sports. There are some results that might surprise you.

As can be seen from the below infographic provided by 888poker, the average salaries of sportsmen are as follows:

%TNT Magazine% poker infog

The infographic also shows that the respective income of a professional poker player who plays 100,000 hands a month is $60,000. However it is important to note that these figures are based on the highest pro wins rate.

Based on this, you can see that a pro poker player gaining these results would earn more than an average horse racing jockey, just under that of an average soccer or basketball player, but falling quite short of your average rugby player, Australian rules football player or cricket player.

So with these encouraging figures, the question is: is it realistic to hope for a decent salary should you take up the cards full time? It can be easy to envisage yourself going on a winning streak in a few tournaments and taking an early retirement. However, there are more issues to consider.

The thing is with poker, it doesn’t come with a regular income and even the best pro’s have “losing years”. It’s estimated that 25% of players make money in the long run and only 10% will be good enough to turn pro.

This means while lifetime results can be calculated, some years you’ll make no profit, and over others you’ll make a loss. So, in order to quit the day job you’d have to have earnt yourself quite a cushion to make sure you’re safe during those bad luck streaks.

So, how realistic is it to make money at all?

Well, you’d have to be good. As mentioned, the above figures are based on playing 100,000 hands a month with a 4bb/100 hands win rate and this doesn’t take into account the buy-ins; these figures are based on winnings only.

As can be seen there are no guarantees in poker and there’s a fair chance that you’ll lose dollars at some point. Poker isn’t a quick way to get rich, but big winners are out there. It’s certainly worth a try as some people simply have the knack of the game and it comes naturally. Others choose to become master tacticians, studying the games of the best players and employing those tactics into their own game.

With the salary being up there with other professional sportsmen it’s certainly worth having a go, it’s all mental rather than physical prowess. Who knows, you could get lucky and get your big wins soon!