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Who Makes Money From Professional Poker?

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Poker is a game of extreme variance. Professional poker players can go stretches without winning or placing at a level that earns any cash. The wins, however, can make up for the droughts with players earning thousands to millions of dollars depending on the game or tournament entered. Considering poker is an inconsistent sport, players look to offset the risk involved. This is done through staking, where an "investor" will pay a player's way through tournaments for a piece of the action. » Subscribe to CNBC: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC » Subscribe to CNBC TV: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision » Subscribe to CNBC Classic: https://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: https://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: https://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: https://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: https://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC #WorldSeriesOfPoker Who Makes Money From Professional Poker?
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Text Comments (1042)
MrZoeman1980 (15 minutes ago)
Moneymaker effect was not it in my opinion. Look no further than the relovution invention of the pocket cam. The year moneymaker won WAS the first year of the pocket cam at the WSOP.
Dessan01 (3 hours ago)
Ahhh so this is where I’ve been going wrong all this time, who wants to buy part of me in the big $4.40 on Sunday? :d
Shakespeare Ghozt (4 hours ago)
Shout out to the people in the comments who say this is any different than the Stock Market. All the markets do is gamble on gamblers. You play enough real poker and you see a lot of the same guys at the tables and the trading room floor. Trading is gambling by another name. Fundamental analysis is gambling on rumor and groupthink and technical analysis is BS too. Here's a good reddit post on the topic https://www.reddit.com/r/stocks/duplicates/c0qdh3/i_generated_few_candlestick_charts_randomly_1180/ , if you know the first thing about tech analysis, it should scare the bejeezus out of you.
Michael mertens (2 days ago)
What Lisa Costello describes from 8:40 onwards, is a horrible deal for any player. If they decide on a 50:50 Split plus mark up and the person who stakes her has to be paid back 100% after 3 consecutive losses, before they split any left over profit from a win, the player will never, ever earn any money. Basically the players time and effort is valued as Zero and worse even, he has to pay for makin the attempt, while the backer is priotitied to get his money back. What a sucker deal.
JuiceOutWest411 (3 days ago)
Laplante is one ugly mf
Dog wag (4 days ago)
Women poker are useless, that's why they need to be banked, no skill, just a Vagina.
PokerStars TeamPro (5 days ago)
I play tournaments for the travel, friendships, sponsorship gift bags... tournaments magnify variance. It's where I splash around for fun. My bread and butter is grinding 8-16 tables at a time.... my charts have had a nice positive slope for over 9yrs.
Matt Yukon (6 days ago)
Poker Grifting 2.0 ...just make sure you are not playing on a Baccarat table like the one in this video ;)
dave himlin (6 days ago)
FACT = It was easier for poker players in normal society , to make a decent income playing poker BEFORE Moneymaker and the TV made NL hold em the most popular game. The casinos used to have many poker games of 7 stud-7stud hi lo - Omaha-Omaha hi lo.. that were limit stakes . A solid player with decent luck, could grind out a decent income in those games. Nowadays, most casinos concentrate mostly on NL hold em games...which results in wiping out most players bankrolls/ buy ins.
dave himlin (6 days ago)
In my honest opinion, the impact that the TV had in making NL hld em the most popular poker game, has severely damaged the poker scene overall. This fact is just now starting to become more obvious.
dave himlin (5 days ago)
@Certified Finest Those of us that played poker in the casinos, 30-40 years ago, see the damage that NL hold em has done to the overall poker scene. The casinos used to have dozens of tables devoted to games like LIMIT- 7 stud- 7stud hi-lo with betting structures of 10-20 or 15-30 or 25-50, etc. Those games are virtually extinct in most casinos.
Certified Finest (5 days ago)
How as it been damaged?
dave himlin (6 days ago)
In answer to the question of the title video , " certainly NOT Jean Bellande " ? Lol.
the gorbachev (7 days ago)
3:28 swear thats the dude who was trying to sell woody
Livereater00 (8 days ago)
good informative video!
Andre Chico (8 days ago)
I saw Chris moneymaker at Winstar Casino in Thackerville, OK. The guy looked miserable.
dave himlin (6 days ago)
The poker hag life, of spending most of your time sitting at a poker table , can really age a person quickly and make them miserable. In the end, poker is a gambling game, which means LUCK then skill plays a big role. You can be a good player with bad luck, and not beat the game of poker because luck is the great equalizer in any form of gambling. Moneymaker was not and is not a great poker player, but he had great luck on his side when he joined and won his 1st WSOP main event...the rest is history. In any gambling scenario, Ill take luck over skill.
gscgold (9 days ago)
Ha...cnbc..WTF would they really know about poker....
ICURA HOMO (11 days ago)
YouStake = Snake In the Grass.
Kevin P (12 days ago)
Lol its not rocket science. These guys act like its such a crazy mathematical complex. Fun note, most “poker pros” are deadbeats and tired losers
Imran Hajee (12 days ago)
Danny Machado (12 days ago)
AD... interesting though
nikiyen6 (12 days ago)
Who makes money from professional poker? Well, here's a hint - it's not the players or the stakers, on average.
dave himlin (12 days ago)
In live poker , about 30% of the players can beat the game , The other 70% break abut even or lose. In online poker, the percentage of winning players drops drastically to about 15% or less with 85% breaking even or losing. The reason online poker is so much harder to beat is because of cheating, collusion, rigged software, bots ,etc. Ive known players that have won in live poker for 30 years, yet they cannot win decent money playing online. Their inability to win money online is NOT because they are weak players. If you are playing online poker and are NOT engaged in cheating, collusion or bots, you are at a big disadvantage because you can almost guarantee other players at your table, are engaged in such tactics which gives them the edge. Unless you are a successful cheater at online poker, playing online poker will most likely be a losing scenario, even if you play solid winning poker in live games for years.
PIERRE (12 days ago)
Ooooooh now I see why there’s randoms not just family members cheering when people do well at the final table. I always thought they were fans or something LOL. Ain’t no poker players that are loved that much by regulars haha good video CNBC
Chris Jakubowski (13 days ago)
I don't buy this piece. Can anyone explain to me why, if I was a pro poker player, I would get people to stake me? The only reason I can think of is if I had zero money to buy in on a game. What is the pointing of being staked if I had to pay the money back to the staker if I lost? It's a zero risk investment for the staker and a 100% loss for the player.
Micheal Williamson (14 days ago)
These guys are ghouls and leeches. I wouldn't that anybody have one half of 1% of my action.
Jason Smith (14 days ago)
these guys are so evil. the only entities making money off poker are the casinos, poker event entities WSOP, the US Gov't, and, the top 1% of 1% of players...
James Wilson Jr (14 days ago)
living in Thailand in the 1970s one of my friends regularly made sponsored trips to Las Vegas about twice a year ( when the main tournaments were held returning to Bangkok with about $25,000-$35,000 in his share of winnings..
johan van til (14 days ago)
Orrrrr, you could play a little lower and keep all your own action. Crazy idea huh!
Paul Osc Slots (15 days ago)
Who Makes Money From Professional Poker? A/ Professionals.
Dolphino Egglet (15 days ago)
So... are they loansharks?
kevin wilson (15 days ago)
Only a very small percentage of poker players win in the long run.
HughJassle (16 days ago)
You guys at CNBC almost got me to watch the entire episode lol, here I was thinking this was a LEGIT news episode....NOPE just a long commercial for StakeKings, I guess these are what’s considered as commercials in 2019, faking people thinking its news or informational. 👎🏻
Elaine Anderson (16 days ago)
How did I miss this
Olde Tree Trimmer (18 days ago)
Don't play Bovado it's rigged
David Hill (18 days ago)
You know what's really profitable if you're a poker player? Satellites.
Chuck Clayton (19 days ago)
This is extremely informative. It would be interesting to see what kind of training the pros prefer! www.masteringpokermath.com
Chong Li (8 days ago)
Stefaniia Magdalena (19 days ago)
Dan Blackburn (19 days ago)
After 4 minutes the annoying BG music got the better of me and I realised I was watching a commercial. Thumbs down.
GK GK (20 days ago)
Talking about poker... 2:15 Verstandig literally means "wise" in dutch
M M (20 days ago)
So YouStake and Stake King just bought a full 20 minute ad on CNBC?
giuseppe accardo (20 days ago)
I would not give a cent of my hard earn money to any of these fools I have seen on this video ...
Mason Connor (21 days ago)
Stay clear...this nearly reaped me off my savings, recently started investing in forex trading, i think that's what works for me
Austin jeremy (21 days ago)
Forex trading is a good way to invest your money if you've the right strategy and a good guidance. I have benefited so much from trading
Jefferson Wayne (21 days ago)
Is it possible to start with a small amount like $1000-$2000?
Nathan Hopkins (21 days ago)
Coming across Mr Stephan has really changed my life for good, his strategies is the best I have seen so far and his experience of the market is superb
Mason Connor (21 days ago)
I've been able to recover myself and my losses trading with mr stephan briggs, my last investment yielded $8600 though I had to reinvest $2500 and he has made much progress with that too
Mason Connor (21 days ago)
@Gagnon Smith yes a colleague referred me to a professional trader Mr Stephan Briggs, he handles my trades and he's doing a great job trading on my behalf.
Billy Bob (21 days ago)
kevinpilon11 (21 days ago)
Dude stop saying tournament like that.
alt coin (21 days ago)
Wow this video really sucks! Then again what else should be expected from fake news?!
Awesome Liberal (21 days ago)
I stake mid-high stake cash game players, and I will NEVER stake a woman!!! This is a man's game, and they don't belong here..... The "best" female players can ONLY profit in very soft games......!
Anaiah Ben Yahweh (22 days ago)
I need to be staked
DonGrafOne (22 days ago)
Sk and twitch are the reasons why pokerstars will die
Kids have fun with JR JR (22 days ago)
Where did you get that money 💵 💵💴💶💵💵💵💵💵💵💵💵💳💵💵💵💵💵💵💵💵💰💸💸💸💰💰?
sunnyboy8644 (23 days ago)
9:47 this mofo is super sensitive ahahha he blocked a bunch of people on twitter lol
PatrickAllenNL (23 days ago)
This is not news..thanks for catchinv up..took you....20 years?
Tao Jones (24 days ago)
Backing is a horrible practice in the lower levels.
Thereis Hope (24 days ago)
Poker is Love
politicalworldwar news (24 days ago)
Basically like the stock market...
Michael Palumbo (25 days ago)
Samuel Uhlmann (25 days ago)
whose lisa costello? never heard of her
Junito Punto Comm (26 days ago)
10:33 Can I Stake you?? But not with money !! Lol
Aaron Barnai (26 days ago)
It’s funny how CNBC didn’t stumble upon 2 + 2 staking forum
Aaron Barnai (26 days ago)
I didn’t know Moby plays poker
Viktor Heredy (26 days ago)
All these suckers without youtube red in the comments...
ashton77 (27 days ago)
Most of these people have been cherry picked for this video///aka winners........MOST (90%) by far staked or not lose in the long run and not that long either.
Sheldon Cooper (23 days ago)
Imagine if you resorted to staking with the Mafia. WHERE'S MY MONEY?!
Beefaroni (27 days ago)
One person who does not make money from poker: ME!
Jay Blazer (27 days ago)
This is not about poker. This is about poker tournaments.
Greg Harris (27 days ago)
Texas Hold 'Em is a version of poker that is 95% pure luck. The ONLY skill involved in playing is what you did to acquire the money to buy into the tournament or cash game you're sitting at, trust me. When you hear someone use the word "variance" it's because they cannot use the word "luck" as it's forbidden in the world of "professional poker" because they all want you to think it's a game of skill. fwiw, i have made a final table in a WSOP Circuit event before, finishing in 3rd place and have also finished in 22nd place in another WSOP Circuit event and have been playing cards for over 50 years, from Spades to 7 Card Stud to Hearts and Luck Bucket texas Hold 'Em. when i was first introduced to Texas Hold 'Em, i called it "Liars Poker" because every person only has two cards in front of them and it's not too hard to figure out when they have a good hand and when they dont. Are YOU feeling lucky today? then gamble. If you had an argument with your wife, or got a flat tire today, dont gamble. Simple as that. Good luck to all of you and hope to see you in the casinos!
Alfonso Talamantes (27 days ago)
Mac looks like the guy who stole woody
Slipperyfish (27 days ago)
Bring back online poker to America!!!
Think Cl (27 days ago)
That girl is super hot . damn
Joseph Fienga (27 days ago)
You've got to be kidding me? Trying to revive this? Everyone knows online poker is rigged and only extreme nerdbags and degenerate gamblers have any interest in live. Poker is dead in the US and it's not coming back. You're about 20 years too late on this one, guys.
Big Gunna886 (27 days ago)
Anyone wana back me on a 60+5 tournament 😁😂🤣
Grant Leach (26 days ago)
Big Gunna886 no
Mere B (27 days ago)
How do American players deal with banks? I know I am not gonna get any answers that are too creative lol I’m just wondering if I’m missing something very obvious. Banks seemingly don’t accept your winnings if you play online and want to get your money direct deposited in your account. Crypto I’ve read is an option but the taxes are crazy if you actually want to turn your crypto to cash. I am genuinely interested in what to do to mitigate these issues! That’s why I’ve never actually played yet though I enjoy the game a lot!
Paretozen (27 days ago)
Wait, didn't that girl say she was a pro for 1 year? And then later said she had her worst year ever? Hmmm tough road ahead kiddo.
United We Speak Smith (27 days ago)
Poker is rigged. Money maker and all the other guys are nothing, but propaganda to make people think, they can make money.
Peter Pedersen (28 days ago)
Been playing poker for 50 years now. Never went pro. But when online poker started, I played on FullTilt until they were closed down. I had won numerous sit n go's for anywhere from $3- $300 buy-ins. Fell asleep one night while in 1st position money list at over $400k in chips. This was a $200k to winner tourny. I fell asleep around 4am, woke up at 7am with my laptop on my lap. I had won around $42k that night, sleeping through the blinds. I was amazed I won that much. It made me also realize that when your chip count is twice the second place player, stay close to the vest... or take a nap and blind down. LOL Best game ever invented, next to golf!
張海鷗 (28 days ago)
Happy Hour (28 days ago)
Stay in school kids!!!
Jon Liu (28 days ago)
im looking for a backer. i play $5 buy in tournaments and nickel stakes 😂😂
Ryan Johnston (28 days ago)
And where does all this money come from? Degenerate addicts who gamble away their kids college tuition.
Kudantourage Passive Income (28 days ago)
Thanks again for another detailed video,value after value,can't wait for your next videothis is golden knowledge guys take note and start,
Antonio DiNardi (28 days ago)
If you play 1-2 and 1-3 NL check out the 1-2 NL Manifesto. Www.1-2NoLimit.com
Max Fedorkins (28 days ago)
u gotta be pretty stupid to buy pieces.. ok u r not betting on 1 horse out of 10. u need to pick 1 out of 10 000 players in main event.. and those players that sell action... they play like morons... cause they dont care.. this should be banned. but it's hard to catch. unless someone is made a website lol
The Poker Page (26 days ago)
Some people enjoy people playing bad lol just horrible that in poker it can get rewarded 😂
Rob Vazquez (28 days ago)
Basically degenerate money obsessed junkie's.
Dale Baxter (29 days ago)
So players are buying each other’s action? Sounds a little bit like collusion to me.
elvis manhattan (29 days ago)
If u stake someone for full buyin you are idiot if you aint gettin 90percent winnings
Tronghung Dao (29 days ago)
Billy Begood (29 days ago)
As someone that does play poker for a living, I strongly recommend sticking to cash games. Sure, the huge potential payouts aren't there, and neither is the glamour, but it's far more consistent and having a backer is much less important. You don't need as much of a bankroll to sustain yourself, as generally speaking, a hundred buy ins of the stakes you play at is fine (plus a buffer for living expenses, as mentioned in the video). Taking 1-3 No Limit as an example, 500 is usually the maximum buy in for that game (depending on some houses). So for a professional player, having $50,000 is a very safe poker bankroll to have. And on a tax note, tournament winnings are reported to the IRS whereas cash game profits are impossible to track. Not that I suggest tax fraud in any way. You should always report your full and proper winnings to the Government. Of course. It won't make you into a millionaire overnight, but it's certainly something that you can consistently make a comfortable living doing. And as you become a better player and increase your bankroll, you can increase your stakes to the 2-5 and 5-10 games, until you are making six figures a year. No backers needed.
Shakespeare Ghozt (4 hours ago)
Ex Rounder here and as usual, the real MVP is in the comments. I wholeheartedly agree with this right here.
Billy Begood (4 days ago)
@Hawk Who Knows All I have no idea what that has to do with anything I said.
Hawk Who Knows All (4 days ago)
@Billy Begood I mean You dont have REAL GLOBAL SPORTs like FOOTBALL.
Chris Mengeu (4 days ago)
@Hawk Who Knows All All poker/ game of change winnings are tax free in the EU! Viva la EU
AlphaEchoZulu (4 days ago)
IMO cash is the best way to improve as you touched on but I wouldn't scoff completely at tournaments. Generally speaking, if you put in the work to get good at cash, your edge in tournaments will also increase greatly as the the fields are generally softer.
El Bz (29 days ago)
masavoie86 (29 days ago)
the new poker is esport esport= luck+skill
masavoie86 (27 days ago)
E$PORT IS THE FUTUR ''for a game you are sit ''
masavoie86 (27 days ago)
@elvis manhattan tv & internet marketing about that game make it grow quick but poker is just pure luck of timing , winning biggest pot at the right time , ok yeah you can bluff the commentator will say WOW AMAZING PLAY but if you fail he will say ; oooh terrible bad play , they try to make believe player its all about mathematic or what ever but after grinding a long time poker you understand that you get rake and its just about luck & timing on very important situation ; you win tournament big sucking out AA with JJ preflop 2 time in row on all-in preflop OOH YOU Are so pro NOOO YOu just a lucky guys ,,, one guys cant loose pocket AA 20 times in row all-in preflop vs KK and go - 5000$ quick that make him a bad player of course not he is just very unlucky ! its just a game of luck we all know the odds+ranger of hand+position their is no mathematic behind it , this is just about timing of winning the biggest size pot // we also all know about tournament with BB at 10% of your stack by your position hands what to go all-in with STILL LUCK ! WHAT EVER I know im right ! i played for 10 years of poker and rake make the game worst i have win the most of the time in real life cash game on internet im just kind of even or minum money , and trust me that game is just about having fun dont believe you will make money its just luck , the lucky one will make money because he is lucky he will win the importantbig size pot at the right time he will get great timing full house vs flush Ace you know what i mean bro . THEY BRAINWASHED THE POPULATION TO MAKE YOU BELIEVE so they rake your money and get rich
elvis manhattan (28 days ago)
What you mean is you have more controle in SC2? I agree. In most games new players have almost 0 percent to win good specially great but in poker...its 60 40percent or even 80 20 , 84 16. If pro is holding aces ... poker is almost stupid game if not so. I never made any good money until i aproach the poker game that way... always rush in poker is money... 😅
elvis manhattan (29 days ago)
Every game has luck factor
Chris 515 (29 days ago)
How ironic
Me Too (29 days ago)
This is just a long ad
Upward Gaming (29 days ago)
I wonder who sponsored this video 🤔🤔
rawdog42 (29 days ago)
Ahhhh , now it's full ads with no content. You can't fool an Ewok.
DeCarlo Calloway (29 days ago)
Just google make living playing tournament poker... It’s almost mathematically impossible. Successful pros grind cash, they don’t play tournaments staked or not.
Mean- Streak (29 days ago)
why you guys so salty?
Randy Zeitman (29 days ago)
How can staking ever work? Lets say there's a 100 person tournament and you're investing is an average player. The odds to win certainly isn't 100:1, it's more like 200:1. Already you've lost half your investment power. It's the same as buying a lottery ticket and but only being able to choose half the possible numbers. Then even if it's a win, that gets split in some way again. Lets say it's 70/30 in your favor. You get 70%x200, payout is 100:140. Wouldn't playing roulette black/red always be better odds?
matija šlat (29 days ago)
this is the best comercial i have ever seen
Das Crazyboi (30 days ago)
Just sharkscoped JeffGross and his results are blocked...and he's a twitch pro? WTF lol losing player confirmed
jade2908〈3 (30 days ago)
All this staking must create a lot of soft playing in tournaments
AlphaEchoZulu (4 days ago)
Depends on the stakes I guess but yes, there is a risk of collusion. I wouldn't say it was rife though.
vin Tran (30 days ago)
After all the casino is the winners" no body win in gambler...
K-Fabe 87 (24 days ago)
You are not playing against the house in poker. You are playing against the other players. The casino only provides the venue, the staff, the cards, etc and takes a 'rake' or a small percentage of each pot. You are correct in the sense that the casino does not 'lose' in poker but anyone who loses at the poker table is not losing to the house. They are losing to other players. With the other casino games, (blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat), the players are playing against the house.
qaz wiz (30 days ago)
it appears that a lesson can be learned from their "dark" period. IF SEC ever starts asking questions THEN IMMEDIATELY file to register with them. of course this assumes you have nothing to hide. i would assume if you ARE trying funny business that you already have a ticket to a non-extradition country
Dan The Travel Man (30 days ago)
Don’t be down on your luck too long or you’ll get a class action curb stomping
ratchthed (30 days ago)
In poker, I'm nobody admittedly. In my chosen field, I am an international player. And have been for an honest 7 years. It's a small community admittedly. But... it's full of bad asses that try to clobber me often. I follow professional poker as best I can. I know Jeff Gross's work well. Very well. I mention him because he has a few blurbs in this video. However.. I do not know Lisa Costello. not a shot at her, it's just that I do not know her game... at all. Nothing, nada zilch, never seen her until this marketing experiment they call an interview. I'm sure she can hold her own, I would have my hands full against her... but.. where is the sound credibility that she brings to the game? Let's compare apples to apples and not grapes to walnuts. Seriously... I could and would find folks to stake me for a 5/10 NLH one on one game with her. No sweat. Why did the producers of this documentary seek out less than 10 yr or 5yr stake players to speak for the poker community at large? I'm nobody... but I know when it's time to send it and it's time to put it in the trailer too. How's about better representatives, better voices, better PLAYERS to speak for the stakes side of the game? Not judging, not blasting... just would prefer either a better bio on Ms. Costello or an arguably much more seasoned player than her to speak for the stakes side of professional gambling. But hey...I prefer to gamble on the race track!  So never mind me!