Being a professional poker player is considered a dream job for many Australians, earning money playing a game you love, working the hours you choose, and getting to travel the world to attend top tournaments in Las Vegas, or the Aussie Millions in Melbourne. So how does this compare to being a sportsman in some of Australia’s favourite sports?
Amongst the top 10% of poker players, annual earnings can be a steady $50k from a steady cash game income. The biggest earnings come from A-League soccer, where top players can earn a staggering $5.5 million. However, we should point out the average is much lower, and only the top stars who have previous experience playing in top European leagues can command such a salary.
Elite horse racing jockeys and top cricketers can also earn a large sum, up to $3.5million, but again the average is much lower.
Rugby League and Aussie Rules Football players are more equally paid, with the averages ranging between $200k-$250k, and top earners only getting a salary four to five times this.
Many Australian sports players actually enjoy a game of poker as well. Legendary cricketer Shane Warne has established himself as a credible poker player, having won almost $100k in live tournament prize money. His impressive record includes a cash in the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, as well as a series of cashes in side events at the prestigious Aussie Millions tournament.
Infographic From 888poker.com