I was pleasantly surprised to find out that 888poker had increased player volume when I went back onto the site recently. This used to be a favourite haunt of mine some years ago. I think that it looks even better than what it used to and the software seems enhanced from how I used to remember it. For me then a poker sites needs to have numerous factors going for it to be a good choice for any serious poker player. Firstly it needs to have good solid player numbers and this means at least 30,000 active players.
It is essential for any online pro to have as much liquidity as possible to be able to sustain an income from the game. Let us say that 40,000 players are active on a poker site. Breaking this down still further could reveal for example that the average production per player in how much they contribute to the site or the winning players is $500/year. If we assume that 90% of the players are losing players and the rest are winning then we have 36,000 players contributing $500 which contributes to around $18 million in profits which is split between the site by taking rake and the winning players.
If we split this 50/50 as a broad general rule then the site would take say $9 million from the losing players and give the other $9 million to the winning players and so the +ev players have $9 million to fight over. Although that figure isn’t as high as what it sounds because if 10% are making money then that equates to 4000 players out of 40,000 and so $9 million divided by 4000 comes to $2250 per annum. It is fun to play around with these types of numbers because knowing how much the average player who makes money takes from the game is instructive because it can highlight how they play and what their motives are.
I like doing these calculations because it is instructive to know how much money the average online poker player places into the environment and also how much money is taken out by the poker site. I think the average winnings of a typical winning player is quite low although in the modern climate then any net plus figure really is an excellent score indeed.
So what this proves is that for any professional or semi-professional player to be able to make a good living from the game not only requires a certain number of contributing players but it also requires a good rake structure and a playing style that is different to the masses. In this case the masses are more than just the losing players but the combination of losing players, break even players and also average winning players which in all likelihood contribute at least 95% of the poker playing population. In fact this figure when expanded slightly to players who say make $25,000 per year or more from online poker would be at least 99%.