Only a small percentage of dedicated professionals choose poker as their lifelong career and most of those who consider themselves professional poker players sooner or later choose to move on to a different career path.
Fortunately, poker leaves long time players with something more than just money to show for it. The longer you play, the sharper certain skills become, especially if you have really dedicated yourself to the game.
But most importantly, by the end of a career in poker, you can expect to have one of the most sought after brains in the job market – an analytical one. Here are some of the jobs you can expect to be good at with a skillset like that.
10. Burger King Cashier
Let’s face it, some poker players are not as good as they think they are, so before transitioning to another career, check your overall results. If for some reason you notice the profit line dropping straight down throughout your entire poker career, even though you thought you were clearly crushing the games, some career paths may not be for you.
With that in mind, start slow, flip some burgers for a while and figure out where to go from there. If you are constantly losing at poker, chances are that you haven’t actually developed any useful skills while playing it.
9. Casino Dealer
Quite a few poker players started off as dealers and if you are looking to do the opposite, it should be quite easy for you, not to mention that it’s much better than flipping burgers. You don’t even have to deal at the poker tables since virtually any casino table game needs dealers.
As far as entry-level jobs go, casino dealers are one of the best there is, so if you want to transition from poker but remain in the industry, this is an ideal place to start. Besides the salary, dealers can expect tips from players, which can be quite a boost to the paycheck and dealers usually have opportunities to be promoted to better jobs as they gain experience.
8. Tournament Director
Getting hired as a tournament director is quite a bit harder than getting hired as a dealer, and a lot of the time tournament directors transition from dealing at the tables. However, even if you think that you can do the job that might not be the case.
Not only do you need to have great management skills and be good at working under pressure, an outgoing personality is also crucial for a tournament director. Nevertheless, poker players who understand the workings of the job can surely try to go for it, but keep in mind that tournament director jobs are nowhere near as numerous as dealer jobs, so even if you find an opening, be prepared for some tough competition.
7. Sports Bettor
If you are looking to give up poker as a career and take up something much more volatile and stressful then sports betting is definitely your thing! Transitioning from a professional poker player to a professional sports bettor is probably the worst choice a poker player can make.
The main reason is that being a professional sports bettor is much harder than being a professional poker player, so if you aren’t very successful at poker, then you likely won’t be successful at sports betting. On the other hand, if you are a very successful poker player, then there’s no real reason to make this transition in the first place.
To be fair, being a professional sports bettor has its advantages over being a professional poker player, and with enough dedication and motivation, it can be done successfully, though it will require a lot of work.
Stock/Day trading is perhaps one of the most popular career choices for retired successful poker players. Just like poker, trading is all about weighing up potential risks and rewards and making the right mathematical decisions, which any successful poker player knows how to do well.
However, unlike all the previously mentioned jobs, having a solid poker background may not necessarily qualify you for it straight away. It might be pretty hard to convince a potential employer to hire you just based on your good poker results, so you might have to get some sort of degree or training first. The good thing is, even if you have to jump through some hoops before becoming a trader, it will probably be easy thanks to the skills you acquired at the poker tables.
Being a successful poker player means that you probably understand human behavior and mindsets pretty well, especially if you are a live poker player. A lot of successful professionals start to offer poker training to other players well before they finish their careers themselves, which creates a great base to transition to coaching or counselling beyond poker.
Nevertheless, this is probably a transition which is beyond most (even successful) poker players’ capabilities and requires a lot of effort before any results can actually be achieved, so weigh up all your options carefully before considering coaching/counselling as your next career.
While programming and computer science don’t necessarily have much in common with poker, programmers and poker players do. Both must have a highly analytical mind to be successful at what they do, so transitioning from one to the other is easier than doing so from a non-analytical/mathematical background.
Of course, programming is the one thing that requires a poker player to learn a completely new profession, but thanks to the mindset of a poker player, learning a programming language will take much less time than it would otherwise. And once you’ve mastered one programming language, learning a second one will be that much easier since all of them have similar patterns.
Any good poker player should be comfortable with numbers, and that’s exactly what it takes to break into the world of finance.
The upside is that jobs like these pay very well and are in relatively high demand. However, there is no way you can expect to get hired as an accountant without some sort of education in the field. A poker background should make getting a degree in this field easier, but you really aren’t going anywhere without one.
Being a salesperson doesn’t necessarily have much in common with poker itself, unless of course you are a live grinder who loves to get into the heads of your opponents through table talk. If you grind 24 cash game tables for a living, sales might be somewhat harder to break into.
What being a salesperson does require is the same determination and will to succeed that you need to make it as a poker player. Just like in poker, success in this line of work comes with effort, so even if you are, in fact, an online grinder who never actually uses any salesmanship skills, the sheer will to succeed can still allow you to become good at this job.
1. Business Owner/Investor
Professional poker players are basically investors seeking out profitable opportunities to put their money in. The mindset that comes with this is perfect for a businessman or investor, so it’s no surprise that the majority of the most successful poker players usually transition into the business world.