I knew back in the year 2005 to 2008 time-frame, online poker with mid stakes are profitable to play. I was wondering if one can still make money profitably by playing online poker game?

The reason I ask is, I used to play online poker back in that time frame. And then I got busy with my career and moved into my own software development company. But I miss the game so much and planning to return on the online tables. I also thought, it won't hurt to play, if the game is still profitable online. As we don't have any casinos in our country, online gaming portals are only place to go for me.

  • 1
    Not really a great question, but not bad enough as to justify it beeing closed. However, would you mind editing it and adding the thought process you had that led you to asking this ? It will give more context and reduce the temptation to close it as "too broad". Apr 4, 2014 at 9:33
  • Interesting question, but all answers opinion based. How will the answer be chosen?
    – Roman Mik
    Sep 10, 2014 at 16:44
  • @RomanMik An answer in this case might be "chosen" as it's the most comprehensive, informative opinion.
    – Toby Booth
    Sep 12, 2014 at 12:11

4 Answers 4


Absolutely. Obviously the games are dryer and tougher than 2005-2008 but that was the golden era of poker due to the Moneymaker boom. United States v. Scheinberg, more commonly known as Black Friday, was a huge blow to online poker but it's still thriving due to the rest of the world still being able to play online poker. :)

PokerStars is doing great, tons of promotions, a good amount of fish, lots of games to choose from, and so on. Full Tilt Poker is back up and running and US players are getting their rolls back. There are tons of people making serious money playing online poker. I myself approach it as a part-time job and know quite a few heads-up players like myself that grind out some significant coin.

If you put in the time grinding, studying, and reviewing your play you'll be better than the vast majority of players out there which, over the long run, will result in $$$.

10/30/2014 Update:

On August 1st, 2014, Amaya Gaming Group, completed their purchase of the parent company of PokerStars/Full Tilt. This has resulted in serious changes, some of which I've listed below:

This is causing a major outcry from all regulars/professionals.

The increased rake will result in high-stakes professionals losing tens of thousands, for nosebleed stakes potentially over a $100k, of profit to PokerStars due to the increased rake. I myself, a mid-stakes players, would have lost another ~$2600 USD to PokerStars so far this year if these new rake percentages were in effect. This is likely going to cause a large amount of regulars/professionals to move to other sites or they'll quit playing poker professionally entirely. Amaya is really screwing over a lot of regs with this.

Also, Spin & Gos, which are a HUGE hit among recreational players, are so high variance that it's borderline impossible for any serious reg to make a living playing them, ESPECIALLY with the high rake. As such, this is a serious blow for online poker.

Note that all of these changes are likely due to Amaya trying to get into the US market. Increased fees & rake to pay for lobbying efforts, taxes, etc. Still, they're driving away a huge part of their customer base by doing this. Hopefully things work out in the long run.

Here's an excellent article on how all of this was motivated by the desire to return to the US market, and how it's likely that PokerStars will be back in it soon:

In the booming online poker business, Amaya will raise you billions

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    lol, a downvote? Apr 6, 2014 at 8:51
  • There will always be users that downvote randomly without a reason or explanation. You'll get used to it ;) May 15, 2014 at 14:36

A couple events have made it more difficult to make money (from my perspective).

Although Full Tilt Poker is back up, it has failed to return to its glory days whereby you could have plenty of amature players watching the high rollers and taking a stab on the lower stakes. Obviously the higher games are less prevalent on PokerStars as this has always been the case for whatever reason.

The law changes in the US. Prior to legality being an issue grinder stakes ($1/$2 and above) where flush with US players who where easy pickings. Since their removal the number of players on those levels has reduced (as is the case across any level) making it more difficult to find regular games.

That being said you can still find a lot of promotional work being done on PokerStars and the popularity of Rush Poker has (in some ways) made poker more profitable than before, albeit you have to adapt your playing style to a different form of play. So, I would say if you are prepared to adapt you can still make good money playing poker.


I will give you my encounter with online poker. I have had a difficult time over the past two years earning a nice profit in online poker. I continued to work on my game, watched lots of videos of professional poker players and/or poker coaches, got a session with a poker coach to identify and plug in leaks, and moved down in stakes in hopes to improve my bb/100. The problem I have found is that mid stakes players have improved in their game. I find that the only time I am earning a profit is when a semi-regular player is on tilt and is making mistakes. Other than that, it seems the fields have really become solid. Now, occasionally, do you do get the odd weak opponent but it not nearly enough to make a decent profit IMO. For myself, the time I spent playing versus the money that I made was not worth it. For that reason, I would not recommend it to any new comers to the game. If you are still wanting to come back and play, I would certainly begin at the lower stakes, 10-25NL. A lot of people have an understanding of game theory and how to play situations optimally. Definately do some home work on that, but as I said it really isn't worth the time.

Hope this helped, Arv from Pokerstars


This is not an opinion-based answer. There are several websites where you can see all sorts of leaderboards for different poker games, different stakes, different game types etc. sharkscope, officialpokerrankings, pokerprolabs, etc. Players who make it to the leaderboards are making very nice profits. You can also figure out that all they do is play poker online - and that some never seem to have a holiday. Their stats are public (with exceptions).

What I've seen myself is that those players who make the biggest profits are easy to find at the tables. They play multiple tables at the same time and they play against each other too. It's pretty much about luck when the regulars sit at the same table, but they're not worried about that as they make a profit anyway. Most pokersites have a rakeback program. That's actually how most high-stakes players make a profit even if they seem to lose money at the tables.

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