eSports players turned into successful poker professionals
Did you know many of the famous poker pros had a similar type of career & identity in the world of eSports? It’s no coincidence that screen names like WCGRider or ForTheSwarm refer to different competitive games such as Warcraft 3 or Starcraft 2.
Poker had much less media attention in the beginning of 2010 compared to popular games like Starcraft, Warcraft 3 and Counter-Strike, where hundreds of thousands of teenagers were passionate enough to compete and utilize the possibility of connecting to similar-minded people and playing with them all day – without having to ever leave their room! In Korea, many of these players who achieved the highest levels of gaming became sort of icons that had their own fan groups and massive followings wherever they went to play.
Back then, the prize money for the top place in a typical eSports tournaments was between $5,000-$25,000, a sum that comes nowhere near the massive trophy prizes in modern eSports tournaments. The prize money used to be even smaller in the early-2000s, but this still wasn’t quite enough alone for most of the gamers to be full-time pros. Of course you could obtain a sponsorship on top of the prize money by doing well in the tournaments, but still there was far more money to be won in poker at that time. Therefore some eSports players tried out their hand in poker to make it as professional poker players – and never looked back since!
Whereas the prize pool money in eSports has grown rapidly during the recent years, online poker industry has seen some decline in the Western countries. It’s unclear if Twitch and live streaming can save the poker industry, but there is a lot of good content available on Twitch to improve as a player (you might also want to keep close look on our page for upcoming Twitch content!)
There are a lot of similarities between eSports and gaming when you take a closer look at them. Let’s go through some of the key factors that helped former gamers succeed relatively fast in poker:
Factor 1: Universal access to start playing
Factor 2: Competitive environment where focused & dedicated players excel
Factor 3: The Game favours fast-thinkers and multitaskers
Factor 4: The game requires constant presence & flow state
Factor 5: Strategic & Psychological aspects
Player number 1: Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier
Player number 2: Doug ‘WCGRider’ Polk
Player number 3: Randy ‘Nanonoko’ Lew
Player number 4: Pauli ‘Fiilismies’ Äyräs
List of ex eSports players turned into poker professionals by game:
Beasts of PokerEditorial Team
Beasts of Poker Editorial team curates and publishes in-depth reviews and ratings of online poker sites by using their extensive industry experience. Content is created by both in-house team of experts and outside authority contributors.