Getting paid to play poker is every poker player's dream, but did you know you can make it a reality? Did you know you can even get health insurance, a 401 (k), and other job benefits, all for playing poker?
This fantasy job is called being a Propositional Poker player, often called a Prop Player or a Prop. Prop Players are paid by the casino to join poker games, and paid a hourly wage.
Prop poker players play with their own money. They are not shills who play with the casino's money, but they are paid to play to keep games going and to keep games from breaking down. As such, a Prop's winnings (and losses) are his or her own.
Advantages of Being a Prop Player
Being a prop player has many advantages - most notably that you get paid to play poker. In the Seattle area, the going rate for Prop Player is somewhere in the fifteen to twenty dollar an hour range, comfortably above minimum wage.
Being a prop poker player can be a great job if you truly enjoy the challenges of a poker game. You can meet new people, play poker as much as you want, and get paid to play poker.
Beyond that, being a prop requires no heavy lifting, TPS reports, long meetings, or other irritating elements of most jobs. If you love poker, this is the job for you.
Disadvantages of Being a Prop Player
While being a prop poker player sounds like the perfect gig, it has led many a reckless or uncareful player to ruin. Being a prop player is different than playing a regular game in a casino for several important reasons.
You can not pick the games you play
Unlike when you go to the casino to play poker, you can not choose the games you play in as a prop poker player. This might be the single biggest disadvantage of being a prop player - game selection is the single largest factor in your ability to win money in a poker game. Games against poor players with lots of money on the table - the best games - are generally taken by independent players. This leaves the prop with games against other skilled players, or players who are not fun to play with. As a propositional poker player, you'll get stuck with the worst players in the casino. You'll also have to play strange games like Omaha Hi / Low, which you may not be particularly familiar with.
You'll have to spend your evenings and weekends playing poker
Doing something constantly can take the fun out of it. When you have to spend all of your Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights playing poker, you may dislike it after a while.
Fixed Costs of Being a Prop
When you're a prop player, you must pay the big blind and small blind antes to continue to sit at the table and participate in the game. This amounts to around thirty eight dollars an hour. With this cost pressure on you, you must play, and play aggressively.