How I Retired Before I Was 30 Through Online Poker
Hi, my name's Dominic or -- as most of you know me from this site -- 'Brokerstar' and I'm going to walk you through exactly how I managed to retire from a mundane office job that I hated and get the kind of freedom that many will only ever dream about.
Before I jump straight into the good stuff, it's important to know that it really has been a tough journey. It's been trying on some of my relationships, left me broke more than once, and nearly made me fall out of love with poker completely.
Luckily I stuck with it and with a lot of hard work, the help of many amazing people (poker players, poker coaches, marketing and SEO experts, social media gurus, family and friends) I'm now at a point where not only am I free to live my life however I want, but I would like to share it all with you guys too so that you can avoid many of the mistakes that made this a frustrating experience at times.
I'm going to share EVERYTHING with you guys, how I made money playing poker, where I played, what I needed to do to become profitable, where I got the help, how and why I became an affiliate plus much more.
I hope there's something for everyone on here and that this article will help struggling poker players earn more money, help poker enthusiasts make money from their passion (even if they don't through playing), or help people do exactly what I did and some how play a part in helping people live their lives as free as a bird.
Starting as a break even and recreational player
So my story started much the same as many would be super star aspiring poker players, I had a job (one that I didn't enjoy) and played poker as a hobby in my spare time.
Like many, I struggled to even break even but the competitive streak in me wanted to change that. This is when I bought every book that I could find on poker and even went as far as hiring poker coaches to help me improve.
Over the years I think I've had about 10 poker coaches help me with my game and many, many more people help me with studying poker, through poker forums and Skype chats. I've bought so many coaching courses and built up a huge poker library (some good and some terrible books).
Through constant study, coaching and poker study groups, I started to build up lots of contacts and become friends with people that shared lots of information with me. One day while working on my 6 max cash game, a guy in my Skype chat who was no better at poker than me told me how he was making a couple of grand a month playing. He shared this secret with me and so began my profitable relationship with online poker.
Getting paid to play (by the poker rooms) - Becoming a prop player
The secret that my Skype buddy was talking about is that he was getting between 75 - 125% in rake back as a poker prop player
. I remember this seeming to good to be true at first but thought to myself "what's the harm in checking it out?"
So I joined online prop recruiters Rake Back Nation
(where my friend had been employed through) and signed up at one of the poker rooms that were recruiting at the time. Not being convinced, I only made a small, $200 deposit and if things seemed legit then I would put more on.
I started out playing NL50 (25c/50c blinds) 6 max and have to admit that I ran hotter than the sun and was up to about $600 by the end of the week. Then came 'pay day' (on this site it was every Monday) and I had just over $400 in rake back paid directly into my poker account.
I never deposited another penny onto that site again. Armed with just over a thousand dollar bank roll, I moved up to NL100 (I know, comedy bankroll management, but with getting paid, I didn't even consider running bad and could of moved back down if need be) and within a matter of months I had built a $10,000 bankroll and was playing NL400 as my main game. This was the time when I decided to quit my job and become a poker pro.
Find out more about becoming a Poker Prop Player
Becoming a rake back affiliate and the birth of Tagpoker
After a couple of years playing as a poker prop player I started to feel as if I was burning out and getting tired of having to play 6 max all of the time.
Through being a prop I discovered that I loved playing heads up when I started tables as I'd get the fish all to myself, but it wouldn't take long for others to start joining the table and it'd fill up.
It was at about this time that I had become Skype friends with a fellow prop player and he told me that he was making good money as a poker affiliate that offered rake back. I didn't have the first clue about starting a website, negotiating rake back deals with all of the poker rooms, keeping track of all the players commissions, paying them and everything else that went into becoming a rake back affiliate. This all seemed too much for me to do and the truth is that I'd become somewhat lazy by this point, a trait that I feel a lot of poker players suffer from, especially when they haven't had to work for an extended period of time.
I asked the guy how he found time to do all of the above tasks and manage to play any volume and that's when he told me about a company called Poker Affiliate Solutions
or PAS for short. PAS actually build your website for free, it's completely turn key and took all of about ten minutes to get (what has now become Tagpoker) the site live. These guys do EVERYTHING and all I had to do was concentrate on promoting rake back
to my players.
Next I had to think about getting traffic to my new rake back empire -- which there have been many avenues and I'll write a follow up article on that soon as it's a very complex subject to get right -- this all started with me being able to combine my passion for heads up play by making heads up tutorial videos and giving them away for free.
A very quick way to start your income generation is to promote your rake back or PAS affiliate site to your poker friends, this gave me a huge head start and a nice base level to build up off of as I had lots of friends that were grinders by this point.
If you want to learn more about starting your own rake back affiliate site then check out the link below. You can offer rake back, free poker bankrolls, get CPA commissions as well as revenue share.
Becoming a poker coach and making good quality coaching products
While making free poker training videos
I was still being coached myself as I wanted to really improve my game all the time as well as offer great quality content that rivaled my premium charging competitors.
I really wanted to give people real value in the content that I published so that the relationship with my sites traffic became truly win/win.
As my game improved, I started coaching people for free in hopes that they would then go and spread the word of the site and this worked really well for a while and was one of the reasons that I then created a poker forum
for all of these guys to continue to help each other develop as players and hopefully develop the kind of contacts and build poker relationships as I had in the past, the ones that helped me get to this point in the first place.
After having success with my free students, more and more people wanted coaching. It was at this point that I started charging a small fee for my time and this became another income stream on top of being a poker prop player and a poker affiliate.
This is when I started creating poker training courses for beginners. I wanted to put all of the thousands of hours spent studying, learning, getting coached, time playing and experience teaching, all down into downloadable courses so that my students could go over the content as many times as they needed to, to get them winning.
I had so much help and in put from other winning players to develop my heads up SNG poker training courses
and took skills that I'd learnt from many people and poured them all into these gems which (although don't make me anywhere near as much money as my other income streams) are my pride and joy and there's still nothing I enjoy more than the e-mails I get from students telling me how much these have turned their results around.
These are my current poker training courses on offer
On site marketing strategy to increase revenue
At first I wasn't getting great results with regards to getting players to join the poker rooms through me or buy that many of my coaching courses. This was quite a frustrating time as I was putting so much energy into creating the best courses that I could and choosing what I felt were the softest games for people to play in, I just didn't really understand my audience well enough at this point.
In an attempt to change this, I started doing bankroll spin ups and challenges where I'd turn a tiny deposit into a $5k or 10k bankroll. This was at the time when Chris 'Jesus' Ferguson was doing his $10k build and people (myself included) loved following along.
My first challenge was to turn $50 into $5000, only using the strategy in my small balling beginners to winners course
At the same time I was promoting the poker room that I happened to be playing on which was Full Tilt at the time and so as the challenge progressed, I was getting many more students, selling a lot more of my course and earning well from all of the players that were now grinding on Full Tilt through my affiliate links.
Above you can see the graphical results of the challenge where I played as Paris_tilton on Full Tilt Poker.
My latest poker project
Super turbo poker is all the rage these days and love them or hate them, everyone seems to be playing them. I was a bit late getting into this format of the game as I liked playing deeper stacked matches, but as the old saying goes, 'adapt or die'.
So as with my first poker coaching course, now I had to start working with as many experts in this variant of the game as possible. I studied with several coaches, sharpened my short stacked game right up and then created a training course to make what seemed like a complex math problem, actually be a fun and easy to learn strategy.
Once again though I have to prove that my new product works, just as I did before and that's why I'm doing another $50 - $5000 bankroll challenge, only using the strategy from my all new heads up super turbo beginners to winners course
. Read my full bankroll challenge blog
to get a better idea of how I put this together and engage with my sites fans.
It's true that I'm likely to get a lot of competition from people opening their own affiliate sites after reading this article and some people ask me why I would do that, but the fact is that I've made a living for such a long time now doing exactly that, sharing how I make money by showing people how I beat the poker games I played in.
This has always been my business model and I don't think it matters what niche you're in, giving your audience honesty, your hard work and providing real value through high quality content is the 'secret' to success. So in short, if you're looking for a get rich quick scheme, you've come to the wrong place. If you're willing to think outside the box, work hard and have a passion for poker, then you too can set up a business that can see you live a life of freedom inside five years.
If you have any questions, or you'd like to make a pledge for your own five year plan, then do so in the comments box bellow, it'll be great to see how many of you are inspired to do the same or who have found this helpful.
Do you like this article or find it helpful?