Poker player 'earns more than sports stars'

Daniel Negreanu claims to have banked than David Beckham this year

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PokerStars.net World Series of Poker - Las Vegas

A report today has claimed that the top poker players can earn more than their counterparts in astoundingly well-paid sports, such as tennis and football. It based its sums on Daniel Negreanu, who claims to have made more than £4 million since January this year.

So is it a better-paying alternative to more active sports?

The number-crunching has been done by the Daily Mirror, after Negreanu took to Twitter to reveal his earnings for 2014 so far. He calculated that in 292 hours at the table he had made a profit of $7,055,001 - which is roughly £4 million. The newspaper calculated that this puts him ahead of Phil Mickelson, Roger Federer and David Beckham this year - although behind Tiger Woods.

Does it pay better?

However, this is not the end of the story. Negreanu is said to be the highest-earning poker-player of all time, as the 40-year-old has amassed career earnings of almost $30 million. Compare this to Roger Federer whose career prize money alone sits at $81 million or Tiger Woods, who is said to have amassed career earnings of $1.3 billion. Negreanu is clearly having a good year, while the others have had a good decade or so.

It's also worth bearing in mind that Negreanu is at the top of his game, and at the beginning of the month he reclaimed the top-spot as the highest-earning poker player in the world - so he's not exactly a typical player. The Mirror looked at the earnings of the top ten players in golf, tennis and poker, and found that golfers tend to earn the most, followed by tennis players and then poker players.

Could it make your fortune?

However, while exceptionally few of us will imagine we have the skills and athletic ability to make it in the world of competitive sports, there will be enthusiastic amateurs who believe they have the fitness for a sport that requires nothing more taxing than sitting down for hours on end. Many will remember the fact that TV presenter Victoria Coren won £400,000 in a poker tournament in April and fancy their chances.

It just pays to bear in mind that by far the majority of people don't have the required level of skill - because a top flight poker player is as rare a beast as a top-flight tennis player or golfer.

And while anyone can aspire to play more active sports with little to lose other than their dignity, those who try and fail to make it in the world of poker can lose a fortune. An overwhelming number of those who play will lose, and will either lose any money they are betting - or will lose whatever they paid in order to take part in the tournament. It means that poker isn't something you can simply have a bash at to see if you can make the big time - because you could lose your shirt in the process.

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