Aug 26, 2016
Poker Pro Donald Rae Details Online Grinding Lifestyle
By RTR Dennis
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be an online poker pro, Donald ‘d7o1d1s0’ Rae recently gave an interesting account of grinding online through a BBC News interview.
According to the Scottish pro, he makes up to $50,000 a month playing online poker, but it’s not an easy pursuit. Below we’ll discuss what Rae has to say about his earnings, why the game is becoming tougher, how he draws support from his roommates, and where he sees himself in the next 3-5 years.
Rae Experiences a Lot of Variance in His Winnings
One of the toughest things about being a poker player is surviving the highs and lows when it comes to earnings.
“There’s a lot of variance in how much I make a month,” says Rae. “Anywhere from nothing to $50,000 dollars.”
Despite the wild swings that he experiences in terms of winnings, the 26-year-old has never had to get a normal job thanks to his skills.
Being a Poker Pro Isn’t Easy
“It takes a lot of work to make any money,” he explains, “let alone support yourself. It takes a very mathematical brain and quite a lot of self-discipline and control to not get too upset when things are going badly.”
Rae adds that the game is getting tougher because more players are using software and other methods to accelerate the amount of time that it takes them to become good.
“Now there’s all sorts of software tools to help people get better very quickly, including artificial intelligence, which people are using to create all new strategies.”
A 6-Hour Workday
Despite how tough beating online poker may be these days, it can still be a lucrative profession when considering how few hours one has to put into each session.
“A typical day would involve me starting play around 8 or 9pm, and finishing by 2 or 3am, depending upon the games.”
Rae added, “The best times to work are Friday nights, Saturday nights, evening and weekends essentially, which makes it difficult to balance a social life with that.”
Drawing Support from His Roommates
One foundation of Rae’s poker success is that he lives with fellow professional online pros.
“We support each other a lot when things aren’t going so well,” he says. “We keep each other sane. We will talk over strategies that we’re trying to use. There’s also a competitive element, if someone’s doing really well then that can be motivating.”
What’s Rae’s Future in Poker?
Given that poker is getting tougher, rather than easier, Rae doesn’t see online poker as a long-term career choice. This is especially the case when considering the software and other means that players are using to become tougher competition.
“There’s a lot of challenges ahead for players, and I don’t think that I will be playing poker in 3-5 years.”
Despite his negative long-term view of poker, Rae will continue grinding for the foreseeable future. He’s one of the top mid-stakes cash players on PokerStars and has $134,914 in live winnings, despite not playing in many live tournaments.