I found a great article on ESPN which matches my observations quite well. Making a living playing poker
After putting in many hours of poker over the years, I can agree it is possible to make a good living playing poker, but it is also possible for me to put a few dollars in the slot machine and hit the big jackpot.
There was a period of my life where I played on a regular basis in medium stakes live games. You eventually get to know the regulars. Its a small world. Its difficult to imagine having a constant supply of weak poker players handing you enough money to make consistently high, steady cash flow like a “normal”, well paid job. On a few occasions, you would make out very well against some particularly bad players. It makes for great stories but it doesn’t make for a great living. But most of the time, its a real grind if you are trying to keep your variance to an acceptable level.
The other aspect I consider is the long hours. To play consistently well over a long period of time is a task better left to computers. With online poker, you are probably up against the equivalent of bots. I have seen even the best poker players melt down. When they do, it is often a costly mistake. Beyond the financial considerations of your hourly rate, I have to imagine the long hours sitting hunched over a poker table or staring at a computer screen cannot be good for your physical, social, or mental health.
Over the years, a number of people have asked me for thoughts on playing professionally. I like to consider it a hobby that I play around and have some good stories to share with my friends. As far as making a good living, there are far easier ways to make a good living.