The growth of the global poker industry is due to the fact that thousands of new players from all over the world are looking to try their hand at poker each year, hoping to make a stack of cash on the side and many are looking to quit their jobs and become a full time poker players.
Wisconsin native Amit Makhija was one of the early starters who became a professional poker player nearly 10 years ago. He has made a name for himself on the poker circuit and has had reasonable success playing live poker and online poker over the last 10 years.
Makhija has made around $3 million playing online poker and another $2.6 million in live poker earnings, as well an undisclosed amount of prize money that he has accumulated over the years playing high-stake cash games.
Makhija has seen the game of poker evolve over the years as stakes have become higher, competition has become fiercer. There have been times over the last 10 years when Makhija has become tired with playing poker and the infamous Black Friday in the U.S. hurt his sponsorship opportunities which significantly reduced his revenue.
A son to Indian parents, Makhija has a strong education background having a double major in finance and economics. He believes his background in finance and economics has helped him to improve his poker skills and has benefited him greatly at the table. He spent a lot of time in the early days playing online poker at home and he said his parents were quite surprised when he decided to take up poker as a full time career.
In a statement, Makhija said
When I told them I was going to try and make it in poker, they were obviously concerned, but by that point I had achieved enough success that they could at least see that it wasn’t a completely ridiculous idea. My bankroll was already pretty substantial because I was playing high-stakes online like $25-$50 or $50-$100 no-limit hold’em cash games and $5,000 heads-up sit-n-gos. I had 27 percent rakeback on Full Tilt, and I remember one month that I put in so much volume at the heads-up sit-n-gos that I got back $25,000. I basically had contributed six figures in rake to the site.
Makhija is still passionate and committed to playing the game of poker and believes that the experience he has gained over the last decade will serve him in good stead and that he will have an even better track record in the next 10 years.