Online poker reached its peak around the middle of the previous decade, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone.

Far from it.

And for a small group of players prepared to put in the time and energy there is still a lot of money to be made.

In a recent interview with Ray (not his real name) opened up about the enormous, tax-free, sums available to players prepared to make a profession of online poker.

Ray was studying IT and commerce at the Australian National University when he got involved in online gambling. Like most people he started small and quickly developed a taste for the game. But unlike most people Ray decided to bring the full force of his maths and computing skills to the game.

Ray uses programs such a Poker tracker and Hold’em Manager to record every hand that is played and break down the odds of each hand winning. The actions performed by the players are collated and the information is stored in a database. This database allows Ray to compile statistics on every conceivable combination of hands. These statistics then enable him to discern the playing styles of all his opponents.

The importance of such information cannot be understated.

Ray tells us that some of the poker sites even allow players to add ‘buddies’ to their friends list without hem knowing. Ray makes sure to add the worst players he finds. As he puts it, “It’s more like a hit list than a friend list.”

By his third year of university Ray had made $80,000. So before doing the endless rounds of job interviews he decided to give online poker a chance – full time.

It was the best career decision he never made.

Ray started playing full time in August of 2007. He made $100,000 in the first month.

Now in his early 30s Ray says he plays an average four to five hours a day. He works hard to avoid being noticed, usually going to new or lesser known sites, and he is always looking for easy marks. And you’d be surprised how many of them there are – even at the higher stakes tables.

The perks are significant: Not only does Ray make a lot of money, whenever he wants, but it is all tax-free.

And that is why asked that his name not be revealed. For if the tax office deemed his poker-play to be his profession then he may, perhaps, be forced to give up some of his winnings through tax.

And why should he? Never give a sucker an even break, right?

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