Why Doug Polk Really Quit Poker…In My Opinion.

Why Doug Polk Really Quit Poker…In My Opinion.

If you’re a moderate to active poker player or fan of the game, then you’ve probably heard of Doug Polk. He’s a 3 time World Series of Poker Bracelet winner, won the High Roller One Drop for just over $3,000,000 and as of end of 2017 had over $9 million in career tournament earnings.

At one point, he was one of the top online heads up pros on PokerStars and was crushing the game a so many levels. Well he quit. He made the decision to walk away from playing poker to pursue a different path in his life stating that he didn’t feel the passion for it as much anymore and that he didn’t feel that challenged in it.

I was watching Doug play when he quit and I saw a ton of speculation start to form as to why he quit. People thought he went broke, or that he could no longer compete with the worlds best or that he couldn’t win at the level in which he was playing. I personally don’t think that’s accurate.

In fact now that I’ve been learning about online business models, I think Doug Polk quitting poker makes a ton of sense. I’m going to break down below why he’s going to be making SO MUCH MORE money now than he ever did playing.

Playing Poker Offers a Limited Income

At one point I was playing poker like crazy and have always been a “decent” player. I spent time learning and watching videos, practicing different strategies and saw some good wins. However I realized that it’s not the best income model.

Poker allows you to make money from the table in front of you or from the player pool in the tournament you’re playing in. In order to win that money, you have to have some talent yes, but more importantly you have to put in the time. This is an active income model, but also one that comes with a lot risks as well.

In order to make more and more money takes your ability to increase in the stakes of the game, but in doing so you’re also putting more money at risk. Now there are ways to mitigate that risk through staking or sponsored play, but there is still a risk vs reward level to it.

Also, the higher stakes you start to play, the less players there are and the level of competition gets to be much much harder. If you’re going to play at the highest level in the world you’re also going to be playing the best players in the world. And if you’re really really good, then you’re going to find less and less players willing to play you.

This is what Doug started to experience online and he’s discussed how he had to change the games he was playing because he couldn’t find anyone willing to put their chips on the table. His online heads up income dried up.

He did diversify by starting to play in high roller tournaments and he saw some success, but again how can you scale that over time?

His Online Business Models

Doug had the ability to build a fan following due to his playing and being on TV, but he was also extremely smart in how he built his following. He started a YouTube channel which now has just over 230,000 subscribers. That’s a pretty healthy channel. But along with that he has 4 other channels including his Crypto channel with 200,000 subscribers and about 80,000 subscribers to his other 3.

His new videos are generating about 100,000 views a clip which generates him ad revenue and he has just under 400 videos published on YouTube for his poker channel. This has established him as an authority on hand reviews, poker news and he has access to the top players in the world.

Upswing poker logo

Now he’s not making millions off of the YouTube channel, but that’s not the only thing he’s doing either. He started UpSwing Poker in which he sells a TON of info products.

He has a selection of free resources like preflop ranges and bunch of articles that discuss general strategy. But if you want his “advanced” coaching, you’re going to pay for it.

Most of Doug’s top level coaching modules are going to run you a solid $999. Now I’m not saying it’s not worth $999. If you want to be a top level player, then you’re going to advance a lot faster when you have a pro walking you through step by step by step. But this is a PASSIVE income source that he’s built up and it’s essentially everything we discuss on this website.

He’s going to get you in from his YouTube Channel to his website where you’ll get the free resources. In order to get the free stuff you have to put in your email address. You are now in the funnel and he’ll be marketing to you his paid products. So lets discuss the potential of that vs him just playing poker

Earning Potential – Poker vs Coaching

As I said above, if you’re playing then you have to put in the time and the money to compete at the highest level right? So if he’s playing a $100/$200 NL Hold ’em game then he’s gonna face 5-8 players. If everyone buys for 100 big blinds then you’ll have $160,000 at the table that you can win. Pretty decent opportunity right? Except you can lose, and you probably won’t sweep the table.

But instead, you have 300,000 subscribers of people who like to play poker. They watch your videos and you post a new one that gets 111k views. If you have an affiliate link that you make a commission from for $20 bucks and .5% do that there’s a solid $22000 from that video.

But then you have your info products that you’re selling for $999. You only need to sell 1,000 coaching courses to make $1,000,000…. and you only have to make that course 1 time. If you make another course and the students that liked that first course got value from it, they WILL buy your next course, and the next one, and the next one.

Doug has built a strong enough of a funnel that he can now make that money without having to sit down at the poker table. He even has a merchandise line in which you can purchase simple things like t-shirts, hats and other memorabilia.

He’s even expanded to offer an affiliate program to help continue to build his marketing funnel. I’m not doing this for that though as I’m not really in the poker niche, but I thought about it!

How You Can Do The Same Thing Doug Did

Doug saw there was so much more earning potential in the things he knew than there was in the things he could do at the poker table. He developed a skill set and now markets that information to the people that want to be able to do what he did at the poker table.

I don’t believe there is anything negative to that business model, but he has been very quiet about that being his strategy overall and hasn’t really come forward to use this as an explanation for his quitting poker.

Now he may have quit poker for the reasons he’s stated. I mean he’s been playing forever and maybe he doesn’t feel that passion as he’s said. However the business that he’s built is passive enough that he can make really good money of his courses that he doesn’t need to play poker for his money any longer.

Here’s the thing though, you can do the same thing. If you have a skill or knowledge that other people want, you can build the same type of business in just about any niche. Check out our article on the 4 least expensive online business models you can start today to help you start the path of your online business.

2 thoughts on “Why Doug Polk Really Quit Poker…In My Opinion.

  1. Leonel says:

    Absolutely loved this article. Especially the end where it went from Doug Polk to your front end offer. Beautifully done and I tip my hat to you. I actually wanted to know why Doug quit poker and now I have another marketing idea. Thank you so much.

    • andrew says:

      I also believe online poker’s edge has been corrupted by quantative algos using hidden markov models that further eliminate edge.

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