Andy McClure, 21, looks nothing like someone making $70 an hour.
He wears the same old blue jeans and the same ragged T-shirts he’s had since his freshman year at the University. If you didn’t know better, you could swear his faded Yankees cap was surgically fixed to his head. He spends most of his time in bare feet.
That’s the part McClure likes most about his story. Most college students can only dream of a job that pays big bucks and allows them to sit around with their friends watching TV or listening to music. But that’s how McClure spends his time: hanging out and making money.
McClure is cashing in on America’s poker boom. He spends about 50 hours a week, he said, playing over the Internet. That’s earned him more than $40,000 since the summer, when he first sat down in — or logged into — an online poker room.
McClure cautions that’s just a fraction of what he expects to make now that he doesn’t have school or any other obligations to detract from his playing time. In 2005, McClure thinks he’ll make at least $200,000. “That’s a conservative estimate,” he said, noting that he could win several hundred thousand with a strong performance in a large tournament. Since Jan. 1, McClure has made about $18,000 online, he said.
McClure plays Texas Hold ‘Em, the seven-card game made popular by the World Series of Poker and other televised events. An inordinate surge of interest in the game nationwide is filling casinos, and social games among friends are making college students into poker aficionados.
The online gambling industry is also riding the Togel Singapore poker wave. There were almost 1.8 million regular online poker players in January, up about 10 percent from the total for December, according to PokerPulse.com, a firm that tracks the industry.
McClure said the recent upsurge of Internet players is already making a lasting impact on the game.
“A lot of your next generation poker players – they’re not your pool shark, back-room cigar guys,” …