How Playing Poker Helped Me Become a Ticket Broker

Did I ever suspect that I would become a Ticket Broker? No. I had played professional Poker for years before making the change. Poker is a game of skill, risk, pattern recognition, and mental ability to withstand the ups and downs. To play at a high level, you can’t dwell on your losses or be scared to bluff. You have to remove emotions and play the data. Poker players must constantly consider ‘Expected Value’ – the average return on each dollar invested into a pot. If a player can expect a return of more money than he or she bets, the action is said to have a positive expectation (+EV). The same concept applies in any form of investing, especially the ticket industry.

Assessing Risk

Assessing your bankroll risk sometimes factors as more important than actual poker skills. Unnecessary exposure could set you back months of hard work. You always have to play within your means and assess the games you are playing. Sometimes, the best move means leaving the table, cashing your chips, and living to play another day. No poker player wins every time, but the good poker players learn how to manage their assets and turn mistakes into learning opportunities.

When I learned how to become a ticket broker, I realized most of the concepts in Poker carried over to this new industry. As in poker, data-driven, +EV ticket purchases should be highly profitable in the long term. If you buy into an event and it flops, you must remain emotionally resilient, trust the numbers, and get back in the game.

Making a Change

Poker remained my primary source of income for years, but when a friend introduced me to ticket brokering, I got hooked. I found myself in a new, but very familiar, world. A lot of the skills I picked up at the table became just as applicable for buying and selling event tickets: risk management, data analysis, knowing when to fold, etc.. The most welcome change was the hours; the best cash poker games run into the middle of the night, so a normal day-to-day schedule remained out of the question. Ticket brokering hours presented a more favorable schedule without losing flexibility.

When the USA banned online poker play in 2011, the world’s best poker players began producing training materials for the public. Suddenly anyone could elevate their poker skills – if you were bad, you could just pay a coach for access to ebooks, blogs, forums, and videos. Players who didn’t utilize these materials got left in the dust. 

Becoming a Ticket Broker

Ticket Broker U has taken a similar approach for ticket brokers. They have created a proprietary resource center that increases the win percentage for mid-range brokers and streamlines the learning process for brand new brokers. Taking my poker mindset and melding it with new ticket brokering skills came naturally. It took me about three weeks to become an effective ticket broker and I continue to grow daily.

In my poker days, I improved by studying great players and using their educational tools. As a ticket broker with TBU, I have great teachers and resources at my disposal. Without them, I may have crashed and burned. Instead, I found an enjoyable hustle that has replaced poker as my primary source of income.


Written by Todd Jacobson

  • Senior Market Analyst, Ticket Broker U