Ask Ken, 03/19/2004

What is the pro secret to living the lifestyle, other than working another job?

[Editor’s Note: Due to some editorial scheduling complications, Ask Ken did not appear on Friday, so you get a double dose today.]

Admit it, you spent the last seventy-two hours in agony. All you could think of was reading the gospel that is my answer to a burning question, in the mind of one lucky reader. Well I am here to tell you that your pain has ended, because now it’s time for a little Reader Mail! Hey!

Today’s letter comes to us from Brandon Clor. Brandon writes:

Dear Ken,

I love your daily column and I think that I have a decent question for you.

How do pro’s maintain their lifestyle? If you look at the payouts of most events it barely covers the cost of the trip unless you are in the top few of a particular event. For example at 25th Place Jordan Berkowitz only made 1,800 dollars. After briefly checking for tickets online I figured a ticket from the East Coast to Japan would cost about $600 dollars. If you include Hotel, food and other expenses the bill continues to rise. Plus, once you return to your home you have rent, transportation and eating to pay for.

What is the pro secret to living the lifestyle, other then working another job?


Brandon Clor

Well Brandon, despite you committing on of the most egregious grammatical mistakes (often made by Jordan Berkowitz himself in our many IM chats) in my eyes, using then when you mean than, I’ll answer your question. You are just lucky you sucked up.

You see Brandon, as I have stated many times before in my articles, everyone sucks. Most of the pros you and your friends look up to are probably not as good as you would imagine. The result of this is that no one can earn a living off the game alone. Some players (Tom Guevin, Osyp Lebedowicz, John Larkin) have jobs outside the game. Some players (Jordan Berkowitz, Terry Tsang, Gerard Fabiano) still live with their parents, so their bills are far less than normal folks. Some players (Baby Huey, Matt Linde, Phil Freneau) make a living playing poker. Still other players (Kai Budde, Zvi Moshowitz, Brian Kibler) make money in Magic Media. And many (Mike Long, Joe Crosby, Christian Benafel) subsidize their trips by trading on-site.

Kai painted a pretty picture of professional Magic, but in truth, reality is hitting even him, that in a game with so much luck and such a low payout, a professional life is just not realistic. It is just too expensive, and you didn’t even touch on the alcohol and prostitutes!

The source for insider PT info,


I hope I answered your question Brandon, but I’ll be honest and tell you that if I didn’t, I am not gonna lose any sleep.

Well time to close another chapter of Ask Ken. Next week, a new one will open, and I will discuss the broader points of Teams Limited. G’night everybody, and have a great weekend!

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