Jens Kyllönen, one of the greatest online poker players of all time, recently announced that he’ll slow his poker play in favor of a finance career. The move was surprising, given that the Finnish poker pro is still at the top of his game and making profits. But part of the timing is that he doesn’t see great things ahead for the poker world.
Speaking with PokerNews, about his decision to pursue other endeavors, Kyllönen said that the lower EV in poker weighed into his decision.
“I’m quite pessimistic about the future of online poker,” he explained. “The max EV decision would’ve probably been to stick around grinding full time for a few more years, but I’ve fortunately managed to reach a point financially where I don’t need to consider just pure EV anymore.”
In the short term, the Finn still thinks that it’s possible to make money for those who put in the work. But as for the long-term future, Kyllönen worries about poker software and the game’s ability to continue attracting recreational players.
“Long term I’m worried about the improving software help, poker solvers for example, making edges smaller until the site itself will be the only winner,” he said. “Obviously, as long as the site can attract enough recreational players, it will be fine, but that is getting more difficult. Also, as the pros keep getting better, the recreational players just get killed so fast.”
Despite Kyllönen’s thoughts on poker’s future, he still plans on playing some because he loves the game.
“I love poker and don’t think I’ll every completely quit playing,” said Kyllönen. “I will try to play a few live events a year if I have the time.”
But as mentioned before, he’s mainly interested in pursuing a new career. And once he’s finished studying finance in Finland, he may attend an Ivy League business school in the United States.