Many different paths carry first-timers to the poker table. Some come to poker via other card games, while others find poker after having sampled other gambling games in the casino such as blackjack, craps, or roulette. Sports bettors also sometimes wander from the sportsbook over to the poker room and find themselves in a game — and perhaps find poker intriguing thanks to the sports-resembling competition the game provides.Those who stick with the game do so for many reasons as well, although most are motivated by the prospect of making a profit at poker. Especially those who win at first — which happens quite a lot — will keep playing to try to win more, with some even being encouraged to think about winning a lot more and perhaps even to become professional poker players.But while poker is a game that rewards skill, luck plays a role, too. Those who initially win at poker likely do so in part because of getting dealt good cards, hitting draws when they need to and avoiding others' hitting theirs. Only those who take some time to learn poker strategy and gain experience are usually able to sustain that success over longer periods.In other words, the short answer to the question "Can I make money playing poker?" is obviously that you can, but you also need to be willing to put in the work to increase your skills and have an advantage over your opponents. The fact is, while it's certainly possible to win at a single cash game session or go deep and win a lot in a single tournament, only a small percentage of players remain profitable long term, and invariably those players are better skilled than those who do not.Let's look a little more closely at the question, however, by asking a few other questions addressing factors that will affect the likelihood of your being able to make money at poker as well as how much money you can make.