Be a poker pro

The hard but lucrative way to become a poker pro

Should I become a professional in 2018? Is it possible to live from poker?

These are some of the most common questions people hear on online poker forums or somewhere else. Unfortunately, the answers are not always useful because very few people play the game professionally and therefore do not know what they are talking about.

There are many advantages to playing poker professionally on the Internet, such as the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, such as the beautiful Thailand, the Caribbean or other beautiful places around the world, which poker players have chosen as their home.

Another reason is the ability to divide your time and be your own boss. And of course the most important aspect, you earn a lot of money.

The variance makes many fail

However, dealing with variance (meaning “soul crushing downswings”) is also part of being an online poker professional you rarely talk about. These downswings will happen to anyone and nobody is protected from it. Even the best poker player in the world does not win every game. You need to be able to survive such a downswing, accept the variance, and many people simply can not.

Your own attitude is important

Being a professional poker player also requires a strong, independent work ethic that you understand only when you work for yourself. A little further down in this article, we’ll talk more about this point.

The attributes of an online poker player

When it comes to being a winner, we still want to focus on a few personality traits that are important. We think there are some personality traits that pretty much all professional poker players have in common. So much, that if you can not show it yourself, you may want to consider whether you want to becoming a poker pro or not.

  • Emotional control

The ability to control your emotions and have patience in this game is absolutely critical to have success. Many people are driven by impulses instead. A professional online poker player must have the discipline to make the right decision, no matter how he feels. The ups and downs in this game are endless. The professional is able to keep a clear head under pressure and make the right decision the vast majority of the time.

  • Make logical decisions

Logical decision making in relation to poker is the ability to make the right decision in many cases, depending on the game situation. That does not mean that math has studied to beat this game. It just means that you should be able to understand why certain moves are intuitively better than others. This ability is extremely important if you need to increase stakes and be able to develop effective counter-strategies against good opponents during the game.

  • Work Ethic

If you are employed somewhere, you are obliged to work a certain number of hours every day. You have no choice and have to do what you have to do. If you are your own boss, you have to motivate yourself and often force yourself to follow your plan. If you want to become a poker pro, it’s like a normal job and you have to spend a certain amount of time to earn a solid salary.

Now many dangers lurk every day, which are a hindrance to fulfilling his duties. In the short term this is not a problem at all, especially in a so-called upswing is the whole world in order anyway. But things do not always go that well, and to make sure you’re successful in the long term, you have to keep a certain amount of work. Especially in difficult times during a downswing this is far from easy, but a poker professional is aware of this and fulfills the requirements.

  • Independence

Internet Poker is a solo adventure. Most people spend hours a day alone on a computer screen. You have to be the kind of person who is content to be alone for a long time (live poker is of course a bit different). This can be difficult for many people. You do not have to be a total loner to be a successful online poker professional. However, if you are the kind of person who is constantly looking for social interaction, then online poker is probably not the place to be for a living.

  • Gamble

While poker is absolutely a game of skill in the long run, in the short term there is luck deciding on win or lose. A good player does not gamble, but tries to do everything possible to make the own profit expectation as positive as possible. Selection of the limit, the players etc.

It does not matter if it works well or bad. A poker professional always sticks to his line, because he knows that he will make a long-term profit. It is not gambled and hoped that the luck is a merciful and you thereby achieved profit. Successful poker is not based on luck in the long run!

  • Intelligence

Most professional poker players have above-average intelligence. People with higher intelligence often have a broader perspective and can more easily control their emotions. They will often be better at making logical decisions, staying cool in stressful situations, and thinking independently.

It is not 100% necessary to be perverted in all these areas to be a professional online poker player. In our experience, most people who play this game for a living have strengths in most of them. It just makes more sense to customize the profile instead of trying to change who you are.

Who should not play poker professionally?

Let’s say you really fit in with most of the above categories. There are still some people who should at least stay away from the game for work.

  • Only fixed on money

If the first thing they talk about is how much money they can expect, then they will most likely fail. The most obvious reason is that there is no exact answer to the question of how much money you will earn! Games are constantly changing, everyone’s skills are different, some people are better at multi-tabling or table selection than others, and there are big differences in this game as well.

You should want to play this game professionally because you have a passion for it. That’s it. If you only track the dollar, you will waste your time. Become a doctor or lawyer, or experience another career that has an average salary that is highly predictable. That’s not how it works in poker.

  • Married with children

There is virtually almost no player who is married, has children and plays poker online. We do not want to say that it is impossible. There are people out there who do it. For obvious reasons, the vast majority of people who play this game for a living are not in this situation to have a family.

  • School

Young poker players are advised to complete their education before attempting to become a pro.. The reason for this is that although everyone always thinks they are different, most people who choose to play poker online professionally will fail. That’s just the cold hard reality. However, if you have a college degree, your life will be a lot easier if poker does not work for you.

Poker will always be there when you finish school and you can not go anywhere. Finish your school/studies first and then try to start a career as a full-time poker pro.

Professional poker players are long-term winners

You have to be a successful poker player.

Right? The vast majority of people who play this game will lose out in the long run. In addition, it can take a long time to overcome the variance and say with certainty that you are a successful player. In fact, it can take more than 100k hands to say something conclusive about your results. This can be a month-long game for some low-volume online poker players and can take a year or more to reach a live player.

In addition, you should know that once you play Pro, you will develop a different feel for the game. This is not something that you will fully understand until you make the jump yourself. If you have a regular paycheck, much less pressure is put on you. If you play professionally, your results will always be a bit more important to you, even if you save a lot of money. You can not pay the rent with poker losses.

Bankroll management is very important

People say that you should have saved at least 6 months living expenses before considering playing poker. We would say that at least a year is a better idea. And what this actually means in practice, is that you spend what you are currently spending on all expenses in a single month (and add about 10% for emergencies) and multiply it by twelve.

In addition, you should have a bankroll suitable for the stakes you are currently playing. While as few as 20 buy ins are alright for many recreational players, as a professional you should have more than 50 buy ins for the limit you play. This ensures that there is little or no chance that you will ever go broke and lose all your bankroll and dive into your life capital.

These two funds should never be mixed. Your bankroll is for poker and the money you have in the bank is for your bills and living expenses. Without a well-thought-out, solid bankroll management, you will not have success.

Final evaluation and test run

If you want to become a professional online poker player, you should do a test run that starts for more than a year. This means spending a few hours every night after work.

If you are successful after this time and have a deep passion for the game and the right situation in life, then give yourself 6 months for a year and test it out.

One of the biggest mistakes most people make is just dropping everything to become a poker pro just because they’ve been hot for a couple of months. This is not enough for a sample size to predict your long-term results.

And as mentioned in this article, there is so much more to being a professional poker player than playing some cards from time to time. This is a real job that you have to take seriously every day.

Some other points are that you have to constantly update your skills at the table and look for ways to improve yourself. This means reviewing your hand histories, studying the game, reading books, watching training videos, and possibly even coaching.

The perception of people who have nothing to do with poker

There are a few other minor things that you should mention that are part of a professional poker player like family and friends.

You will be the center of attention at parties when people find out what you are doing. Usually this will entail a series of silly ignorant questions about how to make a living by playing cards on the internet, followed by a series of bad beat stories or hair-raising advice on how to play.

You must be aware that as a professional poker player you still seem like a stranger to most members of the public. The ignorance surrounding this game is still great and it will take a long time for that to change.


Living for a living as we have learned in this article is very tireless. It is definitely not for everyone. Most who try will fail, that’s just the reality.

But for a few who are willing to work extremely hard and constantly adapt and improve to the ever-changing landscape of the game, earning a living and changing one’s own lives can be a highly profitable and great opportunity.

Recommended poker rooms for the start

YourPokerDream recommends the online poker providers below to get started. By signing up via YourPokerDream, there are of course other benefits in the form of extra rakeback, promotions, free tournaments, free poker money and much more. which simplifies your start as an online poker pro.

325$ Bonus/Up to 60% Rakeback

500$ Bonus/Up to 60% Rakeback

2.000€ Bonus/35% Flat Rakeback+ Rake Chase

1.000$ Bonus/Up to 100% Rakeback

250$ Bonus/Up to 60% Rakeback

2.000$ Bonus/Up to 50% Rakeback

2.000€ Bonus/30% Flat RB+Rake Chase

2.000€ Bonus/30% Flat RB+Rake Chase

2.000€ Bonus/30% Flat RB+Rake Chase

Leave A Comment Cancel reply

Terms and Conditions apply.
This offer is only for new customers who are at least 18 years old.
If you need some help with yor gambling pattern and if you feel
that something goes wrong, please visit

About the Author

Daniel Berger

Hi Guys, I am Daniel the chief content manager of YourPokerDream.
I have been working in the poker industry for almost 10 years now.
I do my best to keep you all up to date regarding our partner sites
all promotions and about general poker topics arround the world.

Latest changes

The last changes of the page “How to become a poker pro?” was made by Daniel Berger on May 21, 2019