We show you how to become an online poker pro
Becoming a poker professional isn’t just about playing cards; it’s a combination of skill, strategy, financial management, and emotional control. Most new poker players dream of turning pro, and while it’s an enticing career for those passionate about the game, it’s essential to approach it with a well-rounded strategy.
Deepen Your Game Knowledge
Understand poker inside out. Read strategy books, watch training videos where pros explain their gameplay, and engage in forums like TwoPlusTwo to discuss tactics. Always stay updated with evolving strategies and trends, and practice, practice, practice. Start with platforms like WSOP Social Poker, where you can hone skills without financial risk.
Consistency is Key
It’s not about a one-time win but consistent success. Many might land big scores occasionally, but only those with regular wins can genuinely claim professional status. And remember, even if you play perfectly, poker involves a luck element. You might face a losing streak due to sheer variance.
Bankroll management is crucial. Always:
– Use only a fraction of your bankroll for a single game.
– Ensure you have enough buy-ins for your stakes. As a guide, maintain 20-50 buy-ins for no-limit hold’em cash games.
– Separate personal expenses from poker funds. Smart pros save up to six months of living expenses. And always remember: never play with money you can’t afford to lose.
Choose Wisely and Use Technology
Not all poker games have the same competition level. Start where you’re confident and branch out as you learn. Use software tools like HUDs (e.g., PokerTracker) for real-time stats, equity calculators like PokerStove for hand analysis, and training platforms such as Run It Once for advanced strategies.
Stay Emotionally Balanced
The mental game is as crucial as strategy. Avoid tilting, where emotions dictate play. Consider resources like “The Mental Game of Poker” by Jared Tendler to strengthen your psychological game.
Post-game, review your hands and decisions. Identify areas of improvement and never stop learning. Engage with fellow players, share insights, and always adapt to the ever-changing world of poker.
Legalities and Taxes
Know the legal status of online poker in your country. Many nations have strict regulations, or it might be outright illegal. Additionally, remember poker earnings can be taxable, so ensure you’re compliant with your country’s tax laws.
Who should NOT play poker professionally?
Even if you resonate with many traits of successful poker players, not everyone is cut out for professional poker. Consider these crucial factors:
While poker aims to make a profit, an obsessive focus on earnings is detrimental. If your primary thought is ‘How much will I earn?’, reconsider. Numerous unpredictable factors influence success. Instead, pursue poker out of passion. Many thrive in jobs they love. If money is your only focus, you’ll likely face challenges. It’s essential to maintain positivity and the right mindset while playing.
Balancing Professional Online Poker and Family Life
Being an online poker pro while balancing family life is rare. Most full-time players aren’t juggling familial responsibilities.
Young, ambitious poker players should prioritize education. Many aspire to go pro, but most won’t succeed. A degree offers an alternative path if poker doesn’t pan out. Remember, poker isn’t going anywhere; prioritize your studies.
Professional poker players are long-term winners
Being a successful poker player is challenging. Most players experience losses over time. Gaining confidence in one’s success requires substantial evidence, often over 100,000 hands. Online players might need months to achieve this sample size, while ‘live’ players could take a year.
When you turn professional, your perspective towards the game changes. Without a steady paycheck, the pressure intensifies. Playing professionally demands consistent success, as you can’t pay bills with poker losses.
Turning pro is challenging. It’s not achieved overnight but requires persistent effort, continuous learning, and a passion for the game. Always maintain professionalism and discipline, and you’ll pave your path to success.