The thrill of playing your favourite game every day, huge wins, and a certain amount of celebrity if you really do make it big makes professional Poker the dream of many players. Joining the ranks of the pros is not easy, but it can be done.
It takes a special kind of person, however, and requires unwavering dedication and no small amount of savvy. If your dreams would have you putting some of the biggest names in the game to shame while seeing yours go up in lights, read on. There are a few tips that can help put you on the right track to the pro circuit, and what easier way to put your new knowledge into practice than by playing online Poker in rooms and tournaments with multi-player functionality.
The first step to becoming a professional player is to be honest with yourself. Assess your skills, and be ruthless in your evaluation.
If your win record consists entirely of games played with bleary-eyed friends on Poker night at home, and you’ve never played in a casino or room, or you have, and you lost, you have work to do. Increase your knowledge of the game, or do not quit your day job.
Being a professional Poker player means the game pays your bills – all of them – and when it comes to card games, it usually takes time and money to make money. If you do not have a particularly good win rate, or are already short of funds, maintaining a bankroll or finding sponsors or backers to help you do so can be difficult.
If you want to make about €86 000 per annum, and only manage to win approximately €17 an hour, you are going to have to spend 5000 hours every year at the tables. That’s 417 hours per month, or 105 hours each week – and there are only 168 hours in a week. Other than asking yourself if such a schedule is physically possible, you also need to consider whether you have the finances to support all those buy-ins. As pro player Daniel Negreanu says, treat it like a business, not a game.
Even the best players will agree that there is always room for improvement. If you want to crack the big time, you need to invest in yourself and your skills, and the best way to do that is through coaching.
In addition to reading guides such as this one, you also should go for lessons, read books about Poker strategy, and watch tutorials and other videos online. Some professionals recommend spending 2 hours studying the game for every 1 hour you play, while others such as Mathew Frankland suggest splitting your gaming time into 75% study, learning and analysing, and only 25% playing – at least initially.
The best way to fast track a career in top-level Poker is easier said than done. You need to make a name for yourself early on by winning one of the bigger tournaments.
Get it right, and it gets your name out there. It also gets Euros, Pounds, and Dollars into your bank account, which means a bigger, better bankroll for you.
Unless you have serious skills that really set you apart, or you come out tops at WSOP, becoming a pro player takes time and effort. You are in for the long haul.
However, you need to bear in mind that all the studying and playing might fatigue you. That can make you emotional, tire your mind and cloud your judgement, which may lead to silly mistakes. If you start feeling tired, take a break from gaming for a few days, rather than forcing yourself to continue playing.