Who doesn't like to play a home game with their friends in their free time or gamble for real money at the online poker table? Many of these hobby players quickly dream of the big hit, as Chris Moneymaker did in 2003. He qualified as an amateur for just $ 39 for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) main event and ultimately won the tournament for $ 2.5 million in prize money. Isn't that tempting? In addition, as a poker professional, you can divide your time yourself, travel to the most beautiful destinations around the world, and pursue your favorite activity, the game of poker.
But the step from hobby to “dream job poker professional” seems infinitely far away and complicated. Superstars like Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey started out small at some point. In this article, our experts answer, “How do I become a poker professional?” Questions such as: What do the successful players do differently? What has brought them to where they are today? What can we learn from them? What do you have to consider if you also decide to become a poker professional?
Make the right decision – with all the consequences
The decision to become a poker professional shouldn't be taken lightly. Every player has to be aware that as a professional, he has to make a living through poker, and it is best to earn more than in a typical job. You have to be aware that you have to invest as much time in the poker player profession as in a normal job. So certainly at least 40 hours a week. Maybe even more. The working hours are also different. Often you have to play at the online tables for a long time or at night. Eight hours of poker a day can be very tiring, especially when you're playing at multiple tables.
You also have to know that the profession of a poker professional has become much more difficult in recent years. The poker landscape has changed, and games that used to be easy money are often hard to beat today. Anyone who takes the path to becoming a poker player must have a lot of patience and time. Because the first steps are challenging, and the early successes are very slow.
The right attitude
There is a lot of hard work and an iron discipline behind a successful career at the poker tables. Only those who devote all their energy, passion, and dedication to poker and who are passionate about it can be successful for years. In addition, a poker professional has to deal with a lot of natural fluctuations, ups, and downs. In particular, the downswings, which can last long and blow up a significant gap in every player's account, are difficult to digest. But they are part of the life of every poker professional. It can happen that you worked extremely hard and still lost $ 10,000 at the end of a day or tournament. Be ready to accept that losses are as much probable as winning the game. If you win, then there's nothing better that can happen. But if you lose, you need to make sure that it does not blow up your head. The right attitude is the only key to go a long way in a poker career.
Good bankroll management is necessary so that the downswings just mentioned do not endanger a career. This means that players have to keep their budget under control and don't risk more in a tournament than they can afford. The main rule is never to invest more than 1% of the bankroll in a tournament. The bankroll is also used to determine the levels at which you can play and which are also beatable.
Often players make the mistake of moving up to the next level if they win for a while. In many cases, however, you are not yet sufficiently prepared to play in a higher league. In the end, you lose more money than you won before because you got up too early and hang around in games for which you are actually not ready.
Strategy & games
Knowledge of the game and constant further training are indispensable. But in most cases, you have to acquire all the necessary skills that the game requires. Read countless poker books and strategy articles and watch as many poker videos as possible. The exchange with other players and professionals is also elementary.
Poker is often about knowing complex subjects like statistics, probabilities, and math. Anyone who is not a natural talent here can only acquire this knowledge through hard work. This is the only way to create a game plan that tells you how to behave in which situations.
In addition to knowledge and strategy, another recipe for success on the way to becoming a professional is: play, play, play, and gain a lot of experience. In poker, practice definitely makes perfect. So it is essential to play as much as possible online but also live.
“PokerSnowie” is a popular guidance tool. This exercise tool helps both beginners and professionals optimize their game by suggesting the perfect moves. This software cannot be used during a game, but it does help you learn, which steps to make during a real game.
For those who have what it takes to be an above-average player and who are willing to invest a lot of time and work, as a poker professional, there is a job with practically unlimited freedom and great earning potential, which should nevertheless not be easily labeled as a dream job. The way there is incredibly hard. Few players can really make a living from poker today. The step definitely needs to be carefully considered. The absolute prerequisite is good start-up capital and a plan B if long-term success does not materialize.