Becoming a professional poker is a dream held by millions of players around the world. The idea of packing in your day job and only playing poker is an exciting thought. But how hard is it to achieve and what must you do to be confident you can turn professional? That is a question we will answer today. Hopefully by the end of this article you will have a good idea on whether it’s a realistic goal or not.
Consistent Positive Results
There is no point trying to become a pro poker player if you aren’t consistently winning. Therefore, it’s a good idea to ensure you have a track record of winning consistently before even considering going pro. Consistent results doesn’t mean a few months or even a year of winning, you should ideally have years of positive results before making poker your profession.
Positive results could come from cash games or tournaments. Whilst cash game poker is the “norm” for many poker professionals there are thousands of poker players who only play tournaments. They regularly secure high finishes when they make it deep. Their final table poker strategy is honed carefully. So, if you play tournaments but rarely finish in the top 3, you may want to think again before considering a full-time poker life.
Get Advice from Peers, Family & Friends
It’s sensible to talk to people around you before radically changing your life. We highly recommend you chat with other professionals and also friends and family to see what they think. Players tend to have a higher opinion of themselves and exaggerate their expertise. An impartial perspective is useful as they will tell you what you need to hear instead of what you want to hear.
Fellow poker professionals will be able to help you too. There is distinction between a semi-professional and a professional as there are things pro poker players do better that can’t be ignored. They will share them with you and advise whether you are ready or not.
A Back-up Plan
Our final tip is to always have a contingency plan. If you make the decision to go professional, you need to have something to fall back on. This might be an old job, another business or an education. It’s important to have this as poker is not a kind and fair game. There are countless stories of people who try to turn professional and things go wrong. Perhaps they didn’t have the right mental frame of mind or the lifestyle didn’t agree with them. Online poker provides a great experience but it might be too anti-social. These are things you can’t necessarily foresee so having a backup plan is essential.
There you have it, three things to consider first before becoming a professional poker player. If you’ve been winning for years, have support from friends and family and have a backup plan – professional poker might be for you. If you lack some of these then it might be best to keep poker as a side income. After all, not everyone can be a professional gambler.
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