I can bet that all World Series Poker fans have had the desire to become professional poker players for at least a moment. Wondering how cool it would be to make lots of money like those guys on TV by playing cards instead of going to your their jobs. It would be a perfect combination of pleasure and work.
Well, the good news is that it’s possible, but even that requires lots of effort and hard work. Yes, you can quit your day job and start playing poker to earn for living. It instantly makes you a poker professional. But, let’s take a look at the important aspects of becoming an online poker pro.
Thoroughly Study the Game
To be an online poker pro player, and a good one mind you, you have to learn how to succeed. You have to study all of the aspects of the game. This means covering all the tiny bits down to the atom, and even then you have to research even more.
In fact, don’t ever stop learning and researching on how to improve your game!
The internet is filled with information on how to play better. We would advise you however to go old school and find some poker strategy books (read our article on the most important poker books ever written). These have been written by experts in poker so they have the biggest credibility. You can even find some online webinars that offer training or even hire a personal poker mentor.
See If You Are Winner
Winning a table or two does not make you a winner. Winning thousands of games makes you a winner. I know this sounds discouraging, but that is the truth to playing poker professionally.
You have to test your skills with at least hundreds of games to see if you really are good at poker. Good enough for poker to be your livelihood. If after hundreds or thousands of games you notice that you have made more money than lost, then you can call yourself a winner.
Otherwise, I would suggest getting back to your employer and ask him to give you your job back.
Being Realistic Never Hurt Anyone
The next step towards maturing as an online poker pro player is asserting how many tournaments or hands you have to play so that you can make a decent poker “salary”. This third aspect of becoming an online poker pro has been the most critical for many prospective players.
When you have a regular job, you get a regular monthly salary, so you don’t have to worry if you can feed yourself the next month. This is usually regardless of how much effort you’ve put in your work.
You can plan when you can go on a vacation, when you can spend time with your family etc. You don’t even have to worry if you are going to be paid when you get sick.
All of that is different when you have to rely on poker as a profession. You can’t play when you are sick; you won’t get paid if you don’t play well; you can’t plan ahead if you can go to a vacation because you never know when an important tournament will be scheduled.
Ask yourself if you are prepared to grind more hours playing poker than working on a day job… or if you can make enough money with $0.25/$0.50 games. Do you think that a successful online poker pro wakes up at noon, players for a couple of hours and goes to sit back and relax by the pool? Just a handful, and mostly the unsuccessful ones.
Have a Trial Run as an Online Poker Pro
Before making any final decision, it is of utmost importance to give your new potential profession a trial run. You have to experience the lifestyle of an online poker pro for a set period and see if it suits you.
A week should do the trick. Take a week off from your day job. Call in sick or use your holiday days. Do whatever you have to do and use up five days to play poker online at a professional level.
The thing that may surprise yourself the most is trying to motivate yourself to play poker every day for hours and hours. The toughest moments to motivate yourself is when you are in a losing streak or when you concentration has been lost. You think you can get up early in the morning after several losing days behind you? Try and see.
Find out if you are cut out for the lifestyle of an online poker pro and ponder on it.
Can you afford to have bankroll far bigger than a bankroll of a recreational player? Can you afford savings tucked away in a bank account that can help you survive for 6 months straight while you learn how to be an online poker pro? Do you think you can resist from using your poker bankroll to pay your bills?
Let’s put it this way. You need a bankroll that can last for a long period of playing at higher stakes without dropping them. If you drop your stakes your goal of making enough money is harder to reach.
Learn to be a Professional
Learn how to act like a professional and have a professional attitude towards playing as an online poker pro. The biggest poker players in the world have become successful by being disciplined. They use that discipline every day and with each poker game.
The most crucial step towards being online poker pro is starting to act like one.
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