Playing professional poker requires a certain level of determination and technical expertise. Despite the obvious depiction of glamour, playing professional poker has its fair share of hard work. One very important point most people are unaware of is the fact that every poker game at the pro level has a buy-in.
1. Be Prepared: The most difficult point of any project is usually the first step. You will realize, over time that cold streaks are fairly common in professional poker. Winning streaks don't happen immediately, so your psychological preparation will be very important. You also need to manage your bankroll sufficiently enough to ensure your winnings sustain you adequately. Playing poker for a living will expose you to a lot of financial strain. This is why you need to handle your money diligently.
2. Do Your Research: Many people are unaware that professional poker players spend up to 60% of their time on research. Dedicate your time to watching online tutorials from established players and studying strategy. You can also touch base with other pro players, read articles, and register in local tournaments to get a bit of experience before hitting the big stage. Keep in mind that most pros work constantly to improve their game, so ensure you don’t slack off.
3. Choose Your Circle: Great poker players usually associate with each other on a daily basis. This is why you need to befriend people who can help you improve your game. As much as you research into professional gaming, it is far more productive to have friends will similar interests whom you can bounce ideas off of.
4.Discipline: Note that you are on your own when you venture into professional poker. You’ll have to learn how and when to dedicate your time, when to research, how to budget your winnings, which tournaments to enter, and which ones not to. All this responsibility will require a lot of discipline and commitment.
This is a lot more than most people can take on, and it will all depend on mental and emotional preparedness. Remember also that to compete at a professional level you must be ready to lose a couple of hands before you win. Even the most skilled poker players learned to contend with losing more than they won.
5.Establish a Niche: Note that how vigorous you are at professional poker depends on how much your bankroll can cushion you from downsizing. You should always lean towards the kind of poker you are good at before you start doing it for a living. If you are good at tournament poker, dedicate most of your time to it. Do the same if cash games are your forte and stick to your strengths. Establish your skill set and build on it gradually. Don’t expect a smooth run, becoming a pro takes time and a lot of dedication.
Lastly, there is a big difference between being a successful poker player and being a pro. Playing poker for a living can be very rewarding, but only if your winnings are improving your quality of life. Before going into professional poker, ensure you have the drive, and the necessary skill set to compete at the highest level.