Going Pro

Posted by Dan in Poker Strategy on March 28, 2011
Wanna be Pro Poker player?

Wanna be Pro Poker player?

A wise old sage once said, “Poker is the hardest way to make an easy living” and if they never said anything else, that saying guaranteed them a place in the wise old sage hall of fame. Playing poker is easy, making a living at poker is not, in fact if you’re debating playing poker professionally, take a moment and consider that it would be your J-O-B. And before you laugh that off consider how much you enjoy sex, and then ask yourself how you’d feel about doing it for a living.

Just because you can turn a card and win a pot, doesn’t mean you’ve got what it takes to become a successful Poker Player. If you want to become an UNsuccessful poker player, please be my guest and let me know where you’re playing. You may think that you’re Mr Frosty the coolest cat on the block, because ou can write Occupation: Poker Player, on official forms but if you’re not making a living wage (or even minimum wage) then you might as well go work down the golden arches.  Why is it difficult? And what’s the big difference to playing cards socially? Read on.

First off don’t quit the day job until you are sure you have the basic technical skills to be a winner at the Poker Table. Second of all you need some serious start up money, you wouldn’t go into business expecting to turn a profit on week one and in poker you need money to make money, (no cash = no sit, no sit = no win, no win = no wages). If you think this, doesn’t matter, and you’ll be in the money soon enough, ask yourself if you would happily start a job and then be told you wouldn’t take home any money to for eth foreseeable future, but you’re expected to keep turning up and working away.  Thirdly you need fall back money, it keeps you going after a bad beat, it sees you through the times were you just lose and it should ensure no one takes away your car or your house (or breaks your thumbs).

Sounds easy?

If you’re going to make a go of it you MUST treat your money and your bankroll like the tools of your trade, (because that’s what they are) I’m talking bankroll management. By all means be aggressive with your bets, but don’t throw your cash away! A painter needs paint, a carpenter needs wood and a Poker Player needs cash (most tournaments supply their own tables and cards). It may be easy enough to get occasional big wins, but the same way that small pots are you’re bread and butter for a long session, likewise small daily (or five days a week) wins are what you need to focus on (first). Give it time as well, the top pros, know when to ride out the bad times, and cut the raises down accordingly, if you do that you should be able to play well enough during these stretches so you break-even, rather than lose money. Swinging from feast to famine, isn’t healthy in any job and certainly isn’t healthy in poker.

It’s not easy, but I wouldn’t want to do any other job.

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