Since the world of online poker began to transform the way that the game is played, more and more people are turning a hobby into a career. Some are happy to remain online and pick up as many cash pots as possible while others choose to break out of their virtual surroundings and take to tournament play in the physical world.
Making a career out of poker requires many skills and attributes, but it is possible. Many have already trodden this path, so let’s move on and see just what it takes to turn a skilled amateur into a seasoned pro.
Take it seriously
Put on your poker face because we’re’ going to be deadly serious about your chances of making it as a professional. Firstly, you need to understand that you must approach this as you would any full-time occupation. You can’t walk into a finance office or a construction site with no preparation and with the wrong tools and equipment, and the same principle applies to professional poker.
To be more specific, anyone who is self-employed will tell you that you need to keep proper accounts. It is vital to record your stakes, together with your profits and losses, and, over time, these will tell you whether or not you have the credentials to become a poker pro. On the subject of stakes, players will have to compile an initial fund known as a bankroll, and this brings us on to another crucial factor.
The subject of poker bankroll management is widely discussed, but what exactly does it mean? Your bankroll is the amount that is available for play at the online poker tables, but it would be reckless to stake all of your funds in one sitting. A heavy loss would result in a very brief poker career, but many novices still stake too much of their bankroll in one hit.
There are some conflicting theories out there, but most expert pros suggest that you only commit to between 2% and 10% of your overall bankroll, depending on whether you are playing multiple or single tables.
Make the sites work for you
What do we mean by that suggestion? You have to provide the skill and hard work to succeed at poker, but there is plenty that the operator can do to get you started. Online operators can offer generous incentives to new players with matched deposits available as a welcome deal, and there can be reload bonuses and loyalty programs too.
When you’re looking to make a living out of the online game, these can all be vital in boosting your returns. It’s a competitive market, and operators do what they can to offer extra value via these bonuses and promotions. The best players take advantage and turn those rewards into cold, hard cash.
Working the tables
When it comes to making a success at online poker, it’s’s very much a case or ”more is more.” We’re saying that the more tables you play on, the higher your chances of returning a profit at the end of the session.
Most online poker providers allow their players to compete at multiple tables at once. This can increase exposure, but it also enhances the chances of making high returns. Remember, we’re talking about professional play here. There is always the chance that you will land a life-changing sum by winning a single tournament, but for many pros, it’s’s about returning smaller profits on a more frequent basis.
That’s why professionals recommend the multi-table approach for a higher chance of walking away with an overall return at the end of the day. On the subject of multiples, did you know that it is possible to play with more than one identity? Each online operator will only allow you to sign up once, but within that single registration, they may allow you to set up multiple playing IDs.
This is a perfect approach if you want to keep your strategies from competitors. As soon as you derive some success at the tables, you can be certain that opponents will take notice, and they’ll be studying your style of play. By adopting a second or third ID, you can stay under the radar for longer.
It’s never too late to learn
Naturally, an element of skill is needed if you are going to turn your enthusiasm for poker into a professional career. Talent is, however, just the first step on the ladder, and none of today’s pros got where they are without determination and hard work. Once again, we are making comparisons to the corporate world here. While you can coast through any occupation, you will never make it to the top without that unwavering dedication.
One big win can make your year, but for a high percentage of online poker professionals, it’s’s all about putting in long hours.
Moving away from virtual poker, anyone looking to take part in live tournament play needs to take into account further considerations. Traveling to tournaments can mean long hours on the road and the addition of transport costs which can eat into any profits at the end of competition. It may sound like a world of glitz and glamour, and there can certainly be some fantastic rewards, but nothing is achieved without putting in those hard yards.
Take care of those basics, remember the hard work involved, and it is perfectly possible to become a poker pro.
Photo credit: The feature image has been taken by Radu Florin. The image “person playing poker” was done by Michał Parzuchowski.
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