Turning Into A Professional Poker Player Is No Longer A Dream, It’s Now A Career Option
By now most of us are familiar with a game of poker and certainly testing the waters to know how good you are. There certainly are temptations of ditching your current job to pursue this skill-based game full-time. After all, who doesn’t want to do what they love and are good at for a living?
However, there’s a flip side to every coin and poker may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It can be demanding on players and consider taking a shot only if you are genuinely interested in turning into a professional poker player. Here are the ups and downs of choosing poker as a profession.
Doing something you love
This is the main reason players turn professional, their passion and love for the game of poker. Further being able to turn that into a living is a dream come true in today’s world.
If you don’t have the passion for it, poker can be a demanding profession. It's not just about beating the game for the successful poker players, but studying the complex strategies the game involves. This motivates them to study, learn and constantly improve their game.
Freedom and flexibility
Setting your own work hours is a huge perk in any profession. Having this freedom and flexibility gives you the opportunity to stay motivated and not go fatigue. Being your own boss means being accountable to no-one but yourself. There are very few jobs these days that offer the same level of independence as professional poker.
Online poker certainly has a lot of money at the higher skill levels. It rewards the calculated risks you take and keeps you coming back for more.
Variance is probably the biggest drawback to playing poker for a living. It’s challenging in two ways:
A downswing can’t be destroying your bankroll and therefore managing your bankroll is essential for playing professional poker. Insulate yourself financially to get past the downswings and cushion the blow.
When you are on a bad run and keep getting unlucky, it can impact how you play the game and your motivation. The bad runs will be emotionally trying and there is no avoiding it. If we accept that downswings are inevitable, the variance becomes a lot easier to deal with.
Difficulty assessing your win-rate
Understanding your win-rate is an asset for any professional poker player. Being aware of your win-rate certainly helps be prepared for the length and depth of the resulting downswings. A player with a high win-rate will experience shorter and shallower downswings than a player with a low win-rate.
For these reasons, both live players and online players need to take time out to decide if they have what it takes to play full-time.
Initial capital required
If you want to play poker for a living, you need to have a bankroll that’s large enough to take a beating. They say for a game of No-limit Hold’em your bankroll should be atleast 25-40 buy-ins. For Pot-limit Omaha, it needs to be much larger, because of how much more variance there is. PLO players should start out with atleast 60-80 buy-ins.
When you begin to play poker full time, chances are you will get tired of it. Both a live venue and sitting in front of your laptop making 1000s of mirco-decisions in a day can be exhausting.
It’s a good idea to stay away from the felt for a few days when you feel over exerted mentally. This break helps you to return to your usual self and enjoy the game more than ever.
We hope we’ve given you a fair idea on the perks and perils of professional poker. Players globally are choosing poker as a viable career option and making a good living out of it. Domestic players aren’t that far behind. A lot of Indians are breaking the stereotype and making a killing playing poker professionally.
It all boils down to making informed decisions; keeping a host of factors in mind and choosing the path that suits one the best. Like we said, choosing poker as a career is an option today and no longer a dream!