Playing Poker Professionally: What You Should Know
Poker can be an excellent pastime and even a perfect gift. Those who genuinely enjoy the game and have a knack for it may consider going pro. If that’s your case, follow the steps below to get on the right track.
Study all aspects of the game
If you would like to play poker professionally, it’s crucial to get a firm grasp of the game’s rules. You’ll also need to be well-versed in poker concepts such as drawing hands, hand combinations, ranges, pot odds, implied pot odds, reverse implied odds, fold equity, ICM (Independent Chip Modeling) and expected value (EV) among many others. As poker is a game of maths, you’ll need to know your numbers too if you expect to be successful. While the internet is a good place to start learning more about professional poker, you may want to consider learning from an experienced player who could coach you and help you hone your skills.
Adopt a growth mindset
To have a growth mindset means that you think that, by exposing yourself to new ideas and information, you can enhance your skills and abilities. When it comes to poker, this kind of mindset is useful as it is a highly challenging and dynamic game. If you stop practising and working towards improving your skills, for example, you might end up falling behind other players. Even if you’ve won multiple games and tournaments, it doesn’t mean you will keep winning. It doesn’t mean that you know everything about the game either. So, be open to learning from other players and familiarising yourself with diverse strategies.
Manage your bankroll
It’s common for poker players to struggle to manage their money, mainly due to a lack of discipline in this particular area. However, it’s vital to think about your bankroll strategy. If you’ve decided to start making a career as a professional poker player, have enough savings to cover your living expenses for up to six months. You’ll also need to separate your poker bankroll from everyday cash and have plenty of money allocated for buy-ins. Don’t forget about taxes either! In countries like Australia and the U.S., people are liable for income tax on winnings.
While playing cash games and MTTs simultaneously might be tempting, it should be avoided. If you play different games at once, chances are you won’t become good at any of them. If you’re serious about building a career as a professional poker player, stick to one game format and channel all your energy and concentration into it.
Know when to walk away
As mentioned before, poker is a complex and highly dynamic game. Not all poker pros go on to become renowned champions. In fact, many quit due to several factors, including changing careers, boredom, inability to crack their current stake level, or simply a lack of funds. If you feel like playing poker professionally has become mentally and emotionally taxing or unsustainable, you should consider walking away or taking a break.
How to start your journey as a professional poker player
The journey to becoming a professional poker player is a complex one. Not only will you need to know all aspects of the game, but also have a growth mindset and carefully manage your finances. You’ll also need to be consistent and know when to walk away if things don’t go as you expected.
If you’d like to get started, you can have a look at the top-rated real money casinos in Australia. Several of those sites have various poker variations like Texas Hold’em, 3-Card Poker and video poker. It’s also possible to find poker rooms, live dealer poker and poker tournaments where you can test your skills.