Playing Poker For A Living Tips Engel Currently Leading Card Player Player of the Year Race
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Unlike most poker players this generation Bojang was entirely PL: Where are you living these days? That's the best part of playing poker. A professional poker player should realize that every dollar he wins will not be what you might expect to win after you've accounted for the rake and dealer tips. If you're playing for a living at casinos that are not located in major poker. When PokerStars created Spin & Go games, professionals thought that freedom was waning. Recreational poker players, eyeing a quick buck.
Books seem to do a great job of making you feel like a better player without giving you a ton of groundbreaking information.
If you are brand new or new enough that you still have a ton of basics to learn, I definitely recommend getting some books.
Frankly, I think you can become a strong player without wasting your time with any books. These I would probably rank after books as most everything that is out there now is garbage.
The problem is that a lot of sites have content being written for search engine optimization purposes only and rarely care that there is quality content.
If you can find a source of great online articles from notable writers or great instructors, awesome!
However, from my experience, it will be a challenge to find some of that. I do not like the phrase that practice makes perfect. By just going out and playing a lot of poker, you will not get better.
You need to be working on your game and constantly practicing things that you learned and worked on off of the felt. Banging your head against a wall repeatedly is not going to get the wall to move.
You need to be practicing to get better, not just playing and calling it practice. Most players do a bit of both, but for the most part, they have an area they specialize in.
Ultimately, the decision is going to be up to you for whatever works best for you and your style. The cash games are significantly different than they are live.
Online cash games are all about volume and squeezing out a few big blinds per hour. The secret is playing multiple tables at once and making fewer mistakes.
On the flip side, playing live cash is more about getting people to make massively huge mistakes. The players are going to be worse live and are going to be much more likely to make big mistakes.
The drawback is that you can only play one table at a time. One of the perks of playing cash games online is that you may be able to get a rakeback deal from certain sites or you may be able to get some cash back bonuses.
Check with the support of an online site before you start playing and see if they have anything they might be able to offer you.
What is rakeback? Rakeback is when the site gives you back part of the rake that they take from the pot. They pay that out to you at the end of the day, week, or month depending on how the deal is structured.
This means that you can break completely even at the game and then make money thanks to your rakeback check at the end of the time frame. You get this online because their costs are lower to run each game.
Rakeback might be called bonus points or frequent player points or something like that. This is going to come down to your personal preference about what style of poker you want to play.
Online poker has taken a very statistical turn thanks to a lot of new software and Heads Up Displays that will track the other players at the tables stats and display them to you in real time.
Playing live is, of course, the exact opposite of this. There is no software to track what players are doing live, and you have to use your mind to remember things and spot trends yourself.
A lot of people consider the HUDs to be cheating and despise when players use them. This brings up a ton of questions.
People that are great with quick data analysis are going to love the online style and will be able to excel even if everyone at the table is also using the HUD software.
The next question is if you choose to play online, should you use the software? Whether you like the software or not, if you elect to play online you need to be using it.
An important side note here is that you need to put in just as much time into learning the software and how to use the stats properly that you put into your actual poker game.
The only thing worse than not using the stats while playing online is using the stats poorly and incorrectly.
When you decide to play live, you need to be a bit more selective about when you play. There may not be games available at certain off points, or the games might not be as good.
Games on the weekends and at nights are always going to be better than mid-day or mid-week games. This is because those are times that the fish and recreational players are usually at work.
You can play at those times if there are games, but you can expect to be playing against a lot more good players. Remember, if you do choose to play at the peak times to catch the fish, you need to plan on being there early before the action starts to guarantee you get a seat.
Showing up at 9 pm on a Friday night will most likely end up with you waiting a few hours to get a seat depending on your casino of course.
You need to be playing as many of these peak hours as possible and taking advantage of the drunks and the fools that come in to donate.
Playing online is a little different in finding the optimal times to play. You play when the big tournaments are. Most of the time these are going to be at night or on the weekends.
Cash games, on the other hand, are going to be a little different than they are live. You need to know where the bulk of the players on a site are located.
The easiest way to figure this out is to pay attention and look at the lobby at various days and hours to see where the volume is.
You can almost certainly count on the fact that when the volume is the largest, the games will be the easiest. For me, this is personally why I am a big fan of online poker over playing live for tournaments.
My swings online have always been smaller and shorter in duration than those in live poker tournaments. Euro players and the rest of the world need not worry about this as the volume is still there for you.
When deciding to pay for a living, a lot of people ask if they should be playing more cash games or more tournaments.
If you crush at cash games, you should be devoting most or all of your playing time to playing cash. Now, that answer sounds like one you might get in one of those online articles I was giving a hard time.
Now if you turn it on, literally every single player on their claims to be a professional. In some sports, it means you have the ability to compete in different competitions for money, but in poker, it means absolutely nothing.
I remember when I first started playing poker and told people I was a professional the reaction was that it was super cool. Now if I tell people I play for a living, it gets met with mixed results.
This is because so many people that are terrible at the game and unable to maintain long-term profitability have taken ownership of the term.
As these people fall off and have to return to normal jobs, it tarnishes the cloud that comes with the term. I have asked a lot of other pros, and they all said the same thing.
For those people considering this, I put together a question checklist below to help you decide if the time is right or to figure out what you need to work on to get to that point.
Make sure that you read the negatives that come along with the profession outlined above and make sure that this is really something that you want.
A lot of people forget that downswings can happen starting the first day you start playing for a living. Your bankroll and your life-roll NEED to be two different things.
You should have completely separate funds for both. Make sure that you have money put aside to pay your bills for several months ideally six without touching your bankroll.
Specifically, you need to look at the section about calculating your win rate. You need to know how much money you are making for every hour that you put in.
If you play for 20 hours twice as long , how much will you make total? If you answered any amount, you need to read this section.
This is addressed in the page above, but I need to reiterate it. Improper win rate calculation is the number one mistake I see from people that are wanting to go pro.
Remember, your win rate is not something you have to share with other people. It should only be for you and your decision-making process. You need to report your winnings accurately AND your losses, your time commitment, and your expenses.
That needs to be calculated in. It gets counted. You HAVE to be as accurate as possible if you want your win rate to mean anything. Neglecting this by any means will result in you struggling and most likely falling short as a professional.
One additional thought on win rates is that you need to make sure that you calculate in EVERY expense that you have. For example, tipping at the casino counts as an expense.
Gas to the casino counts as an expense. Paying for a babysitter or a hotel room counts as an expense. All of these expenses and more count against your win rate.
Remember, the more accurate and honest you are, the higher your chances of success will be. Something people rarely talk about is the emotional roller coaster that playing poker for a living is.
Imagine going to your job and not getting paid a dime. Imagine that you actually have to pay money and come home with less than you started with.
That would piss you off, correct? Now imagine that happening over and over and over again for months. Think you can stomach that and come back every day with your A-game?
If the answer is no, then you have no business playing poker for a living. The financial ups and downs are a lot for people to handle. You need to have control over these in the short term and in the long term.
If you lose a hand at the table, you need to be able to get over it immediately and not allow yourself to go on tilt.
This could be drugs, alcohol, sports betting, or the pits table games. You MUST have control over these things before you try your hand at playing professionally.
The flexibility and freedom that comes with being a professional poker player coupled with the increase in disposable income can be a nasty recipe for someone with a problem.
The best way to get a handle on your vices is to stop them in their tracks before they get out of hand. Make sure that whatever you do it does not affect your success or productivity at the tables.
Poor people find ways to make their money make other people money. Which type of person do you want to be? Cut up the credit cards and rely on your emergency fund if you run short of your budget one month.
In fact, you can earn interest on all or a portion that money. However, for a professional it is exponentially more important to be conservative in this area.
To some of you, this might sound extreme. Let me give you an analogy to help clarify how important being really conservative with bankroll management is in poker.
The number of buy-ins you choose to keep in that bankroll is akin to choosing the materials and thickness contained a cup. Would you prefer to wear a cup made from notebook paper and keep 20 buy-ins in your bankroll?
Trust me, a 20 buy-in downswing is going to hurt like getting punched in the crotch. But it will hurt a lot less if you chose to wear the steel cup.
It is common knowledge that the lifestyle of a poker professional tends to lead to a lot of unhealthy habits.
Even online players have a lot of the same problems. You can quickly become sleep deprived or get in bad shape due to all the sitting and lack of exercise.
Trust me on this. If you do not currently do some form of exercise or eat correctly. Try eating nothing but whole foods for a week and gett into some type of exercise program.
Personally, I am really minimalist when it comes to exercise and nutrition. I run three times a week. Immediately after running, I do three sets of crunches, 5 sets of push-ups, and 5 sets of pull-ups.
I am always amazed by how much better I feel after being unhealthy for a while. All you need are a pair of shoes and space to walk and jog. The Couch to 5k running program can be done by just about anyone.
You might find this surprising s ince a lot of my tips have to do with planning, this one might sound a bit counter-intuitive. What I am talking about here is your mindset.
If you even consider that failure is an option, it will likely become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Therefore, while you should take precautions to maximize your chances for success.
Forget about making a backup plan. Poker is definitely not a job where you can just learn a basic set of skills and get by indefinitely.
You have to constantly improve or else all of the other players will eventually pass you by. Think of study as continuing education.
I recommend that for every 10 hours of play time you should be reviewing your play and working on your strategy 1 hour. There is no room for ego in professional poker.
Since you are considering becoming a professional poker player, I am sure you already know what the source of profit and object of the game is in poker.
You make money by playing against opponents who are not as good as you are. So, what should be the biggest deciding factors on where you decide to play poker?
Here are the only three things you need to think about when choosing a poker site:. Forget about rewards, rakeback, the VIP program, and any other nonsense such as that.
Those things only bring in more regs. All of these sites have one thing in common. They make an effort to protect weak players by limiting the use of a HUD.
In fact, PartyPoker and Ignition are anonymous. This makes it impossible for the sharks to track and have an extreme unfair advantage over them.
What this means for you is that, since the regs like rewards, they will not populate these sites as much as they do reward-packed sites. Go to where the actual Herrings err fish are.
Before you play your first hand as a full-time profession, go see a Tax pro and find out exactly what you need to do to comply with the laws in your jurisdiction.
If you go from filing a tax return every year with a W2 or and then suddenly either stop filing or, alter the way you file. Chances are, it might send up some red flags.
Tax penalties are a b! There are several factors that might make moving abroad attractive:. If you might be interested in looking into this further, here is a well-written article that will help you get started in your research.
I genuinely hope this guide has helped you in your quest to decide whether or not the life of a full-time poker pro is for you. Personally, I have always chosen to just stay as a part-time pro and still keep my income from my small business.
I have often considered taking the leap but, due to having a family, have ultimately always decided against it.
No matter what you choose, your ultimate decision should be the one that finds balance between supporting your lifestyle and making your happy. Good luck!
How much money does a professional poker player make? The amount of money a professional poker player makes varies wildly. Other players make six figures each year.
Very few actually make enough to be considered wealthy. How long does it take to become a professional poker player?
Generally, it takes at least a couple of years of devotion and study before a player matures to the point where making a living from poker is legitimately viable.
Even after officially going pro, the education does not end. Poker is a sport where you must consistently improve in order to stay good enough to make it as a professional.
Can you get good at poker fast? How quickly you can get good at poker depends on your level of intelligence and work ethic.
Also, finding the right information and a good poker coach who can give good tips can help speed up the process. Nice article! Having no boss has always appealed to me.
I also took your advice and started a microstakes blog and am just uploading my strategy and results. I like to to view poker as an investment and another way to make a side income, rather than go all out full time.
The hourly rate isnt high enough in comparison with dealing with all the stress. I will try to work in a plug for you if possible to send interested readers your way.
I look forward to new updates and will share this site with my Facebook group. Chat soon!
Playing Poker For A Living Tips - How to Beat Spin & GosThere are taxes to consider. Poker is a game of math, but not everybody thinks math is a game. People like this is why online poker isn't legal in every state and the government is losing out on the taxes from the sites and the winning players. I spent those three years essentially doing nothing but playing online poker. Summary: Keep consistent bet sizing preflop with all of your range Adjust it based on your position and stack depth Plan how many streets you will bet in advance Deviate from GTO strategy against weaker players.
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