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So you can do your math. It is one thing to know the rules and yet another one to be a fair player. If you want to become a professional poker player, you should never slow roll your opponents or try angle shooting , but these should go without saying.
That is just a small part, you should also avoid string betting or doing anything that that can offend other players or even potentially break the game.
Being professional means acting like one, so get used to it if you want to go this path. To finalize this section, I want to distinguish the pros and cons of this career so that you could see the full picture.
If you are reading until this point, you probably noticed that I was kind of harsh about anyone jumping to playing poker professionally without thinking it through.
I did this on purpose because I do not want you thinking that it is easy to make a living in this way. An old saying is in place here:.
I know what a wonderful life it can bring, and I will share a few simple steps on how to become a professional poker player in the most efficient way.
I had to play during the night and sleep throughout the day, because of my timezone, thus I was always tired.
This led to poor social life and many negative effects, so naturally, I was not enjoying the games much. After talking with other players, I decided to jump to cash games and never looked back.
It gave me the ultimate freedom that I wanted. This does not mean you have the same needs, but make sure to identify it before choosing your game.
Because when you choose one, it is in your best interest to stick with it. Choose something you really enjoy, and become very good at that format.
This one is pretty obvious, but no matter which format or game you choose, make sure to know the ins and outs of poker rules.
It is not just understanding positions and hand rankings, but also being familiar with the flow of the game, because dynamics can be very different in varying formats.
Math is an essential part of every poker game. This is why you should know your odds of hitting a winning hand and pot odds you are getting to understand if you are getting the right price for the call.
This way, you can make educated decisions and not be simply guessing around. If you want to find more about the topic, just read my article on poker odds , and you will know a big part of poker math.
Apart from that, you should learn to count combos of possible hands and understand frequencies, which will help you take your game to the next level.
It has very clear explanations, a lot of examples and practical tips, so it can help you to save a lot of time on the way.
If you want to reach long-term success in poker and learn how to become a professional poker player, you have to reach world-class skills in the game you choose to play.
It is not enough to know opening ranges or kind of understand when to c-bet, value bet or bluff. To have solid results, you need to put a lot of hours into mastering GTO strategies and learning how to adjust it versus different opponents.
So start doing it as soon as you learn the basics. Before fully devoting yourself to professionally playing poker, you need to have some experience.
And even though, you will not become a top player by playing low stakes, this is where you should start. When you feel comfortable with your game, you can easily move up the stakes to gain more experience and continue to do that until you reach the highest levels.
There is no way you will be able to take into consideration a big part of available information If you will be rushing into your decisions.
Therefore, if you decide to take this game seriously and play in the way professional poker players do, take your time and evaluate all the information that you have.
It is a big mistake to try to guess a specific hand that your opponent has, try to avoid this temptation. Instead, you need to learn how to break down your opponent's play based on his position and actions on every street, to identify all likely holdings in his range.
The hand reading lab showed me a step-by-step process on how to do exactly this. It really helped me to understand what is important when thinking about ranges, how to figure out what different players might have, and most importantly, how to take advantage of this information.
Poker changes all the time, players become better, new players join the games and, all of a sudden, you can go from a solid winner to break-even or a losing player.
To do this, your best bet is looking into various training programs to boost your progress. On top of that, make sure to take advantage of available tools, and try to become a better version of yourself every single day.
How to Become a Professional Poker Player Posted by Veronica Taylor on January 5, In this article, we cover:. Select your poker game of choice Follow professional poker players Practice your poker skills.
Learn From The Pros If you want to learn poker, your best source of information is going to be the professionals who are willing to teach you.
Books There are hundreds of great poker books on the market. YouTube There are seemingly infinite hours of content on YouTube where you can learn how to play poker.
Twitch Twitch is a live-streaming social platform where you can watch people play poker. Classes Some people learn from books and watching, some people learn better in a classroom setting.
Practice, Practice, Practice While there are a lot of ways where you can learn the game and get a feel for what to expect, nothing replaces experience.
They say it takes 10, hours to master a skill. Have A Backup Plan Sure, everyone wants to be a poker pro these days. Veronica Taylor Veronica Taylor is a card game enthusiast who you can find checking out the latest themed online casino games or sports betting trends.
This means a lot of time spent playing penny poker. Another option to get into bigger games is to sell some of your action.
You can do the same thing. You can even find sites where poker players regularly sell pieces of their action. Daniel Negreanu is one of the best poker pros I know, and he suggests that one of the first steps a pro poker player should take is to treat his poker career like a small business.
You can set goals for how much you need to earn each year, each month, each week, each day, and each hour based on that overarching vision.
How you track your results is up to you. Most professional poker players quit when they run out of money, but others have left the game due to boredom or a change of careers.
You have to be good and possess excellent financial management skills. The above tips might help you on your journey to becoming a professional poker player, but only you will know if and when it is time to change tack.
Poker helped take my thoughts off my situation, so I started grinding through days. The more I played, the more I liked the game.
I could play when I wanted, what I wanted, for as long as I wanted — and I loved it. When I look back, I think that I was incredibly lucky to discover this game.
I am a very competitive person, and the ability to play with different players, adjust my strategy, and overcome them was very pleasing, probably even more so than money.
I had a very narrow understanding of the game and was not spending much time learning the strategy. In one of the live tournaments, I got to meet a professional poker player, and it changed my whole view of the game.
He was talking in terms of ranges, breaking down math and other concepts I barely knew existed. That was the moment when I realized that there is so much more to the game.
After that, I started studying like never before and rapidly improved my game. I joined a group of professional players, and we started traveling the world playing live cash games and occasional tournaments.
We visited WSOP in Las Vegas, many European Poker Tour stops, and other destinations in poker circuit. Now, I can easily say: meeting that PRO at the tournament was the best thing that ever happened to me in regards to poker.
I started getting coaching from one of the best players in my country, and my development boosted even more. Thus, I left the live games circuit and concentrated on playing online.
This is my path, but you can make much better decisions with a wide range of information available today. If you want to play poker professionally, you can avoid a lot of my mistakes and speed this process by years.
So what should you do? Let me try to answer this question by listing five steps that can drastically help you on your journey. At the beginning of my career, I tried playing different games simultaneously.
I was launching MTTs and cash games at the same time, or even playing live cash and a table or two on my laptop. Obviously, all of this looks ridiculous when I look back, and I believe it was one of the biggest roadblocks for improving as a player.
If you jump from one game to another, most likely, you will never become very good at either of it.