It’s possible to play “poker” as a profession, and it has nothing to do with gambling
Poker as a profession may sound like a dream and impossible to do, but there are lots of individuals that play the game as a full-time career. However, our society today only describes someone as serious if they went to school for 9-12 years, then studied, or completed their training to enter normal professional life. This is the normal standard – but playing professional poker, whether live or online, is a job and by no means an easy one.
Still, many people shake their heads in disbelief when you tell them that playing poker is a way of making a living. Of course, there are different types of players. On the one hand, there are the absolute stars and high rollers of the scene who earn hundreds of thousands or even millions a year. In the US, poker pros are well known that they are equated with real VIPs and actors.
What many do not even know is that there are poker players who earn thousands of euros under the radar at the virtual tables. There are players here who make it to € 1,500-2,000 per month, which is also quite a number. Others, on the other hand, are happy about their monthly earnings of € 10,000-20,000 per month on average alone in poker. In Eastern European countries, players earn less than € 500 per month, but in these countries, that amount is enough for many to live on.
Today, the internet makes it possible not to be tied to a certain place. You can play poker at the convenience of your home – except for a few countries where online poker is regulated and you are not allowed to play in the international pool of players, or only in a certain smaller pool within the country.
For someone who is familiar with the scene and has been involved with the topic and the game for a long time, it is relatively easy to understand why playing poker can be a profession. People who don’t know much about poker see it as a gamble game. Unfortunately, many players use poker to gamble, but that doesn’t change the fact that others earn their living through it.
Being a poker player and making a living from it is very hard work
Besides hard work and dedication, poker is also a game of chance. It is a game of strategy in which probabilities and an understanding of the game are important. Every decision a player makes at the table has a mathematical and strategic background. You don’t play on your gut feeling and certain hands because you like them. Everything is based on a specific strategy.
In school, you have to learn certain things at the beginning; same as poker – you have to learn poker rules, familiarize yourself with the basics, and gradually work on your understanding of the game. That sounds easy, but the reality is very different. There are so many things that you have to learn to become a good player and to understand why certain things happen at the table.
Volume and the amount of time it takes are key
Clicking your mouse for 4-5 hours per week is not an option. As with a full-time job, you can easily sit at tables 40 hours a week. The volume and the number of hands played are the key to success and the factor why better players prevail over bad players in the long term. In the short term, luck/bad luck factor can decide between victory and defeat. But not in the long term! Check out our article: “Is Poker Skill or Luck?” to know more.
Bankroll management and a good mindset are part of it
Even the best players do not win continuously, and everyone has to learn to deal with setbacks. Downswing is normal and every professional player knows. Every hand breaks, AA always loses against a much worse hand, and the river always helps the opponent. What common players often refer to as “cheating” and “manipulation” is – to a professional poker player – nothing more than an event that just happens sometimes.
To survive such phases, there is bankroll management to ensure that you play without pressure and not necessarily dependent on earning money to pay your rent. Good players always have reserves of 1-2 years without any pressure to make ends meet. This is the only way to play freely and make factual decisions without any pressure. Bankroll management also tells a player the limits he can play. You don’t just sit down somewhere and the party starts, in poker, everything has a structure and a background.
Anyone who chooses poker as a profession must also think about the future. You have to know won’t be entitled a health insurance, as in a normal employee at a company would, and of course, you won’t have to anything into the pension fund. These are all the things that you have to take care of earlier on and build up the appropriate reserves for later.
This article is only intended to give you a little insight to realize what it takes to choose poker as a profession. If you want to play poker full-time, you need to think carefully about whether you can meet the demands it requires. If you know someone who has taken this path and is successful, you should pay him great respect for it.