How can I become a poker professional? This is a question that professionals get asked all the time. The answer is not simple, and it takes years of hard work and dedication. Here are some questions and points you should look at when figuring out if you have what it takes.
Will you lover poker in ten years? Can you play poker like it’s your full-time job? Do you have the financial backing to survive the lows? Are you patient enough to tolerate those lows? Do you enjoy statistics? All of these questions form the core of what it takes to become a professional poker player.
Becoming a pro requires little obligations outside of the game. You will have to travel to tournaments all over the country and if you are really good, all over the world. Having a serious relationship is incredibly tough, and most players elect to stay single.
Poker as a Business:
In addition, playing poker professionally will leave your resume dead. Unlike other careers, you will not be building valuable experience towards better jobs in the future. This is great if you win and earn enough money to survive, but if you end up quitting or losing often, you may find yourself behind in your life goals.
According to Chris Moneymaker, only the top 5% of professional poker players can earn a living off of the game. Trends change and old professionals sometimes fail to keep up with the new age professionals. To be successful, you must be able to read advanced statistics. Some examples of these statistics, which all have to be calculated on the fly, are knowing the expected value, your pre-flop raise percentage, call percentage, fold percentage, and various others. This makes it a very serious and challenging profession where these calculations have to be made when massive amounts of money are on the line.
One of the most important questions to ask is whether or not you will enjoy playing poker ten years into the future. You have to make sure that you are passionate enough about the sport to ensure that you will stick to it. This passion also has to include being able to tolerate periods of variance, when you are losing massive amounts of money, the hours of study you have to put into the game and learning your opponents, and whether or not you want to start a family.
French poker professional Fabrice Touil commented on the profile, “It is challenging at times, but nothing compares to the adrenaline you feel when you are sitting at the big table. It makes it all worth the trouble.”
Touil would know how that feels. He sat at the final table at the 2012 Partouche Poker Tour where he placed 6th and won €223,498. He understands what it takes to make it that far.
“You have to study the stats of your opponents a lot if you want to be successful,” said Touil. “You need to know when they are likely to break.”