Lesson #8: How To
Become A Professional Poker Player
You don’t have to be
ranked number one or even in the top one-hundred to be considered a winning
poker player. If you want to turn your passion for poker into your a full-time
profession and get stackin’, then you need to shake this notion that if you’re
not first your last. It’ll sabotage your efforts, instead adopt the winning
mindset that so long as you’re making a living doing what you love, you’re
How To Be A
Professional Poker Player
1) Educate Yourself: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
To be a professional poker player, you need a proper understanding of
the game, and then you can build from there. There is a wealth of resources out
there: books, training videos, training sites, podcasts, forums or strategy
articles. It’s a slow trek to the top, so pace yourself. Information overload
won’t turn you into an overnight success; you have to allow your brain time to
absorb, interpret and understand the information.
2) Get Exposed: NO SUBSTITUTE FOR FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE
You have to expose yourself to the game and get experience playing for
the concepts to sink in and make sense. This means taking what you’ve read and
actualizing those concepts by playing. There is no substitute for first-hand
experience. So get out there and develop a better feel for the game so you can
figure out what’s important to your current state of development as a player.
3) Practice, Practice, Practice
Repetition is key. You can’t become a bodybuilder by just reading The
Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding and not putting in the time; it’s the
same with poker. With more sites to choose from, software to make multi-tabling
easier; it’s not hard to get in those reps to advance your skills. Don’t rush
the process though; the more quality hands you play, the better the player.
Through practice, theories and techniques will become second nature, so you
always know what to do in every situation.
4) Review, Refine, Repeat
It’s essential to be constantly honing your skills and improving your
game by looking at where your struggling or making mistakes and figuring out
what you can do differently to plug those leaks. Every time you eliminate a
leak from your game, you become a more dangerous player. And every time you
play, you give yourself a chance to identify potential leaks. Never
underestimate the value of self-reflection.
5) Find Your Sweet Spot
Online and live poker are different beasts, and there’s no way of
knowing where you will excel until you try out both. If you’re a gamer, you’ll
probably do better online while people-persons will do better live. To maximize
your earn, do a mix of both. Online poker is useful for fine-tuning your game
as it’s easier to get in reps while live is good to cash in on weaker players.
6) Get The Money
Once you know where your sweet spot is, get out there and get stackin’!
The money is out there waiting for a skilled player to collect it. Identify
where your strongest edge is because the real money is made by applying edges
repeatedly. They aren’t always big; they can be small too. Just make sure you
don’t bleed an opponent dry. You want your sources of income to be renewable
resources and going in for the kill can eliminate that source of income, so be
7) Keep An Open Mind
Always keep an open mind and be willing to try new things because you
never know what you might be passionate about. Poker is a great way to make
money, but money isn’t everything; you can find happiness elsewhere too, so
don’t shortchange yourself by not exploring other things that make you happy.
And don’t stop utilizing your brainpower, whether you’re in school or not,
continue to educate yourself.
To be a winner in
poker, it takes a lot more than just passion. It takes practice,
self-reflection, repetition and the right mindset. Don’t let fear stop you from
pursuing your dream of going pro. Get out there and play the tables, study hard
and continue to develop your skills as a player.