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Thinking of becoming a professional poker player?

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Becoming a professional poker player is difficult. You don’t just have to be good at the game, you have to have a good head for business. To that end, you must learn to treat your beloved card game as a business, rather than a hobby you’ve been good at in the past.

If you’re thinking of becoming a pro, read this first.

business element

Like most businesses, there will be good times and bad times. You must be prepared for the latter and use the former to offset your losses. The game of professional poker also needs capital like any other business, and for poker this means having a substantial bank.

To that end, you should try to calculate how much you’ll need to maintain a steady income playing poker. A highly competitive profession if ever there was one. From the income figure, you can estimate how much you will need to finance your career as a professional player.

Every player has a severe losing streak no matter how good they are. You must be able to deal with this financially.

You will be autonomous. This is scary and difficult at the best of times, and instead of making a sale, you will have to make a considerable amount of money for your business to prosper.

evaluate evaluate

In order to become a pro and a better pro, you need to be able to honestly assess your style of play after every game. Ideally, having an honest opinion from someone you trust is best. A fresh, unbiased pair of eyes will be able to tell you if you’re leaking too many clues, if your bluff was too obvious, and will generally spot your weaknesses. In essence, you have to be able to accept criticism and be honest with yourself to know when your big loss was your fault. All this will improve you as a player.

As a professional poker player, constant improvement is needed. Otherwise, it’s a long way to the poorhouse and back to the main job.

The evaluation of your poker game should have already started. If you can find a mentor or at least someone you trust who understands the game, all the better. Many players record their games in the form of notes. How much they bet, how much they won, just about every stat you can think of. Then they refer to them constantly.


Many professionals started out as good amateur gamers and realized that playing a game they love for a living would be a good way to live. Chances are you have the same mindset. On the surface there is nervousness in the lifestyle that is very attractive. A bit like being a spy. The reality is though, that it is a business and a job. In ten years, will you enjoy the game as much?

You may never watch the game the way you do right now again. A point to ponder perhaps?

Social life

Once you start turning pro, your social life will be centered around poker. Poker will dominate: your friends will be poker players, your partner will have poker experience, and even your pets will be able to shuffle the cards. You will study poker when you are not playing and your math will improve.

This is an aspect that you should think about in order to become a professional. Are you ready for change and sacrifice?


If you haven’t figured it out yet, you’ll need to see poker as a business. This means calculating percentages to the nth degree and then performing in tournaments. You will begin to think of the game statistically and, in fact, begin to study your own game in the same terms. This is common to most games of chance.


A career in poker is difficult. Make no mistake, huge losses and unbelievable lows are coming your way. There will be times when you wonder why you thought it was a good idea.

However, with a clear and stable mind, a good head of business, and a mentor or friend who is willing to help you, you just might make it.

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