Challenges a Person Faces as a Professional Poker Player

Are you a poker player? Have you been playing poker for more than a year now? Planning to take up poker as a career? Then, you should first meet some poker pros who have been playing poker professionally for more than 5 years. Thinking why? Because professional poker may seem as an easy career option but it is exponentially harder than it looks.

It Involves Only Math
To become a winning poker pro, you have to work on your mathematical calculation keeping aside the high stakes bluffing. Though poker pros are called sharks hunting for fishes in poker sea but this does not applies in real poker. Poker pros are basically angler-fish as they have to plan their moves with a math degree. So, you do not have to attack weak players in every game, but actually have to sit and wait for a decent hand to strike it rich. Thus, poker as a profession involves patience and attrition. The successful poker pros plays only 20 percent of the hands while in remaining 80 percent they act as spectators waiting for the percentages to line up in your favor.

It Involves Years of Endless Study
Are you a fan of those high-stakes, multi-millionaire poker pros who are the Kobe Bryants and Tom Bradys of the poker world? Do you know what it takes to reach that level? It takes dedication and practice with millions of sit-ups and bench presses. Seems like a lot of work, huh? Players who are new to poker indeed forget this aspect and think that they will hit that lucky hand one day and win big like Chris Moneymaker. This is a key reason that every year number of players visiting WSOP has been increasing. Thus, here you need to understand that professional poker involves endless years of practice on top of studying over those numbers and perfecting your  poker strategy.

Moving Higher Means Losing More
Poker is a game of winnings wherein if you don’t win, you don’t get paid. So, to make a successful career in poker, you should play with players whom you can consistently beat in order to make money. In other words, you should play at your competence level to be successful in long run. Suppose you win more when playing at a betting limit of Rs.50-Rs.100, then you should continue playing at same level. Furthermore, you should move to higher limits only when you are confident of your play, and have built a strong bankroll because players are far better at higher level. Therefore, you have to avoid being a sucker at table which does not match your training level. You just cannot follow that hit-and-trial approach in professional poker.

Anytime Bad Luck
In professional poker, one has to be always prepared for those unforeseen downsides. And poker pros are, in reality, immune to ups and downs of the game. They enjoy the unique lifestyle that the game has to offer but also love the technical and analytical part of the game. This trains them to face the bad parts, of both their career and personal life. Now you may be thinking how? Poker is a skill game that teaches you how to deal with daily life problems by training you in humility, tilt control and patience. When something unlucky happens in your personal life, you are ready to face it upfront. Further you know how to react to that problem which has occurred because of dumb luck, and how to move on with it. It is just like a downside you face in poker when dealt with bad hands every now and then. All you need to do in such a situation is toss the cards aside and wait for the next best hand to come your way and keep the game going.

Self-Liability and Guilt
Let’s take an example here. In a corporate 9 to 5 job, a person has co-workers to discuss their job related problems. On contrary in poker you have no co-workers as every player sitting is your opponent. Moreover, it is even different from a business where you earn money by selling a good or service. Poker games are a zero-sum game where every penny you earn is lost to you by one of your opponent. So, others liability become your asset and vice versa. And, this is one of the reasons that poker is treated as gambling because your winnings come from a person who is willing to risk his entire life’s savings. Suppose you are playing poker against an old retired man, and you bust him out of the game. This old man seemed amiable all through the game, but as soon as he is busted, he bid you good bye with a dejected expression on his face. At that time you may have mixed feelings- on one side you may feel guilty thinking you snatched off his only money that he received as pension and on other side you may be happy about your win. So if you take poker as a career, do remember it’s a no mercy game, a game where you are all alone and have to stay neutral with no emotions for those you are playing with. This is one reason that many people quit playing poker professionally. If you think you are strong enough to deal with such situations, then only choose poker as a career because self – liability and guilt will hit you time and again.


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