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What does it take to play poker professionally?

If you feel that you’ve mastered the mobile poker games and you’re ready to move to a new level, perhaps you want to consider playing poker for a living? 

Making your living as a poker pro isn’t easy, nor is it a sure thing.  But it’s a way for you to move on beyond the online poker machine and take advantage of all the knowledge that you’ve gained over the years by playing video poker.

Can you do it? Sure. Hundreds of people earn their living from the poker circuit.  What can you expect? You’ll need to put in hard work and practice, practice, practice.  You’ll need a lot of patience and the ability to flow with the ups and downs of professional competition.  If you think that you can manage, you’re in a good position to move to the pros.

Getting Started

Many poker enthusiasts dream of breaking out of their 9 – 5 job to play poker for a living. At one time, playing as a pro meant tournament play. Today it’s possible to gather a following and live stream tutorials  as you build your name up as a player to be watched.

If you are serious about pursuing life as a poker pro, you need to do a couple of things.

Study

It’s actually kind of obvious that to succeed as a pro you need to study but you’d be surprised at how many people think that they can wing it. Maybe you can….for a little while. If you plan to make a long-term commitment to the game as a pro you need to study the game, the strategies, the moves and what other successful poker pros are doing.

Combine your study with practice.  There are options to play live poker online or you can practice all of the top poker variations at the Sloto Cash casino. There’s nothing like practice to get the game down right and when you combine that practice with your study – after an online game, figure out what went right or wrong and WHY – you’ll become a better player.

By the way, you don’t even need to invest too much in study materials.  You can watch poker streamers on Twitch.tv to see how they play and listen to their commentary in all situations.

Long-Term

Prepare for a waiting period. Breaking out as a poker pro is a long-term endeavor.  Don’t give up your day job yet.  You have a long way to go – you’re not going to jump from playing $1 buy-in games or on video poker machines to playing for a living in a few weeks. It will take years of hard work to get to a point where you can make a living by playing. Be patient.

Money Management

Manage your money. You need at least a couple hundred buy-ins for any tournaments that you will play. Ditto for cash games. At some point, you’ll need to take a plunge and play above your bankroll but not right away. Move up only when your bankroll allows it. Every once in awhile it’s OK to take a shot but make sure that your bank account can withstand the plunge.

Which brings us to another subject – that nine-to-five job. You need to keep it until you can afford to play poker for a living.

Too many people stop working before they are ready. Some of them have the potential to play pro but they bottom out and can’t go further. Plan to work either part or full-time while you build up your poker skills. If you start raiding your poker bankroll in order to pay your bills, your dreams of life as a poker pro are done.

Work your regular job and play nights and weekends to build your skills. If you speak to today’s big poker players you’ll find that that’s exactly what they did. Everyone has a dry spell here and there but if you use your poker bankroll to pay your living expenses, you can kiss your career as a pro poker player good-bye.

Mentor

Try to find a mentor. A mentor can really make a difference in your life by smoothing the path into the profession. Some players join a stable when they are starting out so they can be coached and be staked. This strategy is also a good way to reduce the stress of building up a bankroll by providing your buy-ins in return for being staked.

Making a living as a poker player may seem like a dream but you can do it. Work hard, study hard and listen to the little voice inside of you that is pushing you towards your dream.