Becoming a Professional Poker Player

The Journey of Becoming a Professional Poker Player

Poker has exploded from a card game played in smoky back rooms to a celebrated “sport” with millions of enthusiasts worldwide. As poker’s popularity has increased, so too has interest in playing professionally. However, the road to becoming a pro poker player is filled with major obstacles. Many aspire to make poker their career but most ultimately fail and are forced to return to their day jobs. In this article we will explore the real journey at any online casino of becoming a professional poker player.

Learning Technical Poker Skills

Learning Technical Poker Skills


While the outcome of any Online Casino Deutschland hand relies partly on the luck of the draw, over the long run poker is a game of skill and mastery. Aspiring professionals must first learn foundational technical skills before they stand any chance of making a living at the tables. Key areas of technical poker expertise include:

  • Odds and probabilities
  • Bet sizing and pot equity
  • Game theory and behavioral analyses
  • Hand rankings and matchups
  • Bluffing, value betting and exploiting common leaks

Pros can rapidly calculate pot odds in their head and instinctively know the proper bet sizing for any situation. They have a deep understanding of strategic game concepts that they’ve developed through rigorous study. Technical mastery alone won’t make you a winning pro but it establishes an essential foundation.

Developing Mental Fortitude

Poker is an emotionally turbulent game of highs and lows. Pros face huge mental swings during long sessions at the table. One key variable that separates winners from losers is mental stamina and resilience. Professionals know how to mitigate tilt by:

  • Remaining emotionally detached during sessions
  • Exhibiting patience rather than frustration after losses
  • Taking regular breaks to refresh mentally

Professionals also diligently review past play to fix errors and shore up leaks instead of dwelling on bad luck. They exhibit consistent discipline instead of relying on motivation. Developing an unflappable mental approach is vital.

Learning Bankroll Management

Learning Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is arguably more critical than poker strategy itself. Going broke will instantly end anyone’s aspirations of playing professionally regardless of poker skill level. Players must learn principles like:

  • Matching stakes to bankroll size
  • Assessing risk of ruin
  • Managing significant swings and downswings

Minimum recommended bankroll sizes relative to selected stakes and acceptable risks must be incorporated.

Adapting to the Poker Lifestyle

Poker pros know that in addition to mastering cards and chips, long-term success requires adapting completely to the poker lifestyle. Key lifestyle adaptations include:

  • Traveling regularly – pros follow tournament circuits and juicy cash games across the globe
  • Maintaining irregular schedules – little sleep, long hours, player alertness over days/weeks
  • Tolerating instability and uncertainty in income

The poker life also tends to foster unhealthy habits like poor diet, lack of exercise, and dependence on stimulants or sleeping aids. Maintaining a balanced lifestyle is vital but challenging.

Year # of Players Winnings
2019 459 $67.3 mil
2020 393 $60.9 mil
2021 521 $118.5 mil

Table 1. Analysis of professional poker players, earnings and participation over time.

Seeking Out Mentorship

Aspiring poker professionals should strongly consider finding an experienced mentor. A proven winning pro can provide invaluable personalized advice and guidance tailored to an individual’s unique leaks and challenges. Key benefits of mentorship include:

  • Accelerating learning curve through expert insights
  • Objective critique from a seasoned second set of eyes
  • Increased motivation and accountability
  • Entry into staked backing

Established pros mentor through training sites, private coaching and staking arrangements where they supply a bankroll for a percentage of wins. Building a network starts locally at poker rooms and expands through forums, training content and social media. Reaching out for support smoothing the path. No need to walk it completely.


professional poker player

Becoming a successful professional poker player is exceptionally difficult but entirely achievable with proper skill development, mental tenacity, bankroll management and lifestyle adaptations. Raw talent matters but consistent discipline, study and immersion into the poker world are mandatory for long-term profitability. Players should not underestimate the challenges of playing full time but many find the freedom and constant competition highly rewarding.