Is Poker a Good Career?
Yes, you can make a career playing poker games. However, you will need years of experience and studying to make a living and a career in poker. What’s more, it takes a lot of disciple and planning. There will be downswings and burnout that will come with having a career as a professional poker player. You will also need to improve yourself because the games are always evolving constantly.
1. Have Deep Love for the Poker Game
When you love the game, it is easier to work hard to become a professional poker player. Many players end up giving up on making a good poker career because they don’t love the game. So, it is important to ask yourself if you love the game before deciding on having a poker career.
2. Choose a Format
Different kinds of poker formats are out there for professional poker players. It is never ideal to try all of them because it will become difficult to manage them. So, choose one that you can focus all your attention on and go with that. Here is a list of the options that you have.
- Cash Games – this is best for when you are an online poker player. They offer a slower and stable means to make a good career in playing poker. It also has fewer severe swings. What’s more, they are much more flexible with their schedule. However, they are very competitive.
- Multi-Table Tournaments (MTT) – the MTTs are very unpredictable, and it is more brutal. However, you can make a huge score, which is why many recreational players are attracted to them. The games are softer but can affect you mentally because you will be chasing the big score. What’s more, they have the longest sessions that can be 15 hours or more. You need to be mentally fit and financially fit and take part in these kinds of poker games.
- Sit & Go – these poker games are a middle ground for cash games and MTTs. However, you need to be patient, precise, and study to be able to play. They are the same as MTTs because on the swings because they can be worse than cash games. This depends on the kind of sit & go you play.
3. Be Financially Stable
We might sound like we are a little lenient by saying this, but you need to have a lot of money to start a poker career. A poker career does not guarantee a stable income, and you will need to have money to cover living expenses, which would be for a long period.
You will also need to set up a budget for how much you will use to play in the poker games. The amount will be dependent on which format you choose. The best way to start is to have enough money to play for a year, at least when you start. It might seem like too much, but you will be minimizing any potential stress when you end up not having set aside enough money. The Dave Ramsey website has a free app that you can use to track and manage your playing budget. You need to make sure that the budget is realistic, and it is set up in a way that is for the worst-case scenario.
4. Undervalue your Win Rate
When you are setting up your budget, you will also need to look into your long-term plan, which means that you will also have to factor in that the games will be tougher to beat year on year. This means that your win rate will be different every year. So, when you are planning your career, take that into account.
5. Understanding the Downswing and Coping with Them
Downswings are when you experience a losing streak, and you will need to have money that will be able to sustain you when you have it. So, you will need to count for the loss in your financial plan to make sure that you are covered during the downswings.
When you are still new at playing poker professionally, your win-rate will be lower than seasoned players. Which means that your budget will feel the damage. So, you will need some cushioning to be able to deal with them. The downswings will be very tough on you mentally and can easily make you doubt your abilities.
The best way for you to deal with the downswings is to look at how you have played a review of your hands. This will help you identify where you went wrong and be able to work on improving yourself.
6. Expand Your Income from Poker
Playing professionally is not the only way that you can have a good poker career. There are other ways that you can make money from poker, even when not playing professionally. Some of the ideas that you can use to make money on poker include:
- Create a YouTube or Twitch live stream – once you become popular, you will make enough money to do whatever you want. In some cases, some Twitch poker personalities make a lot of money and are funded by their followers.
- Start blogging – even though you will not get rich doing this, you can still get a following and make money.
- Make poker YouTube videos – your topic will be on various things relating to playing poker games. You will be able to get a following and make money posting strategies and more.