Want to Be a Professional Poker Player? Part 2

There are a few reasons I can't advise anyone to become a professional poker player. I know that I might get flamed for posting this article, but if you really look more closely at the top flight professional poker players and you'll see that they own their own businesses. One of the poker players own a chain of dental offices, another living legend and highly regarded poker player owns several restaurants. Let's not mention one professional poker player who has made a complete ass of himself on High Stakes Poker on several occasions –he has a lucrative endorsement deal with a popular online poker site along with many of the other top flight professionals. In other words, these people have businesses or endorsements to supplement their income —you don't!

It would be nice to be able to say that anyone who has immaculate skill can always win a ton of money. No poker player wins every time he plays including the top flight professionals. Furthermore, you must understand that any player regardless of skill level can win any given hand at any given pot. With that said, realize that the majority of the time you only have a small edge over your competitors at best. That small edge is more than enough to realize a profit over the long term. However, the same small edge accounts for the abundance of variance in a poker game, especially Texas Hold 'Em. This is why very bad players can win sessions in Hold 'Em. Those same bad players that you have an edge over can win YOUR money some days.

Its not the lack of technical poker skill that makes players crash and burn, its their inability to weather bad streaks. Most of us have an emotional attachment to money –including many professional poker players. The professionals have learned how to manage their emotions to the extent where they don't blow their entire bankroll just because they're steaming from an earlier bad beat. Poker players refer to bad poker play as going on tilt. Whenever they feel like they're going on tilt, they'll get up and walk away from the poker table. A good book to read on the realities of the lifestyle of a poker player is A Thousand Chances which is available at Amazon.com Another good book for poker players to read besides my book is Ace on the River by Barry Greenstein.

My point is that if you're fortunate enough to have not been laid off and your company isn't eliminating positions KEEP YOUR JOB. Even if you're an above average poker player, now is not the time to quit working just because you've won a couple thousand over the past week. This game has too much variance to be fooled by such short-term results which are more of an indicator of your potential in this game instead of your true ability as a poker player. Keep your job and play poker after work or on your off days and don't spend your entire check trying to offset your poker losses. Instead, open a separate bank account for your poker bankroll and keep your old bank account for your regular paychecks and to pay bills. That way you don't feel pressure to try to get all your money back in one sitting after a bad beat. Instead you can walk away and allow your bankroll to live to play another day. If you do this right, over time your poker bankroll will equal or exceed your yearly income at your square job, and it beats working a second job.