Everyone who has played poker has thought about how great it would be to play poker for a living and live the dream! I see this topic pop up in poker forums all the time and the person asking the question never gets the answer they want. Now I’m not saying it wouldn’t be nice to work whenever I wanted and to make lots of money but it’s not an easy road to take. There are many factors to take into account before you even think about quitting your job.
One big thing that playing poker for a living could have an effect on is if you have a family to support. If you do then playing poker professionally is probably not for you. The income for a pro poker player is not always a stable one which is not the best thing when you have mouths to feed at home Cmd368.
How big is your bankroll? You must have a comfortable bankroll so that you can take a hit from downswings that will inevitably happen at some point. If you play No Limit hold’em 50 buy-ins would be enough and for sit n go’s you would need something like 100 buy-ins. It is important that you have a big enough bankroll to feel comfortable. It is a good idea to have at the very least 6 months living expenses saved up as well.
Losing streaks are a part of poker that nobody likes but they will happen and there is nothing you can do about it. Poker is a skill game but it is also controlled by luck and sometimes luck can have a devastating effect on your bankroll. If you have a big enough bankroll then this is OK because it can take a hit. The question is can you handle the losing streaks mentally? If you play poker for a living it is quite possible that you could go for months without earning any money. You need to be a strong person and have great self control to get through these rough patches successfully.
If you decide to have a go at playing professionally do you have a backup plan if things don’t work out? Would your old boss be willing to take you back or would you be stuck without work? Could you take it if you failed to make it or would you crash and burn? These are all important things to consider because not everyone that has a go at playing for a living will make it. It doesn’t mean that you can’t try again sometime in the future. Expect the best but prepare for the worst as you can never tell what is round the corner.
Are you a winning player? This can only truly be answered after you have played thousands of hands. Some say if you are a winner over 20,000 hands and some say over 100,000 hands. What is important is that you have played for a long period of time and have proven that you can beat the game time after time. If you have just learned the game and have been playing for a few weeks then I would forget about going pro for now.
Playing poker for a living seems to be a great lifestyle and is definitely worth it if you are good at it and can make it work. But the reality is that it isn’t easy and takes a lot of forward planning, commitment and work just like any other career. Just make sure you think about that if you are thinking about giving it a go.