How You Can Become a Professional Poker Player
By Space Coast Daily // April 27, 2020
There comes a certain point in everyone’s life when they begin to question whether or not they are really happy in their career. It’s nothing to be ashamed of or worried about, it’s just a part of life.
For many this is a fleeting thought, but for others in shakes them into action, into choosing a career that will not only pay their bills but make them happy as well.
If you’ve ever played poker before, chances are that you’ve dreamed about becoming a poker pro.
There’s no doubt that following the dream will take a plenty of dedication, and a fair amount of luck! But by following these steps, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance.
Study the Game
It is perhaps the most boring part to start but definitely the most essential to overcome in your quest to become a pro player. Knowledge is the basis of all success and that is truer in poker than perhaps any other pursuit.
The game may seem fairly basic and easy to understand if you’re a casual player but scrape away beyond the surface and you’ll find a world of information that you need to master.
Start with the rules, making sure that you’re au fait with the rules of not only your favourite variant but other less popular variants too. To expand your skill base as you progress, you’ll need to play the occasional game of other variants to see what you can learn.
After doing that read some poker books and watch online strategies to try and get a grasp of all the in-game situations that you might face later on in your career. Be careful to only take in the information from established poker professionals and avoid tips from untrusted sources.
Perfect Your Mentality
If poker were just a game of mathematical probabilities, then it would be nowhere near as popular as it is. Human nature and psychology play almost as big a role in poker as the way that the cards fall.
Bluffing is one of the most important weapons in a successful player’s arsenal, so you’ll need to dedicate just as much time to mastering that as you do to learning the rules and different strategies.
In addition to mastering bluffing you’ll also need to focus on your concentration and alertness. Poker is a very long game and if you’re going to make it to the top you’ll need to learn how to remain focused for hours and hours on end.
Mindfulness and meditation are great activities to try out away from the poker table to improve your concentration and focus.
Try to meditate at least once a day for 10 minutes and focus on breathing techniques and visualisation which you can then transfer to the poker table.
Play To Win
It is truly amazing how many players give in to boredom and play on when they have a bad hand. Needless to say, this is a bad thing to do. Poker is about probabilities so naturally, the best players only play hands with the highest probabilities of success.
In doing this you will keep close tabs on your bankroll, better your in-game attitude and provide yourself with better learning experiences.
The most important of course is your bankroll, by playing safe hands you will boost your winnings which you will need in order to enter better competitions as you progress your career.
In the mid-1990s an amazing amount of scientific research was dedicated into what it takes to become a high-level athlete. The most widely accepted opinion was that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become world class in any discipline.
So if you think that you can barge your way into poker’s top tables the quick way then you are sorely mistaken. To become a professional poker player and beat the best you will need to dedicate your every spare hour into practice.
Make sure that this is meaningful practice though and not just mindless playing in some online lobby. After every game review your plays to analyse what you could have done better and what you did well.
By doing this you will ensure that you are learning and growing with each and every hand that you play. It may take time and you may want to give up at times, but when you’re a pro you’ll be thankful for the hours spent practicing.
Natural talent and ability play a massive part in someone’s success right? Wrong. Those factors do help, but the most needed traits of any professional are dedication, patience and a rock solid work ethic.
If you really want to become a poker pro you’re going to have to work harder than you have ever done in your life before. When you’re lying on a bed of hundred dollar bills all that hard work will feel well worth it.
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