Considerations Before Becoming a Poker Pro

Make these considerations before becoming a poker pro

There is not one person who visits this website who has not dreamed of becoming a poker pro. Anyone who has played poker and won money from this crazy game daydreams about playing poker for a living.

Calling yourself a poker pro sounds excellent, right? You get to play cards for a living, choose your own hours, travel the world, and take on Lady Luck on a daily basis. How do you make it happen? How do you become a poker pro? It is easier than you think, although you need to consider many options before quitting your day job.

Being a Poker Pro Is Not As Glamorous As You Think

Think about how much poker you play. You pick and choose your times as a recreational player. You can take a couple of days off if you feel under the weather, but not if you are a poker pro. You do not make any money if you do not play.

Playing poker for 40-60 hours a week sounds incredible, but it is much more difficult than you think. Forty hours is eight hours a day, five days a week, and it is hard to concentrate on playing poker for this length of time. It is challenging to play such long sessions for a week, but doing it week in week out takes much mental toughness.

Everyone knows playing poker is easy when you are winning, but not so much when losing. You can play perfectly yet still lose money. How will you deal with a downswing knowing you are not earning any money despite being glued to your machine for 40-hours a week?

We advise taking a couple of day’s holiday from your day job and try spending those two days off doing nothing but playing poker. Becoming a poker pro probably is not for you if you struggle across those two days.

You Need a Huge Bankroll To Be A Poker Pro

Bankroll management is crucial to a poker player’s success. Your bankroll is the ammunition needed to earn money. Moving down stakes is not an option unless you are prepared to log even more hours. Furthermore, losing your bankroll is disastrous because you are unable to make any money.

An intelligent poker pro has a massive bankroll. Cash game players’ bankrolls have 300-500 buy-ins, allowing them to absorb losing stretches. Tournament players have similar bankrolls; the variance in MTTs is massive.

In addition, a poker pro should have at least six months’ living expenses tucked away in their bank account. That is the bare minimum to consider having to fall back on. This includes your rent or mortgage payments, any taxes, power, transport, food, anything you need to pay. Multiply your monthly outgoings by six (aim for 12) and put it away in a separate account.

Be Certain Of Your Win Rate

Most people make plans to become a poker pro because they are winning players. However, are you confident you are a winner in the long term?

Let us say you look at your records and are winning $20 per hour playing poker. Playing 40-hours a week nets you $800. Playing for 50 weeks of the year equates to $40,000 per annum. There are two issues with what you think your win rate is. First, your sample size is likely low. You need one million or more hands to be confident in your figures. Second, you cherry-pick the times you play right now, jumping into an online poker cash game for a couple of hours after work, etc. A poker pro can still choose their own hours, but playing for a living forces you to play longer sessions at times that are currently alien to you.


Becoming a poker pro is a dream you share with thousands of your fellow players. Not everyone is cut out for the life, however. Log a massive sample of hands, preferably one million or more, try playing eight-hour sessions (or maybe four two-hour sessions) across multiple days to see if you can handle the pressure.

Then save up six-to-twelve months of living expenses. If you can do all this, becoming a poker pro is a legitimate career choice

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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