Watching a professional poker player on live TV collecting millions in one hand can seem like easy money. Many ask themselves if they can do it, and the answers are usually “yes, of course, what’s the big deal?”. Well, it is a big deal, and winning the stakes depends on various factors like how much practice do you have, how often, and the stakes you play for. This beats one of the most common misconceptions about playing poker that it all depends on your luck. Not quite. Like any other game, for this one, you also need some skills.
Skills come with experience. You need to play a lot of hands, regularly, to be able to predict your odds to a certain degree and make good decisions. Also, to some degree, you need to be able to anticipate your opponent’s move, so that you know when to bluff, or cut your losses and fold. This, and much more, can give professional players some advantage in the game.
How much do professionals make per year?
Professional tournament players can experience big fluctuations in their income throughout a year. Sometimes they don’t win anything for months, and then that one life-saving game rolls in and they can earn millions. The general rule is that the more you play the more you will win. The world’s top professional players earn from $5 million to… well, the sky is the limit. However, don’t get lost in your mind just yet. There are only a few people in the world that make this kind of money. They are highly experienced players that can read situations, and other people, extraordinarily well. Even the masters of the game like those players have major swings in their winnings. Dan Bilzerian claims he once won $54 million off of one player, but there is no proof for this story. Bryn Kenney tops the charts with winning over $30 in one year of playing poker. This is one guy in over 7 billion people in the world, so cool off your engines and get real. There are years of practice, and mistakes, behind professionals. For them it’s their primary source of income, so they do work hard and invest a lot of money, time, and energy to become one of the best.
What stakes to play?
If you hope to make a living off of playing poker online, you should play higher stakes. Any lower than $100 NL (No Limit bets) is considered a recreational player. Betting several hundred per game makes you join the club of serious online poker players. At this level, you can anticipate some monthly earnings, but don’t quit your day job just yet. Practice makes it perfect and you can gain a lot of experience playing online poker on websites like Poker369. Remember the ups and downs, and don’t get carried away only because you won a couple of thousands this month. This is not considered to be a steady income. The winnings are not consistent particularly if you are a beginner. Do not dive in head first, keep your composure, and just practice your moves. In time you might be able to earn a living.
Whether you make small or big bets, managing your bankroll is absolutely essential in order to stay in the game. Your success as an online poker player will greatly depend on your ability to efficiently manage your wallet. This can be challenging even for seasoned players. It’s way too easy to fall off the wagon making risky moves. This is why you need to keep control of your emotions, thus keeping tabs on your financials too. Like any other career, if you want to make the name in an online poker game, you need to climb the ladder. Little by little, you can progress from mediocre to the professional player if you give yourself enough time.
Stay in control of your money
“Win some, lose some” couldn’t be truer for an online poker game. Players, big and small, win and lose every day, or even several times per day. You can always bet beyond your means, but that’s not going to get you far in the poker world. To become a pro, every player needs to be in control of their financials, and play accordingly. As far as your opponents, the general rule is to play opposite, which means if other players play aggressively, you should stay passive, and vice versa. This is called “adjusting to your opponent” and is considered one of the best strategies in the poker game. Win or lose, stay consistent, and stick to your plan. This means staying on top of your funds.
This is going to sound conflicting, but we can say that there is only one thing that’s consistent in the poker game and that’s change. Ups and downs, merciless swings in luck, and consequently your earnings. If big wins happen in the begging it can give you a boost in self-confidence that can be deceiving. On the other hand, a major loss can just be a bad stroke of luck. In either way, you need to keep playing and eventually gain skills needed to make some real income. Some days will be glorious, and yet others can be incredibly hard. Do not adjust your game, just keep working hard and the results will come. Also, be aware of the game level of your opponents. You need to play online poker with people that represent a legit competition. Playing with sub-par opponents, or weak players will paint a false picture that you are on the top of your game. It’s much more satisfying to win over an experienced player. Besides, this will make you a better player.
The key to becoming a good player is to constantly work on your game. Do not get overconfident, or stop practicing. Even pros don’t have this luxury. Always question yourself, analyze your game, and search for ways to improve. And here’s one fun fact – nobody ever made millions in their first game.