Maybe you’ve developed a love for the game, or you seem to be exceptionally good at the game; becoming a professional poker player is often a pipedream for most card players. Unfortunately, it isn’t a job for everyone. It can be demanding and tiresome, with minimal reward initially. If you’re seriously considering becoming a professional poker player, here are a few things you need to consider before taking the plunge.

You’ll be doing something you love

Probably the most common reason given for all professional poker players is a love of the game. You’ll be able to turn something that you love into a full-time job without having to worry about the nine-to-five career you’re currently hating. While most professional players will tell you they’re in the industry for the money, most of them wouldn’t last if the enjoyment of the game didn’t exist. It’s an incredibly demanding position that requires mental focus, which requires passion and desire to do. It also involves a lot of studying and evaluation. Understanding the game’s complexities isn’t understood overnight; you need to focus your time and energy on how the game works in your downtime.

The Initial Capital is Significant

Wanting to play poker for a living isn’t just about quitting your job; you’ll need to have enough saved up when things get tough (and they will). Buy-ins for games and tournaments can be considerable, especially when you’re playing No-limit hold’em. It’s always wise to have at least 40 buy-ins available for every game you sit down to play. For tournaments, the capital can depend on the buy-in. Having a set limit can restrict a player into passing on decent hands, eating away at buy-ins instead of playing them. 

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Significant earning potential

Playing online poker can be a fantastic earning potential if you’re able to reach high skill levels. The industry has recently changed the rake and rewards on some of the best US poker sites, making it harder to achieve livable earnings overall. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to succeed as a professional player; it just makes it a lot harder to work your way up. Most players start within the micro stakes, making it exceptionally difficult to break out. The high rake and low rakeback can eat away at a player’s earnings.  

The Downswings Can Destroy You

One of the most challenging hurdles in becoming a professional poker player is the financial swing that comes with it. Having solid economic insulation is crucial to surviving the lows that come with playing. If your bankroll becomes strapped in a downswing, it can significantly influence how you play the game. The downswings can also eat away at your emotional well-being. While we can mentally prepare ourselves for the lows that come with professional gambling, they can still influence our mental state.

Total Freedom and Flexibility

Setting your hours can be a significant advantage to any profession. Poker players can choose when to play and when to rest in between games. You’ll be able to set the days and times you’d like to play, which can bring new freedom to your life that you’ve always dreamed of. Being your own boss is another definite advantage for professional poker players. You’ll have no one to answer to and no one breathing down your neck.

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Difficulty Determining Your Win-Rate

The win rate is how many hands you’re likely to win at any given time overall. It’s given as a ratio or a percentage. It can help you understand the intensity of downswings you’re going to have, along with how long they’re going to last. Statistics have shown that a player with a high win rate will experience shallower and shorter downswings than someone with a lower win rate. Tracking this information as an online poker player is more accessible than in-person players. Likewise, many tournaments online will not share the win rate of a player.

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