The rise of online poker play has given enjoyment to millions of card game enthusiasts around the world.
It’s never been easier to create an account, log on and start playing a few hands of your own favourite.
Whether it’s Texas Hold’Em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud, or a more obscure variant, the online poker industry has you covered.
While the sector has grown, we’ve also seen an increase in numbers in relation to professional poker players.
Many of the current top pros, who take part in real-world tournaments, learnt their craft at the online tables.
This phenomenon leaves many casual players asking whether it’s really possible to make the step up.
The answer is a qualified yes but let’s take a look at what you’ll need to convert and make a genuine career from the game.
If you’re considering a poker career then you’ll need to assess where your own game currently stands.
Maybe you have plenty of experience and have consistent profits from your online play and are seriously considering taking things to the next level.
Alternatively, you could be a newbie, looking at the transition made by many current pros and are thinking ‘I could do that.’ If you fall into the latter category, then you should really approach with caution.
We suggest that in the first instance, you start learning your skills by playing with very small stakes or, better still, you can play poker using any of the free trial options that are out there.
You won’t be able to win any cash profits via this method but the best way to begin is with free play where possible.
If you have that experience and want to explore your possibilities, it’s time to take things to the next level.
The clue is in the title: A pro poker player is professional in everything they do, and that approach starts long before they get to the table.
Without a precise record of profit and loss, you’ll have no way to assess your performance and that’s vital in the early days when you’re looking to discover whether or not you can earn a living from online poker.
There are a number of high-quality software programmes that can monitor your accounts while you can also keep accurate profit and loss records just by using a simple spreadsheet.
Overheads are few for the online player but for those undertaking tournament play in the real world, there may be travel and accommodation expenses to take into account.
It’s all about being organised and approaching poker as you would with any other profession.
Another key to making a successful career from poker is to identify your strengths.
We’re talking about the need to identify the version of the game that is right for you in order to give you the best possible chance of returning regular profits.
Texas Hold’ Em is the most popular poker variant, certainly in the online world, but does that mean you should commit to it at the exclusion of everything else?
Popularity brings greater competition and while the notoriety of Texas Hold’EM will bring along some unskilled newbies, there could be a greater density of competence too.
With that in mind, why not consider a shake up and look at another version such as Omaha or Seven Card Stud. Your chosen online operator may also have unusual variants that are exclusive to them and it’s all open for testing to see where your talents should be channelled. You may, of course, prove to be a great all-rounder but many modern pros prefer to specialise.
More Means More
Having established your poker preference, it’s time to multi-task and that means taking on more than one table at a time. Professional poker isn’t for the faint hearted and the reality is that only the top few percent will be earning life-changing six-figure sums in one sitting.
It’s possible to hit those levels and, if you get there, congratulations – you won’t need our help anymore.
For most poker pros, it’s all about smaller returns on a regular basis and those profits are generally earned from multiple table play.
Look to have several tabs open and, perhaps, you can play via more than one browser. Spreading your focus like this requires practice and concentration so we suggest starting with small stakes as you work towards perfecting this skill.
Capitalise and Keep Working
As we have seen throughout this review, making a career as a poker pro can be a daily grind and the glamorous lifestyle isn’t within the reach of everyone.
However, if you can make a comfortable salary at the tables, either online or in the real world, that sounds a whole lot preferable to commuting and committing to a regular profession that may not inspire or reward you in the same way.
In that sense, it can be about fine margins so remember to look to boost your bankroll by any means possible.
Online poker operators will look to incentivise their customers with offers and promotions while many have loyalty programmes with bonus options leading to the possibility of additional cash.
Take the offers to gain extra value and above all, be prepared to commit fully.
Professional poker play can be a reality, but dedication and focus are just as important as your skills at the table.