Watch the pros, become a pro

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Jeffrey | Poker Bankroll Building

Submitted by Charlie, this article belongs to the Poker Bankroll Building series.

Who doesn’t dream of living the life of a poker pro? Just playing your favorite game all day and experiencing the lifestyle of the rich and the famous… Well it’s certainly not easy to reach such a paradisaical existence. But it’s possible if you have loads of patience and the ability to learn from the best.

So how do you really become a poker crack? Well, of course reading some books about mathematics, picking up reads from your opponents, tricks to mix up your play and several other tactics are a good start. But the most important thing comes after this work is done: watch the best players transforming this wisdom into real life situations. Finally, play poker by yourself and… play a LOT.

You can watch poker everywhere you want nowadays. If a show like High Stakes Poker or Poker After Dark isn’t aired on TV, you’ll find it on youtube or on poker blogs, where the fragments are frequently commented by amateur poker players, trying to learn from the pros, just like you! However, pay attention: those shows obviously make use of some kind of hand selection, so learn how to make such moves, not to make such moves every hand you play by yourself!

Subsequently, you can start playing poker. You can start with play money, to optimize you skills without having any money on the line. However, the real game is played in it’s best form with real money. If there isn’t a good home game in your neighborhood and you’re a little scared of playing in the casinos immediately, you can start playing online. In that case you better choose quality poker rooms like Full Tilt Poker or PokerStars.

Best way to start building up a bankroll here is playing some tournaments with low buy-ins, so you can get used to the software and the game itself. Later on you can raise the stakes and possibly start playing cash games, the ‘real’ poker game. If you decide to play some ‘live’ games afterwards, you’ll have to pay attention to ‘new’ aspects of the game you won’t really experience during playing online. People will for example try to get you on tilt, like Sammy Farha tried in High Stakes Poker during his clash with Phil Hellmuth. Try to avoid this to happen, if you succeed you’ve a better chance of becoming a real poker pro! Good luck at the tables!

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1 Comment to Watch the pros, become a pro

May 22, 2009

For most people, poker and online poker should just be a hobby or entertainment. Becoming a pro should only be decided I think if you have made $100k+ in the past 3 years, each year.
Poker offers a very variable type of income, so you’d better check first for a few years as a semi-pro before jumping in as a full time pro. Just imo.

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