You've been playing poker recreationally for a while. The rules of the game start to make sense, you pick up a few tricks and strategies, and you begin winning steadily. That's when you might feel the itch to take your poker activities to the next level - and it is normal! The question is, are you ready for it?
While playing here and there for small amounts of cash can provide you with some practice, it takes a lot more to turn poker from a hobby to a profession. To guarantee you rake poker wins, you have to be 100% sure you're prepared for the challenging transition.
But what does the switch from a recreational player to a full-fledged pro require? If you ask yourself a few crucial questions, you might discover the answer to this life-changing question.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Turning Pro
- Do I take this game seriously?
You might think you want to become a poker pro, but is it a mere fantasy, or do you really mean it? To become a successful poker pro, you have to work hard. You must practice for hours on end, learn new tactics and strategies, and hone your skills before setting foot at the poker tables. And once you start playing, it’s all about the grind! You have to play, play, and play to get better at what you do. Are you ready to make the effort to become a pro?
- Can I afford it?
Having good intentions is appreciated, but it is not enough to help you make a profit while playing poker. The truth is, you can't do much when you don't have the bankroll to turn pro. If you can't place big bets without worrying about emptying out your accounts (a stressful situation that can lead you to make bad decisions) – your poker career might not last long. You need to be patient, start accumulating money by playing low-stakes games, and build your bankroll step by step.
- Do I understand variance?
At the end of the day, you need to realize being a skillful player is not enough to guarantee a win every time you play. Understanding how variance affects your game will allow you to put things into proportion even when things don't go your way, which is important if you want to keep your cool at all times.
- Can I deal with the ups and downs?
While from afar, being a poker pro seems extremely glamorous, not everything that glitters is gold. The uncertainty, the tilts, and the grinding can take a toll on your mental and physical health if you're not prepared for it. Make sure you know exactly what the game entails, so it won't blindside you.
- Have I learned enough to play with confidence?
Having confidence in your abilities can get you far in poker. If you don't believe in your ability to win wholeheartedly, experienced opponents will sense your weakness and exploit it to their advantage. So, make sure you learn enough about the game to have the required self-assurance to win big!
If your answer to all those questions is a resounding "YES", congratulations! You've made your first step toward becoming a pro. But remember, the road to stardom is rarely easy, and if you truly want to turn poker into a career, you need to take things slow.
Make sure you're making a profit with micro-stakes before progressing towards higher stakes, so you won't jeopardize everything you have on a whim.
Ready, Set, Go!
If you think you're ready for a new challenge and that turning pro might suit you, tread lightly! Take the time to make smart and calculated decisions, and you might find yourself turning into a poker sensation.