Poker Articles!

Three people climbing to conquer a mountain top.

Many of those who play poker recreationally secretly (or not so secretly) aspire to turn pro and turn their passion into a profession. However, the prospect of putting so much effort into getting better at poker without any guarantee that it will pay off can be rather daunting.

Anyone who wants to take poker more seriously needs to overcome different challenges – material and mental alike – to actually be able to succeed in the poker field. If you are contemplating going down this path but are unsure of your abilities to make a profit out of playing poker, take a look at some poker player success stories.

Seeing others go from amateurs to pros can give you the confidence boost you need to believe in yourself and your poker skills. To help you on your journey, we've gathered some of the biggest success stories you need to know about.

Martin Jacobson – From Chef to Poker Ambassador

The Swedish-born poker player hasn't always dominated the poker tables, as he first studied to become a chef and even worked aboard a Swedish Royal Navy ship. But while he worked towards a practical career goal, Jacobson harbored a liking for online poker, playing in internet cafes whenever he could. Eventually, he won a seat at the 2008 WSOP in Las Vegas, which kicked off his poker adventure.

Afterward, he joined the European Poker Tour, winning 3rd place on his first try. From then on, Jacobson kept getting better and better at playing the game, bursting the bubble in one tournament after the other. But even though he managed to make a name for himself, he didn't manage to land a first-placed win until a spectacular performance at the 2014 WSOP Main Event, where he won a shocking prize of $10,000,000.

Later on, the successful poker pro, who won more than $17m throughout his career, attributed his wins to hundreds of hours of practice, self-discipline, and passion. His inspiring story turned him into the perfect choice for a poker ambassador at a prestigious online poker website.

Mike Sexton: A Late Bloomer

In the past decade, many poker pros turned the game into a profession during or after graduating from college, as by that point, they have been playing for years. Although Sexton learned to play poker at the age of 13 and played a lot during his college years, he still chose not to pursue a career in the field until much later.

Instead, he joined the US Army for two years, moving on to work as a salesman afterward. After a while, Sexton realized that he could make more money playing poker, so in 1985, he uprooted his life and moved to Nevada to play poker full-time.

Sexton's recorded wins stand at $6,708,146, winning a WSOP bracelet and WPT championship along the way. Interestingly enough, Sexton was known not only for his savviness at the tables but also for a successful career away from them. In the 2000s he became a part-owner and spokesman for a major online poker website, in addition to becoming a commentator for the World Poker Tour.

Chris Moorman: From College Dropout to a Huge Success

With more than $15,000,000 in online earnings, Moorman might be one of the strongest and most successful online poker pros. However, it wasn't always smooth sailing for the UK-born poker pro. Although a gifted student who chose to study economics in university, Moorman decided to quit his studies after discovering his passion for poker.

Alongside a few of his friends, the poker player played poker online every Monday, and after some ups and downs – he started winning. After telling his parents about his decision to drop out, his father gave him six months to show he could succeed in the poker industry, and the rest is history.

In the past, Moorman stated that by 2008, he was playing poker 70 hours a week, showing huge success both online and while playing live tournaments. He even won two WSOP bracelets, in addition to one WPT title, while having plenty of money finishes.

What Have You Learned from Those Stories?

There is a lot you can learn from each and every one of those players: dedication, fearlessness, and out-of-the-box thinking are some of the key characteristics all those pros share. So, if you want to follow in their footsteps, practice as much as you can and play poker to your heart's content!