The life of a professional poker player may seem very exotic to those on the outside. A successful player can win more money in one night than most people earn in a month and it seems like an easy way to make a living. But what does it take to do well in this highly competitive world?
Master the game
It might sound like stating the obvious, but if you’re serious about turning pro, you need to have the technical skills to win at least one variation of the game, and win consistently. Before you enter the professional arena, take time to develop the skills and abilities necessary to give you a fair chance of winning.
Manage your bankroll effectively
Most poker players lose money in the long term. An awareness of this reality helps you to manage your finances efficiently. A poker bankroll is the amount of money that you have available to finance your game and how large this needs to be will depend on a number of factors – the stake, type of game, success rate and how much money you feel comfortable risking.
Manage your finances away from the game effectively
There are a number of external issues that will affect how successful your poker career will be. Long term, the really good players will experience peaks and troughs and recognise that their income is variable, so at best, they can hope for periods where they break even rather than lose. They have set funds aside to tide them over during these times and when they do well, they invest in training or increasing their bank roll to limit those down times.
Character traits of successful poker players
Although successful poker players are a varied lot, they share a number of similar personality traits. Discipline, adaptability, focus, patience, aggression, self-motivation are all important if you are to be as successful as the best.