In the recent years the game of poker got very popular among young people all over the world. Many ordinary people have quickly learned the game and were able to win lots of money by playing poker on the internet within a couple of years. I have made my living playing poker for the past three years and want to give you some insights what it takes to be a successful poker player.
Do you know someone who plays online poker or do you maybe even play yourself? Well, you might say “Of course, I do” which is obviously fine, but when I started to play poker in 2005 it was not popular at all. When I told people that I play online poker I only received strange looks as if I would have a gambling problem.
Only five years later you can see all kind of people talking about poker and the strange looks have mostly disappeared. There was a real dewapoker boom going on and the boom has not finished yet. There is also a lot of potential for the market in India and China what could give online poker another boost.
Lots of success poker stories have been written in the recent years. Ordinary people like you and me started playing poker and after putting in some efforts they suddenly were able to make thousands of Dollar every month. I know a couple of people who have even won over a million Dollar in just a couple of years, but I want to say it as it is. The really good times are over and the competition has increased a lot. It is now tougher than ever and many of the big winners during the boom can be very thankful for being at the right place in the right time. Though, it is still possible to make a lot of money playing online poker and I want to tell you what it takes to be successful.
One very great fact about poker is, that anyone could be successful at it. You do not need to have a master degree or rich parents and you also neither need to be a superbrain nor do you need to invest much to be able to play. A simple computer and an internet connection is enough. Of course, there might be some expenses like a bigger display, books or tracking software if you really want to become more seriously, but they have time until you have had some success and do not need to be bought right away.
Skill is the only thing that matters at poker in the long run. What is required for a successful poker career is patience, dedication, intuition and it can only be a benefit if you are able to live a modest lifestyle and do not have the demands to cash out all your winnings right away to get the latest mobile.
Strangely almost every person who is not familiar with poker thinks it is all about bluffing. It is definitely not. Pure Bluffs are very rare and people who do them often are probably losing a lot of money. What is extremely important in different ways is patience. The most important foundation for a successful poker career is a solid bank roll management. When you have a $500 bank roll it would be a disaster to join a No Limit Hold’em table with $1/$2 blinds, buying in with a $200 stack and start playing just because you consider playing for $10 at a $0.05/$0.10 table worthless. You always need a damper for bad periods, because do not forget, even though poker is a game that requires a lot of skill, the variance can be very high. Even the best players have bad periods and can lose. Usually a bank roll management of 30 buy-ins for lower limits is fine and should keep you out of big trouble assuming your skill is good enough. Some players prefer a more passive bank roll management and prefer to play with 50-100 buy-ins for a limit. Patience is also very important at poker when sitting at the tables. Poker is not an action game, it is a strategic game so you have to wait for good spots to make money, what can be a little bit boring sometimes, but is extremely important.
If you want to be good at online poker you have to put a lot of effort in it. There is one popular quote about poker which is very true: “It takes a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master.” Like with everything else, you need to be dedicated to be successful. If you have started to play poker before 2007 you did not need to put much effort in it to be successful because the competition was weak, but today there are many decent players who will not give you their money so easily. The quote also implements that there is a lot of skill involved in poker. Luck is just a smaller part of the game, but it will even out and what is left is the skill. Another form of dedication is to plan your day according to poker. There are day times where it is better to play and these should be targeted, even if it could mean spending a Saturday night at home.
Intuition can be very helpful in poker. There are many things you cannot calculate at a poker table so a decent intuition can get you out of bad spots or win you money if you catch someone’s bluff. However, intuition is developed a lot at the table by noticing specific patterns that occur frequently. Many decisions become more automatically and if something is out of line you will probably notice it.
A modest lifestyle can only do good if you want to play poker. Your bank roll is your capital and your investment. If you invest more money it means that you can also win more, and the less you invest, the less you can win. If you cash out 80 percent of the winnings frequently poker will probably not lead to much. Less cash outs result in faster bank roll growth and therefore more capital and eventual return.
Here is some other advice I can give you. I told you the competition in poker has become a lot tougher in the recent 2 years. This is especially true for Texas Hold’em cash games. There are many players who rather play lots of tables simultaneously and aim to make profit through rakeback instead of winnings. Rakeback means that you get a percentage of the rake you pay to the poker room back every month. Usually rake is 5 percent of the pot with a maximum of $3 per hand. So if you play for a $10 pot and win it, you would actually get $9.50 and $0.50 rake would be taken from the pot. Rake will be then accumulated and rakeback will be calculated and paid at least once a month. Starters will probably rake between $50-$100 in a month, but I can tell you that more serious players easily rake $1,500 – $5,000 a month and some high volume players who also play higher limits can rake over $30,000 in a single month.