Somewhere along the way, when someone starts playing poker regularly, they begin to entertain the thought of “maybe I could do this professionally.” The life of a semi-pro poker player seems like a great way to earn money to pay bills and get to travel at the same time. If you’ve ever thought of going into poker as more of a professional endeavor here are some practical tips on how to get started.
Just like an athlete or an artist, in order to excel at your craft, you have to practice. The more hours spent playing the game, the better your skills. Don’t feel like you have to be out every night to accrue these hours. Playing online poker is just as beneficial and allows you to play from wherever you want, whether it’s from home or on vacation. In an online poker setting, you also get to play against skilled and experienced players, further honing and developing your skills.
Know the players
While considering becoming a semi-pro poker player, take the time to find out who is currently ranked at the top in the industry. Learn their stories and how they made it into professional poker. This is beneficial in several ways. First, learning how others have achieved success in a path that you wish to excel in can give you a roadmap of sorts to follow. If they share their mistakes and things they learned along the way, you’ll know what pitfalls to avoid. It also gives you a look at the people that could become your competitors.
Hone your bluffing skills
Learning how to play poker well includes learning the art of the bluff. No poker player gets far in this game without being able to keep a straight face and avoid any tells during a round. There are many ways you can practice bluffing skills without even playing poker, however, doing it at a poker game with other players is your best form of practice.
Know how to manage your emotions
It’s important that you don’t try to play when you’re upset or angry or in any other compromised emotional state. Playing poker and doing it well requires that you have a clear mind and can think logically and strategically. Learn when you need to walk away and turn down the chance to play while you are perfecting your skills.
Know when to quit
Just like being able to understand when your mind may not be in the place to play the game, you also need to know when to walk away during a game. Go into a game knowing beforehand how much you can afford to lose and when you hit that amount it’s important to step away. The idea of going one more round to try to recoup your losses can end up putting you in a situation where you lose a lot of money. Part of being a great player is knowing when to cut your losses and move on.
If you keep these points in mind and practice your skills regularly, you have a chance to become a semi-pro poker player and do this for a living.