When people say “professional poker player,” your mind will inevitably race to the individuals presented in movies – fancy suits, briefcases packed with cash, a glass of whiskey in one hand, and a winning combination in the other.
In reality, if you want to be a professional poker player, you’ll quickly realize the same rules other jobs have still apply. The perks can turn into a nightmare, and people looking to become pros should have some tricks up their sleeves to help them out when the poker lifestyle becomes overwhelming.
- Schedule Your Time Wisely
Many people are interested in playing poker professionally because they know they aren’t cut out for the regular 9-to-5 grind. However, professional poker players often report having 10-14-hour workdays and 80-hour weeks. Most games start pretty late in the evening or at night. In other words, what regular workers call “the graveyard shift” is, unfortunately, the time when poker players are at their most active. Naturally, this often seriously messes up their sleep schedule. So what is a newbie professional to do?
Getting caught up in an overly long game or overfocusing for an extended period can be regulated by creating a strict schedule and sticking to it – as every pro does.
With so many online casinos available online, it is almost too easy to find a game that starts at your preferred time. And since you probably already know when you’re at your most productive, look for games that fit that time of day.
2. Stay Responsible With Your Money
Your goal is to make enough money out of poker for a decent living. But, just like you can win big, you can lose even bigger in a matter of minutes.
That’s why you need to stay responsible about your money at all times: Managing your bankroll cleverly and efficiently is the way to go, but it isn’t easy – many successful poker players often struggle with it.
Playing poker professionally is nothing short of owning a business and being your own boss. That’s why it’s crucial to separate your business and personal finances. The two mustn’t mix – for example, you can’t tap into the money reserved for paying bills when your poker money runs out, nor should you buy drinks or tip waiters with your current chip stack.
It’s painfully tempting to tap into your everyday money to afford higher stakes or a buy-in for a dream tournament. However, to be and stay a pro, you shouldn’t play for more than your bankroll can afford to lose. Chasing losses is the road to going home empty-handed.
3. Balance Is Everything
As with everything else in life, the main thing you need to look out for to maintain a professional poker player lifestyle is balance. Overworking yourself and thinking only about poker are signs that it’s time for a change.
You don’t want to become that uncle that can’t discuss anything but politics – or poker, in your case – at family gatherings. It’s essential to make room in your day for something that isn’t poker and have hobbies and interactions away from poker rooms to maintain your well-being.
Eating healthy and creating an exercise routine is also important. It can be hard to find the time for this when a lot of money is at stake, and you’re exhausted from the games, but by taking care of yourself properly, you’ll be able to bring your A-game to the table more often.
Work Hard – Play Hard
With poker, it’s all about balance. Poker can take over your life if you’re not careful – so, essentially, making sure you have a fulfilling life outside of the poker room is the key to managing this lifestyle and not turning it into a problem.