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Seven Rules For Becoming A Professional Poker Player

by Evan Jarvis |  Published: Jun 30, 2021

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You don’t have to be ranked number one or even in the top 100 to be considered a winning poker player. If you want to turn your passion for poker into your full-time profession and get stackin’, then you need to shake this notion that if you’re not first you’re last. It will only sabotage your efforts. Instead, adopt the mindset that as long as you’re making a living doing what you love, you’re winning.

1. Educate Yourself: Knowledge Is Power

To be a professional poker player, you need a proper understanding of the game, and then you can build from there. There is a wealth of resources out there, from books, training videos, training sites, podcasts, forums, or strategy articles. It’s a slow trek to the top, so pace yourself. Information overload won’t turn you into an overnight success. You have to allow your brain time to absorb, interpret, and understand the information.

2. Get Exposed: There’s No Substitute For First-Hand Experience

You must expose yourself to the game and get experience playing for the concepts to sink in and make sense. This means taking what you have read and actualizing those concepts by playing. There is no substitute for first-hand experience. Get out there and develop a better feel for the game so you can figure out what’s important to your current state of development as a player.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice

Repetition is key. You can’t become a bodybuilder by just reading The Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding and not putting in the time; it’s the same with poker. With more sites to choose from, software to make multi-tabling easier; it’s not hard to get in those reps to advance your skills. Don’t rush the process though; the more quality hands you play, the better the player. Through practice, theories and techniques will become second nature, so you always know what to do in every situation.

4. Review, Refine, Repeat

It’s essential to be constantly honing your skills and improving your game by looking at where you’re struggling or making mistakes, and figuring out what you can do differently to plug those leaks. Every time you eliminate a leak from your game, you become a more dangerous player. And every time you play, you give yourself a chance to identify potential leaks. Never underestimate the value of self-reflection.

5. Find Your Sweet Spot

Online and live poker are different beasts, and there’s no way of knowing where you will excel until you try out both. If you’re a gamer, you’ll probably do better online, while people-persons will do better live. To maximize your earning, do a mix of both. Online poker is useful for fine-tuning your game as it’s easier to get in reps, while live is good to cash in on weaker players.

6. Get The Money

Once you know where your sweet spot is, get out there and get stackin’! The money is out there waiting for a skilled player to collect it. Identify where your strongest edge is because the real money is made by applying edges repeatedly. The edges aren’t always big; they can be small too. Just make sure you don’t bleed an opponent dry. You want your sources of income to be renewable resources and going in for the kill can eliminate that source of income, so be careful.

7. Keep An Open Mind

Always keep an open mind and be willing to try new things because you never know what you might be passionate about. Poker is a great way to make money, but money isn’t everything. You can find happiness elsewhere too, so don’t shortchange yourself by not exploring other things that make you happy. And don’t stop utilizing your brainpower. Whether you’re in school or not, continue to educate yourself.

Going Pro

To be a winner in poker, it takes a lot more than just passion. It takes practice, self-reflection, repetition, and the right mindset. Don’t let fear stop you from pursuing your dream of going pro. Get out there and play the tables, study hard, and continue to develop your skills as a player. ♠

Poker coach and author Evan “Gripsed” Jarvis has made a name for himself in the poker live streaming space and has a popular YouTube channel. Actively grinding for over 10 years, Jarvis has played everything from micro-stakes to high-stakes, both live and online. The Canadian pro is committed to sharing his poker learning with everyday players and teaching them to play like the pros through exclusive training you can find on PokerCoaching.com/cardplayer.