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Be honest, how many of you reading this article have wanted to be an online poker pro at some point since discovering such a thing was possible? Being able to play poker for a living seems like the perfect job — for someone who loves poker at least.

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TL;DR: 1. Pick your poker game and stick to it. Learn it inside out. Put money and time into improving continuously, and take care of your soft skills.

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I had many ups and downs over the years, but playing poker professionally was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life, and I never regret choosing this path. However, if I had to start all over again, I would do many things differently to save years of wasted time and a ton of lost money on the way.

I am sure that you can easily avoid many of the mistakes that I made and speed up your progress. So, if you have a couple of minutes to read it through, I will be happy to share how I became a professional player and what I learned on the road. I started playing poker around when I was introduced to the game by my friends. At that time, it was hard to imagine how big the poker world really was, and that it offered much Looking for a pokerplayer than my home games with buddies. Of course, there is no need to say that the beginning of my career was far from optimal.

In the beginning, I loved competing with others and enjoyed the feeling of winning. With all honesty, it was not about the money. However, very soon, I realized that I could easily make much more playing poker than in a part-time job during my study years, and this idea fascinated me a lot. At the time, I was struggling both financially and mentally because my father has just passed away. Poker helped take my thoughts off my situation, so I started grinding through days.

The more I played, the more I liked the game. I could play when I wanted, what I wanted, for as long as I wanted — and I loved it. When I look back, I think that I was incredibly lucky to discover this game. I am a very competitive person, and the ability to play with different players, adjust my strategy, and overcome them was very pleasing, probably even more so Looking for a pokerplayer money. I had a very narrow understanding of the game and was not spending much time learning the strategy.

In one of the live tournaments, I got to meet a professional poker player, and it changed my whole view of the game. He was talking in terms of ranges, breaking down math and other concepts I barely knew existed.

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That was the moment when I realized that there is so much more to the game. After that, I started studying like never before and rapidly improved my game. I ed a group of professional players, and we started traveling the world playing live cash games and occasional tournaments.

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Now, I can easily say: meeting that PRO at the tournament was the best thing that ever happened to me in regards to poker. I started getting coaching from one of the best players in my country, and my development boosted even more. Thus, I left the live games circuit and concentrated on playing online. This is my path, but you can make much better decisions with a wide range of information available today. If you want to play poker professionally, you can avoid a lot of my mistakes and speed this process by years.

So what should you do? Let me try to answer this question by listing five steps that can drastically help you on your journey. At the beginning of my career, I tried playing different games simultaneously. I was launching MTTs and cash games at the Looking for a pokerplayer time, or even playing live cash and a table or two on my laptop. Obviously, all of this looks ridiculous when I look back, and I believe it was one of the biggest roadblocks for improving as a player.

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If you jump from one game to another, most likely, you will never become very good at either of it. Not at all, but you have to stick with one format as your main game and put all your concentration to it.

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So how do you choose the game? Well, surely not based on possible income! You should pick the game which suits your situation and one you actually enjoy. All of the formats have pros and cons.

1. study all aspects of the game

So do your homework, choose what works for you and most importantly, stick with it. For example, if you decide to play tournaments and spend time to study ICM strategies, learn optimal approach on the bubble, master different stack depth play and vital adjustments for different situations, jumping to cash games would not be very wise.

Sticking to one game will help you improve much faster because you can concentrate on learning what matters the most and gather your experience at a much better pace. This is where I struggled a lot.

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I Looking for a pokerplayer jumping from one format to another for a couple of years, and it was holding me back. Now, I can easily say that the moment I chose my game and put all the effort to improve in that area, my skyrocketed, and you likely should follow this path as well. No matter what you play, poker is a game of math, and if you do not know your s it will be very hard to reach any kind of success, maybe even impossible.

How to become a professional poker player — five essentials you need to know about your chosen game:.

Asing your opponent a specific hand instead of a range of cards is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, and one that almost everyone makes at the beginning. When you understand frequencies and know how likely Looking for a pokerplayer opponent is to have one holding or another, you will be able to as them a realistic range of cards and avoid the most Looking for a pokerplayer mistake. Start by analyzing the preflop situation and as your opponent a specific range based on their position, the action they took, and bet sizing. After that, narrow down that range based on every action they take on following streets.

If you do that correctly, at the end of the hand, you will always know where you stand. You either have to call or raise their bet if your hand is ahead of their range, or fold if you are behind. As simple as that. I was simply playing and sticking with my assumptions without analyzing other players, or trying to put them on a range. So please, do not repeat my mistakes. Never underestimate the value of fundamental knowledge, since it will always be your bread and butter when making decisions — and the most reliable source of information.

When you know your odds and the game inside-out, you should easily be winning in lower stakes games and can practice a lot without burning your bankroll. This is great because your ambitions and goals will help you reach long-term success.

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Obviously, you can get a lot of resources for free, but it will never be as good and most likely without any structure. If you stick to reading random articles, watching Twitch streams or YouTube videos, it will probably Looking for a pokerplayer help you reach anything meaningful. I am not saying this just because I have a training site myself, but this proven to be true for many players, including myself.

My real progress started when I invested in my first coach, and big came soon after that. I know plenty of such examples. All top professional athletes and high performers require coaching and constant training. So, just like with anything else in life, you should not expect to reach exceptional without investing in yourself at the beginning, and maybe even more so in poker.

A good course can help you save a lot of trials and errors time, and even money on the way. So I would recommend gathering as much information as possible, even if that means investing in several paid programs at the beginning. When you start playing and winning in serious games, do not make Looking for a pokerplayer mistake of thinking you know it all. It will never be the case.

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It is a very challenging and dynamic game, meaning that the moment you stop improving, you will be falling back — and others will be quick to catch up. Poker changes all the time. With many learning resources becoming available every day, players are getting better and better, new ones are ing the action, and they Looking for a pokerplayer hungry for the win. This list goes on and on. Basically, just try to become the best version of yourself every single day, and you will become excellent. Many players lose a lot of money due to tilting, emotional decisions, or simply lack of concentration during the games.

If you end up spewing one buy-in every session because of sub-optimal play, the at the end of the month will not be something you want to see. Most of the time, this part could be a deciding factor between crushing the games and barely surviving. While this is important, it is just a very small part of the whole picture.

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Take your time and evaluate all available information, put your opponent on the range, and think through all the hand before making your final decision. Remember that every time you make a sub-optimal play for any reason, you are simply leaving money at the table. And to be honest, I was struggling with this part long after I started playing poker. The thing that helped me the most was realizing that I need to build structure into my life and grow habits that would help me along the way. If you have to fight with yourself every time you need to study or play, your efforts will not last very long.

If you are better than your opponents, you will win in the end. Mastering the soft side of the game will help you do exactly that — become a better player than most of your opponents. Yet MANY Looking for a pokerplayer players fall short because of a lack of discipline in this area. Also, never think that you can outsmart the variance or that it will not hit you. Based on your win rate, the variance can be huge, probably bigger than you ever imagined.

This graph is based on calculations of possible variance overcash game hands where you have 2. Each of these lines represents a possible outcome, with different probabilities of happening. You can see that afterhands you can be down a couple of hundred or thousands of big blinds, even if you should be winning.

At the worst-case scenario, you can be down as many as 80 buy-ins. Looking for a pokerplayer same can be said about tournaments, SNGs and other formats. This is why it is vital to have funds to cover your living expenses and big bankroll to outlive the swings. Do not cut corners in this area.