Playing online poker for a living is no easy task. Poker media is filled with players that are doing just that, but most of these players do a lot more than the average player is prepared to do to become a professional. Playing poker online for a living is possible, but it’s a lot harder than most people think.
Like any person who tries to make a living playing a game of chance, having an edge and a way to support your bankroll will make the journey to becoming a professional much easier.
The toughest part of playing online poker for a living is building your bankroll. Winning players, even the best of them, just hover a little over a 50% win/lost variance. No player is out there crushing games every time they sit down, and the reality of being a winning player is that you have to endure a great deal of losing, even when you’re running well.
Gaining edges in poker come in the form of learning as much about playing the game as you can, and practicing proper bankroll strategies so you’re always in the action. Getting your chips in the middle “with the best of it” more than “with the worst of it” is the key to long-term winning poker.
Many online professionals get their start by finishing deep in a big event. If they play MTT’s online it only takes one or two deep finishes in a month to be a profitable player. But making a living at it is another story.
Most online MTT professionals log long hours playing numerous tournaments at once. They gain experience at lightning speed compared to the old live-game professionals, and the play such a volume that their edge against weak players is multiplied.
Once these online players cash in a big event they’re set to battle for huge prize pools, as long as they don’t get stupid with their bankroll. Maintaining control of the level of play compared to their bankroll is even more important in higher stakes than it is building a bankroll at low stakes. If their success fades for a bit, jumping down in stakes will be essential to staying in the game and not going broke.
Living off a poker bankroll can be difficult to manage. If one has to pay all their life expenses from their playing bankroll they need to make sure that their lifestyle isn’t shrinking their ability to play in a bigger game. It’s a lot easier for a young player to build a bankroll living in his parents’ basement than it is for a family man who’s playing part-time after work and on weekends. And becoming a pro should only be considered if you have enough money to cover all your expenses for at least six months.
It takes talent, money, and time to become a winning online professional, but there are certainly lots of people out there doing it. You can too, if you put in the time, educate yourself on all aspects of the game, and endure the hardships that a life of poker will surely expose you to. Don’t think for a second that’s ever easy money.