It seems that there are thousands of people out there who suddenly consider themselves to be poker professionals, and if you ask them what they do for a living they calmly respond: “I play poker”.
The online poker pro is a latter-day phenomenon but there is no doubt that plenty of players are dedicated to grinding out a living in online poker rooms. Their methods are generally similar. They play multiple limit hold’em games simultaneously, believing that the edge in limit cash games is derived from seeing a higher number of quality hands per hour as opposed to making quality reads on their opponents’ play.
In fact, their opponents make very little difference to these players, who tend to operate according to strict poker theories expounded in many textbooks that are based on mathematical concepts about the game. They wait for a premium starting hand and then bet that hand to the maximum. Deviation of results does not bother them, because over time (that is to say enough premium hands dealt to you) if you play AA or KK you will show a profit. Perhaps. It requires a lot of patience, diminished expectations (you will eke out a profit as opposed to fattening your poker bankroll in days), and an attitude towards poker far removed from the glamour of Vegas-style World Series Of Poker final tables.
The good news is that anyone can become a poker pro at any time. All you have to do is define yourself in those terms, and voila you are a poker pro. That does not mean you will make any money from poker. There are a lot of players who compete at the highest level, buying in for $10,000 week in week out, who show a loss from poker. The winners and losers are yoked together by a common belief in their own abilities at the game. A true poker professional does not have another career. Her sole means of earning a living comes from playing poker, otherwise strictly speaking you are only a semi-professional.
One feels that a lot of college students who want freedom and to avoid the rat race and boredom of most adult lives are smitten with the idea of earning their money from their dorm room. This lone wolf philosophy whereby you answer to no one, need only a laptop and an Internet signal, and have no ties to the outside world is compelling for many, especially young men in their early twenties. These are the budding poker pros, but they will face an uphill battle.
There are no restrictions to becoming a poker professional but there are plenty of obstacles along the path. It is by no means an easy lifestyle. Financially it can be extremely stressful, it is emotionally draining, can be very anti-social if you pursue it purely in terms of online poker, and there is a very real chance that you won’t make enough money or any money.
There is no greater game in the world than poker, and online poker is a modern-day gold rush. But, playing the game as one of many interests and trying to earn extra money through poker as opposed to all your money through poker is a sensible and healthy choice.