It took me years to build up enough of a reputation and enough skill to be able to join big tables to make a decent amount of money. I started at the bottom and worked my way around all the casinos in the world.
Now, they all know me by name and I spend my life hopping from one casino to the next, making money and using poker as my main source of income. I still participate in other games – roulette and blackjack mainly, but my heart truly lies with poker.
So how easy is it to make a living from poker? Can anyone give up their job and make enough to money to not only survive but thrive? The short answer is yes, but there are some crucial rules and advice that will be the key to success and longevity.
You have to work hard on your game and read up on the intricacies, the rules and strategies for poker. Pick a variation (Texas Hold’em, Omaha High, Seven Card Stud etc.) and become the expert. There has been a sharp increase in skill level as the competition gets fiercer, meaning the best are on a god-like level.
Hire A Coach
Good quality coaching can be worth every penny and really help to unlock poker potential. I’ve trained with some of the best players in the world, and my game has improved immeasurably thanks to their words of wisdom and experience.
Do your research, as coaches are not the cheapest option for improving your game, but you’ll be grateful you’ve hired one once you realise just how much of a difference they can make. Find a coach that has similar philosophies on poker and life, and make sure you know exactly what you want out of the session/s.
Decide if you want to try and make a living online or in-house. Online offers you the chance to play from the comfort of your home, while in-house often offers bigger takings, especially once you get to elite level. Gambling for six-figure sums are nearly always done in person and tournaments are often a face to face event as well.
You don’t want to risk losing too much while trying to make it to the top. Start by playing online, regardless of if you want to be online or in-house, with small bets while you find your feet and establish your playing style.
As your skills improve, place higher bets, but don’t make the mistake of playing every table just because you can. Choose your games carefully and build up a reputation in certain circles.
Poker is a game that changes constantly, you need to dedicate some time to keeping up to date with trends and tactics. If you don’t, other players will be evolving quickly, leaving you behind, and putting your monetary stake at risk.
Don’t just choose a strategy and stick with it throughout your career. Test out new methods on smaller tables and see what is working, keeping the same strategy also opens you up to predictability – a death sentence at the poker table.
Sign Up to Training Sites
There are so many videos, guides and tutors on the web that offer training and advice on learning and playing the tables. It can be hard to sift through the information overload to find the perfect one, but they are out there and are worth the time spent looking if you can’t afford to hire a coach.
Treat the videos and guides as a real-life lecture. Actively listen, take notes, test yourself and put something you have learned to the test on the tables.
Leave Your Home Behind
For the truly dedicated, a change of scenery can improve your way of life once substantial money starts to come in. The cost of living in Asia, Africa and South American is a lot lower than that of the US, Western Europe and other highly developed countries.
If you’re earning enough to scrape by in the Western World, a move to Thailand or Brazil could provide a much better way of life because of the low cost. Although I was born in Shanghai and travel all over the world visiting casinos, my base is in Thailand and I can live a luxurious lifestyle thanks to the low cost of living.
It’s easy to get caught up in your first few wins and imagine that a life playing poker could be easy, but it’s a long, hard road to making a substantial living at poker. It can be done, and with great financial return that can greatly improve your life. But you have to put in the time, accept the losses and pick yourself up, ready to take to the tables again.