Thanks to a recent surge in the popularity of poker, professional poker players are more celebrated than never before. Some have managed to obtain celebrity status, and are known for raking in tens of millions of dollars in a single massive win. It all comes together to create a world where being a professional poker player is something that many aspire too. After all, who wouldn’t like to win ten million dollars playing a game of cards.
But just how difficult is it to become a professional poker player? Many play online poker in the modern age, and there are certainly many who are good at it. So what, exactly, separates a good poker player from one who can earn millions of dollars in a single game? Let’s take a look, and see if perhaps you have what it takes to be a professional poker player.
Knowing The Game
Many people know how to play poker. It is, after all, not a very complicated game on the surface. Players are dealt cards, and must hope to create the best hand possible. This part of the game is really all about luck, since there is nothing a person can do in order make the cards more favourable. It’s up to chance. So where does the actual skill come in? The betting, of course.
Once the cards are dealt, it’s all about the betting, and this is where the real game of poker gets started. Since we know that the card dealing itself is random, the real test of a good poker player is in convincing the other players to part with their money. And this, it turns out, is not as easy as one might first think.
Betting in poker is a deep, often incredibly tense process, and a good poker player will go far with a hand that has very little real value. In fact, many professional poker players will win enormous tournaments without ever receiving great hands.
Big League Tournaments
The major poker tournaments held around the world are no joke. They are, essentially, open to anyone who can afford the buy in amounts, with the trick being that these buy in amounts can be absolutely enormous. In some cases a player will have to pay as much as $100,000 to be allowed to participate. The buy in grants the player a stack of chips, which is used when playing the game. If the chips run out, the player is dropped from the tournament, and the buy in money added to the winning pot.
Upon the players being whittled down to the final ten, the gathered buy in cash is distributed among the players, with the top three players receiving the most cash. Essentially, in order for a player to make back their buy in, and receive profit, a position in the top 10 must be achieved. This, of course, is not small task, given the enormous poker playing talent found at big league tournaments.
One of the most popular tournaments, the Aussie Millions, required that players buy in with $250,000 in 2011. This massively limited the players who were able to participate, highlighting how difficult it is to be a super high rolling poker player.
Many professional poker players got their start playing online poker, and many still make a good deal of money in online tournaments. The online world is a great place for a poker player to get practice, since there are so many online casinos offering poker, and an enormous amount of tournaments being played on a regular basis. Online tournaments range from being small, with modest buy in amounts and relatively small winning payouts, to big tournaments that require thousands of dollars in order to participate.
Those looking to play poker professionally have no better arena to practice than the online poker world. Plus, the best part is that many online poker tournaments are even free, played with virtual currency alone, meaning that an aspiring player need not even risk losing money while getting better. Once a player is confident of their skills, moving on to paying games, with cash buy ins, is a much less daunting ask.
Study And Strategy
But practice, although the best way to improve should also be accompanied by plenty of study. Professional poker players use strategies in order maximise the chances of winning, and player worth their salt would ever enter a big league game without using a strategy. There are a number of strategies that can be used, all of which are available online.
Adopting a strategy, and using it wisely, is a big first step in achieving professional levels of play. A beginner can, again, enter free tournaments and test out strategies, learning how they work and how best to utilise them. Once a strategy is mastered, a player can start to think of himself or herself as an aspiring professional player.