Is it Possible to Make a Living From Playing Poker?

In case you didn’t know, there are actually people who play poker for a living.   However, they should be seen more as an exception rather than the rule; making a living off of nothing but gambling is not only somewhat dangerous, it also requires intense discipline, luck and patience.  First off, many of those who attempt to live off of their poker wagers tend to be excellent card players, not run-of-the-mill gamblers mind you, but people who not only know what specific moves to make and when.  Likewise, psychology plays an integral role in a poker player’s overall success, unlike a lot of other games which are more or less entirely based on chance.

Anyone that’s even considering trying to play poker for a living must also be ready to engage in record-keeping.   Specifically, you really need to keep an accurate account of how many hours you are actually playing vs. how much profit you actually netted.  Without a complete record of these numbers you won’t be able to understand how efficient you were, obviously, which completely undermines the entire point of being a professional gambler.

Moreover, if this is the sort of path you choose you must be prepared to take losses, perhaps very frequently.  Ideally, you want to be able to build up a large amount of savings which can help to offset losses.  This of course requires a person to not only be thrifty and economical in daily life, but also aware of when it’s time to walk away from the table, as it were.  In other words, it’s not a good idea (as a professional poker player) to try and live an extravagant lifestyle, economy is the key word here.

Moreover, as with any other job which requires long hours of service in order to see benefits or progress, being a poker player means that you will undoubtedly spend a great amount of time worrying and working toward recovering losses.  If you have a family, this chosen profession might affect your relationship with them.  Additionally, you’ll probably find that yourself becoming more prone to exhaustion and even becoming quite bored with the game at times.  Simply put, only the best pro poker players are able to hold it together and maintain their concentration and discipline to make it through difficult times.  It’s very tenuous of course because it is concentration that essentially allows a player to get a leg up on the competition, and if you’re exposed to the game continuously, it’s very easy to become quite jaded.

On the positive side of things, professional poker players do actually get to choose their own hours, which is nice.  Furthermore, as a pro poker player you get to experience diversity; meaning, each and every day will be a new adventure where you never know what will happen.  For some people, that fact alone is enough to draw them into playing poker full-time.  One might even argue that playing poker for a living isn’t really any different than trading stocks on Wall St.  Perhaps a better alternative for some would be to adopt poker as a part-time job?