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May 06, 2005

The Decision to Become a Professional Poker Player – Going Pro

Posted at May 6, 2005 10:28 AM in Personal Poker Experiences , by Greedy Gecko.

If you are a fairly profitable poker player, you have probably toyed with the idea of making online poker a full-time endeavor. Having seriously considered the idea myself, this post will discuss how I visualize my “career” as a professional poker player.

Style of Play
Typically, I can be found multi-tabling at the lower stakes tables, or playing multi-table tournaments at all buy-ins up to $200. Clearly this is not a get rich quick strategy, and I will never win the World Series of Poker playing in this manner. While I hope to begin mixing up my game more by playing higher stakes limit games and entering more substantial tournaments, my primary source of income would be derived via the grind. This is very similar to the play of Joey Knish as played by John Turtorro in the movie Rounders, reviewed here.

By using this proven, safe approach I would avoid a lot of the pressures faced by those using poker as a primary source of income. Specifically, I would not be waiting for the next “big” win. The downside of this approach, however, is that the exciting game of poker will very quickly become a regular job. Even at this stage, while I truly enjoy both multi-table and sit-n-go (SNG) tournaments, ring games are somewhat of a chore. Nonetheless, they bring in a respectable income.

The alternative approach of course would be to make large wagers, both in ring and tournament play. While this would result in much greater variance and stress, it also could provide significantly more dramatic returns. See cartoon below:


The Lifestyle
Using the grinding strategy, I envision a somewhat appealing lifestyle as a professional poker player. With no “job” to drive to, I would waste no portion of the day preparing or traveling to the workplace. This should net at least two additional hours of time each day. Given that most people play poker in the evenings, I would have to break out my 8 hours of daily poker play across the later portion of the day. Consequently, this leaves the entire morning and early afternoon to pursue other interests. However, with the popularity of poker going global, you could conceivable find action at any time you wish.

Perhaps more importantly than the ease of hours would be the flexibility that comes with being a professional poker player. Since the income is earned online, you can work from any corner of the globe, working wherever and whenever you want.

How well poker holds up over the years remains to be seen, but I would imagine that this lifestyle would be sustainable for some time.

I think I’d better stop writing this article, effective immediately, because I’ve nearly convinced myself to pursue poker professionally.

The Greedy Gecko