To be a Pro Poker Player is not easy.
Player and Poker Blogger Alexis Savvides guides us through the skills needed to make it in the ‘big league’.
Let’s face it. This is a sport where one’s ability is not measured in strength or physical ability, but pure intelligence. It’s a constant “war” of who can outsmart who, and for this reason the ability to outthink your opponents whilst playing poker is essential to becoming a professional poker player.
You must be able to think on your feet, and make the best possible decisions with limited information.
Willingness to risk
If you’re scared of losing a bit of money, actually I would say a lot of money, then maybe poker is not for you. The one thing poker players can “smell” is scared money. If you play to play with money that you are not willing and able to lose then the chances that you will lose are much higher.
It’s very important for poker players to be observant. And this doesn’t mean noticing little things here and there. You must be able to keep a constant focus on all of the players on the table simultaneously observing and reporting things you pick up from them on the table, whether this be they stack their chips or how they hold their cards.
Ability to recognise pattern’s
If you’ve occasionally playing poker for less than a year, you’re probably thinking WTF? about this one. In fact, it is very important not only for online players but for live players too.
Being able to recognise and analyse patterns within your opponent’s betting-calling-folding style.
Deviant to the game
Poker is probably the game that is easiest to learn but hardest to master. In the first years starting out as a player there will inevitably be many times where you go bust, and feel worthless, but you have to be in the game to win it.
I would say that in order to become a student of the game you must have the time to put into it. You will need to play long hours of poker games, read countless book’s, read unlimited forum post’s, watch poker shows etc. etc. Don’t think of poker as a couple of hours per week thing, the game needs full time devotion.
Sometimes due to tournament structure or deep stack cash games, poker games may be very lengthy. That is from a couple of hours up to 12-16 hours. When I say endurance I don’t mean being able to physically be able to stay awake on the table but rather try to perform at your highest at all times.
I think that this is the most common problem new poker player’s face. Poker might seem fun, but trust me, it’s not. Sometimes you may need to wait for hours upon hours to get a good playable hand. And if you don’t have the patience, you will play marginal hands that will probably cost you money.
Yeah it’s sad I know, but you do need money to make money. I wouldn’t advice getting into poker if you don’t have enough money, firstly to invest into learning (you will lose most of the first times you play) and later on for a sustainable bankroll in order to with stain the variance of poker.
This is definitely the most important requirement most poker players lack and leads them to their failure. Knowing when and how to stop yourself from playing is very important in order to remain a winning player. Also you must be able to recognise when it’s time to take your profits and leave, or else your just playing until you lose.
When losing the most important thing is not to get back to even, since you will probably be emotionally charged, why not come back another day, when you will be psychologically “fresh”.