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Playing poker as the fun hobbyist or as the profitable player

Written by Jason Frakk. Last updated on

Playing poker: If you follow the norm, you probably have a normal 8 to 5 job.

You pay your taxes and have two weeks off a year.

You follow the main-stream careers.

Every now and then you might have a poker game with your co-workers.

You can also visit a local casino to gamble at the slot machines.

Perhaps you consider yourself a poker player and spend a couple of bucks on the tables. It can be a lot of fun and a great hobby. With some practice, you can actually be fairly good.

In fact, you can be good even if you do not play at the casino or with your local private poker player friends.

Perhaps you come home in the evening and power on your PC and load up your favorite poker site. You play a few hands online before heading to bed for the evening.

You might be making a couple of extra bucks.

Sometimes you play some risky hands but still manage to come out on top.

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Recreational play

If you are a recreational player, you would probably be able to relate to that.

But more importantly that the lifestyle surrounding your playing habits, is your playing style.

When you play for the fun of the game or just to pass some time, you play hands that might win.

You look at your odds without considering that it might take a huge portion of your stack.

Also, you are willing to call raises out of position either because you don’t know any better or you just don’t mind calling.

Most of the times, you might have a good hand but not necessarily the best hand and you play it.

This may be worth the risk; you may have some chips behind you and you can afford to see the flop even if it does cost you.

Now there is nothing wrong with this.

You might win, you might not.

But you normally wouldn’t play with more than you can afford to lose.

And if you did lose, your rent would still be paid, you would still have food on the table and tomorrow would be another day that you would try your luck at playing poker.

Professional play

But what if the hand you just lost cost you tomorrows night’s dinner?

There is a growing number of people that are making a full time living off poker, either online or at the tables face to face.

This is not an easy career choice and like any other job, it has its ups and downs.

Some days you look at your clock when you wake up and dread going to the office.

Although your office is a comfortable chair and your work uniform can be anything you decide to put on.

But if you take it seriously, you would probably have some sort of routine to make sure you are ready for a full day of grinding it out at the tables to bring home the bacon so to speak.

Playing poker for a living requires discipline and a great amount of patience.

It requires you to know what to do with a hand so you can maximize your take with the least amount of risk.

Things like playing out of position into a hand you might not win is not a luxury most can afford when playing to keep a roof over your head.


But how do you get to the point that you are able to play poker for a living?

Well before you look at a bankroll, you need to be fairly comfortable and have a good knowledge and understanding of poker.

These are the base tools required to be successful.

Then you need to have an abundance of patience and mental sharpness.

Hand after hand you will be folding and will have to stay sharp for when you do hit a hand.

Once you are confident that you have a good concept of what you are in for, you need a bankroll and a plan as to how you are going to make a living out of this.

A good idea is to know your monthly expenses and what you would need to make per day.

Obtaining a sizable bankroll might take a while.

Normally, you can do this with saving up.

Another way is to build up a bankroll on whatever poker site you are playing on.

Also, you would need to work out what percentage of your bankroll you need to put into a game to not only have a decent advantage but at the same time not jeopardizing the rest of your bankroll.

Final Word for playing poker

All in all, it is a huge decision to make and not one that should be made overnight. But that said, it is not something you should discard.

If you have the skills and bankroll, what could be more enjoyable than doing something you love for a living?

Your only limit is you and your skill.

The bankroll can be made in many other ways.

You can even go to different poker schools that will teach you and if you are among the select few, there may be endorsements and sponsors.

And if you manage to make it to the world series of poker, $18 000 000 first place can go a long way in terms of rent and dinner on the table.

But if you don’t see yourself grinding out the tables, playing for fun is definitely something to consider too.

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