There are certain qualities you'll need to make a long term profit playing poker, if you're lacking in any one of them we don't recommend you give up the day job just yet. We think you'll need the following traits to make a successful online poker player:
- An ability and willingness to learn. I've read many poker books and articles, I've re-read many poker books and articles, and I'll continue to read many new and old poker books and articles! Playing poker for a living is a process of continuous education, you'll need to constantly re-evaluate your play and learn from your mistakes. Believing you know enough or refusing to take the advice of those who know more than you will only cost you money.
- An ability to handle numbers. You'll need to be able to perform simple calculations quickly, and often under pressure. Some people seem to be born with this ability, others have to work at it. If you struggle with numbers help is at hand from a variety of poker calculators available online.
- Discipline. You'll need it by the bucket-load. Two hours of perfect play can easily be undone in two minutes of undisciplined play. It's easy to lose your poker discipline at first. Imagine it: you've lost to the underdog in each of the three last pots you've contested and to top it all off just had your aces cracked by some clown cold-calling with Ten-eight off-suit. Mere mortals will tilt on such occasions, becoming overly aggressive with vulnerable hands, calling down with second best hands because they 'can't believe' they'll lose another pot to such a lucky player. Being a profitable player is as much about minimizing losses as it is about maximizing gains. Without the discipline to stick to your winning formula you won't make it. When you start to let your emotions get the better of your common sense at the poker table: walk away. Check the 'Sit Out' option for 10 minutes. Take a break, think about something else. Only return to the table when you feel calm and confident.
- A sufficient Bankroll. There's no getting around it, sometimes the cards can be cruel. Sometimes the cards can be cruel for a long time. If you don't have enough money to cover this downfall that's it, game over! As a simple rule most experts recommend having a bankroll of at least 300 big bets. If you plan on starting at a $1/$2 table this means you'll need a $600 bankroll. This doesn't mean you need to have $600 in chips at the table every time you want to play a $1/$2 game. But it does mean you need to have $600 in your pocket to cover any risk of going bust over a month. If you play well but hit a terrible streak of bad luck you are extremely unlikely to bust out with 300 big bets in the bank. The luck will even itself out eventually, and you will recover. For a more complex review on bankroll requirements check here. If your bankroll is currently zero check our current free $10 no deposit bonuses available here and here. These are very useful promotions to get you started on the road to profiting from poker. A Bankroll of $50-$100 is all that is required to generate up to $3000 in profits in just 3 months. If, after reading this article, you feel you have a weakness: address it. Overcome it. Turn it into a strength. A well known saying goes something like "Playing poker is a hard way to make an easy living". What more than compensates for this in my opinion is another well known saying: "Money won tastes twice as sweet as money earned". Becoming a full-time online poker pro is no easy task. However, online poker is potentially a fantastic way to generate a second income, from the comfort of your own home and at the hours you please. As always, we welcome all comments at thepokerprof.com, feel free to discuss this article on our message board or contact the site using the link below.