Many people have decided to start playing poker while they were in quarantine. The question that many people ask is, can you actually make money playing online poker?
There are many ways to make money on the web, and online poker is definitely legitimate for doing so. In fact, there are thousands of professionals who play online poker every day and make good money.
Therefore, to answer the question on the subject right away, yes, you can make a living playing online poker. However, this is by no means the right question to ask, so let me make a little correction right away.
The right question should be this: how hard is it to make a living playing poker on the web?
Now, this is definitely something you won’t like. It is quite difficult and requires a lot of practice, dedication and sacrifice.
Is online poker a job?
One thing you should understand is that making a living playing online poker means accepting that this type of business is a job where you have to perform exceptionally well to earn your paycheck.
Therefore, if you only consider it an interesting pastime, you may earn something and lose some, but you will not be able to make a living. As soon as you understand that you have to put your time, energy and money into it, you are on your way to becoming a professional poker player.
Understanding how to make money from online poker
Making money playing poker means understanding how money flows within this game.
The first thing to take into consideration is that most people play poker sites for fun. Some may be good, but the reality is that a lot of them are fish. Aiming for fish is something that all professionals do, as it is almost a certain profit. Players who understand how to play against new and inexperienced players have solid ground from which they can take off and play poker.
However, playing against fish is definitely not your main source of income. Once you have enough capital to invest in the game, you will be able to see higher returns. Simply put, playing low-stakes tournaments and cash games isn’t as profitable as playing high-stakes ones. If you are good enough to beat opponents with high stakes, you can make more money.
One of the important things you need to understand immediately if you want to make money online poker is that variance shouldn’t affect you. Professional poker players know they could lose their entire stack and are ready to suffer such a loss in the short term.
In other words, they accept that the element of luck is an inevitable factor in playing poker and that they will have periods of losing more than they win.
It is often very risky
No matter how good you get, every pro player on the web who makes a lot of money this way is ready to take a chance. When you think about it, risk is an inevitable part of starting any business. Indeed, it is part of life and, as such, it is present in the game of poker.
Imagine starting a business that offers products for professional athletes. You started it in December 2019 and your business immediately started growing, as top-rated athletes bought your products. Then, suddenly, a pandemic arrives that blocks all sporting events. You have no money, but that was the risk you were willing to take.
The same goes for poker. While the pandemic may not really affect it, there are many ways it can get you off the rails before it even starts. The good news is that the more you train and the more you study, the element of luck would have less impact on your game.
You will have a lot to study
Being a successful online poker player is something that requires you to watch hundreds of videos and read dozens of poker books. Poker is a simple game on the surface, and it sure is fun to play it from time to time.
However, there is a lot of theoretical knowledge you need to acquire before you can call yourself a professional player. Many great poker players, such as The Godfather of Poker himself, have “written useful books” that are often considered a must-read for any player looking to go pro.
What most of these books are about is math, and the sooner you accept it, the better off you will become. Playing poker on the web as a pro means dealing with lots of numbers, stats, odds and so on. It means being able to calculate the best possible outcome of your hand and make the most mathematically accurate decision.
It takes time to master it. I’m not talking about days or weeks, I’m talking about years and years of experience. You don’t have to be a talented mathematician to do this, you just need to understand these processes right away and apply them to your online poker sessions.
Final Thoughts: Professional poker is NOT for everyone
Like it or not, we are born with certain talents. While I agree that talent is 2% and hard work 98%, I also understand that those without that 2% talent would never be able to perform at 100%. Unfortunately, making money in online poker to make a living requires you to be in the top 10% or at least the top 20% of the players on the platform you are using. To do this, you need to have at least some talent.
But what exactly is a poker talent? It is the ability to read people and their actions. Sometimes it’s more like intuition than a skill. This can be learned over time, but some people would take a lot longer to master than others. Unfortunately, some players never master it.
Therefore, the best approach to playing online poker is to accept the fact that it is not for everyone. It requires a specific combination of talent and hard work that only some people have.