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Part V: The Part of Tens
Enjoy yourself while you are playing. Time spent playing poker is discretionary. No one has a gun at your head. If poker is not enjoyable, donâ€™t play. While there are lots of bitter pills we all have to swallow in life, we ought to enjoy what we choose to do. If you cannot enjoy yourself when you play, perhaps you should find another outlet for your time and money.
Some players are constantly griping when they play. Some of them have done this for years. It seems they are never happy Why do they bother to play when they get no enjoyment from it? Questions like that can take a lifetime to answer. But unhappy players generally represent profit to you. So have fun when you play, or find something more enjoyable to do. You wonâ€™t succeed a< a poker player if you have to fight yourself as well as your opponents.
The information in this chapter is simple stuff, and itâ€™s as true in life as in poker. Look inward, look outward, set goals, deal with the inevitable setbacks, show up, have fun, and succeed. Sometimes itâ€™s that easy.
(Almost) Ten Things to Consider Before Going Pro
o most recreational poker players the idea of playing professionally seems like a dream. Get up when you want to, work when and where you choose, and ply your trade almost anywhere. From London to Las Vegas and California to Costa Rica, casino poker awaits you there. So whatâ€™s stopping you? Only the answer to this critical question, â€śCan 1 make a living as a poker player?â€ť
Poker Isn't Like Most Jobs
For one thing, if youâ€™re a poker player, you wonâ€™t have a steady salary coming in. Even commissioned salespeople donâ€™t lose money if they fail to make a sale. But poker players do lose money whenever they have a bad day. Itâ€™s one of the few jobs where you can go to work and lose money. Imagine that. An entire day of poker â€” under stressful conditions â€” and all youâ€™ve got to show for it is less money than you started out with. Not a pretty picture, is it?
Still, people take up poker as a profession every day. Some do so after years of deliberation. A few do it on a whim. Others pursue it as a second career â€” after retirement â€” when they have alternative sources of income to steady the ship in a storm. How successful are they? There are no statistics handy â€” but weâ€™d be willing to venture a guess that the majority of newly hatched professional poker players go broke, and probably do so within a year.
So how do you know if you can make a living playing poker? For a relatively unstable profession, there seem to be quite a few indices available to the seasoned player whoâ€™s thinking about earning his living at the tables. Here are a few weâ€™d recommend:
266 Part V: The Part of Tens
Considering \lour Own Results
Anyone seriously considering poker as a career needs to keep his or her poker diary up-to-date, and do it assiduously. Never mind that you were tired, just had a fight at home, were stuck in horrible traffic on the way to the casino, and didnâ€™t play your best. When youâ€™re playing for a living, no excuses are allowed. Only reality counts, and wouldda, shouldda, couldda doesnâ€™t mean a thing.
Playing When youâ€™re Not at your Best
Part of being a professional player is how well you play when youâ€™re not at your best â€” and you wonâ€™t be at your best all the time. But professional poker players need to play their best game every time they walk into a casino. If you donâ€™t feel you can, you shouldnâ€™t play. Remember that playing poker frees you from a time clock. You donâ€™t have to play. And if youâ€™re not up to par, it will cost you far less to go see a movie than it will to visit the tables.
Keeping Good Records
If you havenâ€™t been keeping good records, you are not ready to play professionally. Oh, you can give it a go. No oneâ€™s going to stop you. But without a foundation in data of your results, you might be deceiving yourself about your ability, and that can cost you more than money. If you have a career, a family, or other responsibilities, then going broke playing poker will take its toll on them all. If you donâ€™t believe us, just look around. Casinos are littered with broken souls.
bedding Where to Play
Letâ€™s look at the bright side. Suppose you have been keeping good records, and furthermore, youâ€™re a winning player. What should you do now? Thatâ€™s easy. You need to decide where you want to play for a living. Perhaps you me living in an area where there are only small limit games â€” too small to provide the kind of livelihood you want â€” and you decide to move to California, or Las Vegas, or Atlantic City, or even Europe for that matter. Before you make the leap, do yourself a favor. Take the time to go there for at least a month to six weeks.
Chapter 20: (Almost) Ten Things to Consider Before Going Pro
There might be a big difference between the games where youâ€™d like to'live and those in your own backyard. And if youâ€™re moving up to bigger limits because you canâ€™t earn enough money in small limit games, you can be assured of this: As you move up the ladder, the players get better. Part of becoming a professional poker player is finding your rung on the ladder. Itâ€™s a question of striking a balance between the betting limits, which have a major impact on how much money you can earn, and the quality of your opponents, which will have a huge impact on how much you will earn.