Texas Holdem: 5 Rules to Go Pro
Most of what I write in this poker strategy blog is about specific topics like SB defence or GTO or how to setup you poker HUD. For today, allow me step back and address something I know is in the back of your mind: someday I want to go pro. I’ll delve deeper into this subject in future articles, but let’s start with 5 important Texas Holdem rules for when you want to go pro.
1. Finish School
Poker is obviously a popular past-time among college, university, and even high school students. It’s easy to run well or score big and start bringing in some serious cash. This money can mean a lot more to starving students, and it can be so tempting to assume it will always be like this.
If you haven’t logged 500,000 hands you still have no idea what variance is. I’m totally passionate about this game and love it as much as the next guy (probably way more). But take your time with it. Finish school, and really give it a serious try AFTER you’ve earned that degree.
2. Don’t Quit your Day Job…yet
This is similar to #1. I made this mistake…twice. I cashed out my 401k the first time, only to be back at work 6 months later. Granted this was playing limit and supporting my girlfriend and me both in the most expensive part of San Francisco.
Maintain a secondary source of income until you are able to make 25% more per hour than your current job, looking back over a sample size of 500 hours. Perhaps you can find a way to transition? As your poker income begins to prove itself more and more, you work a deal with your boss to work less and less.
Even better: keep those living expenses down as low as possible. If you’re living with your parents, maybe work out a deal with them so that you can stay a bit longer while you prove this potential career for yourself.
3. Do it for the Love of the Game
Yes. There’re those huge stacks of bills they dump on the final table, travelling the world to play tournies, driving a fancy sports car, and owning a custom built arcade game with A KEG INSIDE! Who doesn’t want that? And it’s fine if that is what initially pulls you into the game.
But it’s like when you get into a new relationship. You’re first drawn to how hot she is. Then eventually you get to know her. For a strong, positive, enduring relationship, you really have to love everything about her.
Same with the game, even if you get into it for the money, just make sure that you LOVE grinding it out day after day. I do. After millions of hands, I still take so much joy in sitting down at the table to play.
4. Use Smart Bankroll Management
This is essential, and perhaps the biggest reason people try poker and fail. Treat it like a business. Know your risk tolerance. Set your limits.
Here’s a quick video on bankroll management and choosing the right level to play.
5. Get Active in the Poker Community
Don’t try this alone. It will take you SO much longer, or you’ll get lonely and quit. There are tons of other players out there that love to talk about the game and help each other. Next to poker, my biggest passion is building poker communities.
Here at pokerinabox, we setup poker study groups all the time. Join one today.