6 habits to help you become a Professional Poker Player
Have you been watching the high stake poker games on YouTube? Have you been thinking about being one of them? Do you think you have the right skills but are still not able to crack the big one? The path to becoming a professional poker player is a gruesome battle of skills, patience and observation, and here are some of tips and common behavioural tactics curated after observing the ALL-STARS of the poker world.
Poker is a game filled with ups and downs. You win some times and you lose sometimes. Sometimes you are in the mood to play but get a bad run of cards, and during others you may not be in a favourable spot with the best of hands. The real trick is in to keep yourself motivated. Bring out the resilience and positivity and remind yourself the reason why you are sitting on that table.
#2: Bankroll Management
It is a good habit to manage your cash effectively and maintain a record of the same when you played poker professionally. This will help you keep a track of your winnings and profitability in cash games & tournaments, which in turn will help you pinpoint the type of games and situations you do well in and which you would prefer to avoid.
You may fall and be in the red for a while, but this can be reduced by doing some good old-school bankroll management. The ideal way to enter the game is always to know sit with 50-100 blinds, considering there are a minimum of 5 players on the table. Minimise the number of hands you are losing money on, in order to make the most out of the time when you are in position to win the hand.
#3: There’s always time to go back to the basics
If you intend to play poker professionally and successfully for a long period, you should always note that you are only as good as your last game. Brush up on your skills and statistical calculations to make sure your basics are sharp as ever. Study the different ways to play poker and what kind of strategies you can use that help you improve you game.
There’re a lot of reading options available on the internet, but here are some of our recommendations:
Every Hand Revealed – Gus Hansen
The Mental Game of Poker – Barry Carter
The Mathematics of Poker – Bill Chen
#4: Try different styles
If you fixate on playing with only one style, you will get in trouble very quickly. Mix it up a little bit now and then, play outside your range and change your betting patterns. Start a random conversation on the table if you were staying quite. Do not have a fixed rhythm because seasoned players can pick up on your strategy and easily outplay you!
If you are looking for changing styles of playing, check out the games of Phil Laak.
#5: Know your opponents
While some professional poker players have become popular enough that you can read up on them and watch out some of their styles, you can always start a conversation right at the table and dig out some information about the people you are playing. This will help your instinctive markers to place certain elements about their voice and their behaviour. Absorb it all and let your observational skills at use when you play a hand with them.
Who knows, you might end up making some friends while you move ahead in the game. A healthy network who knows where the action is at is always a plus point, plus you can always share tips and information about how you played certain hands, and how you could have played them better.
#6: Nothing better than some LIVE experience
The best teacher in your journey to becoming a good professional poker player is PRACTICE. Practice as much as you can try out all your experiments and make use of every bit of information you gather about our gameplay. With time, this will help you build your instincts. How else do you think Daniel Negreanu can just read his opponent’s hand?
These are tips that we have curated after observing the games and the lifestyles of professional poker players. It is evident that the lifestyle they lead can be strenuous too. The long hours, the intense calculations and physical patience are all key towards, but maintaining a positive overlook towards it all is what should truly be at the core of your focus.
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