I’m a poker player – I cannot deny that. I’ve played for money (way more than I could afford to lose) as well as played for fun (way less than I could afford to lose). I played online, I played in casinos, I played in weird places around Toronto and love it. I’ve been up and I’ve been down (don’t know about loving that one haha).
So what the heck is it with poker? It is gambling, but than again, it is not the same thing as roulette because it involves a very big component of skill. Where’s the skill? Reading people, calculating odds, making the right decision whether to check, bet or raise at the right time. It’s not roulette where you pick a pattern of numbers, place your bet and double your betting amount every turn in order to double or nothing. Because of that I would say that poker is 65% skill and 35% luck.
Having said the above – you should expect to lose A LOT before you start to consistently break even before you start to consistently win. I’m currently at about the break-even point. How much was I down? Over $10,000USD, which within a month – after I clued into how things worked, I made back (the losses were accumulated over a period of about 10 months) – and ultimately I broke even. Please don’t play unless:
Also, just because you make your initial investment back, don’t expect to consistently win. You should at best expect to consistently break even, while expecting to lose.
On a side note, I do not play anything else other than NL Hold’em. Anything else is too complicated for me to learn how to calculate odds, plus my life is not about poker so I’m not into spending 100% of my time dedicated to learning everything there is to learn about poker.
Oh yes, another thing – do not consider to be a professional poker player. Pros in general are sponsored one way or another. I am pretty sure when I say this that they got their start by someone who had money to waste, gave them cash and hoped that they would make it big by taking at the very least, half of their earnings. I.e., professional poker players – in the vast majority of cases, work for someone else – and are expected to get results i.e. have the regular stress of someone having a regular job / career.
In my opinion, poker is best played for fun – i.e. for the sake of playing it because it relaxes you, because you enjoy it, not because you hope to make a few million dollars and live on a yacht somewhere surrounded by 17 gorgeous women, sipping on some strange concoction waiting for the evening orgy. That’s what your career / business idea should lead you to (except in my case, it’s not 17 women it’s one very special one).
The winnings (if any) are a bonus.
Now, feel free to browse to my poker posts to read a few tidbits of my hand experience 🙂