Ok, you played all the ring games at the most of the stakes without any problems, all the online poker freerolls you were able to find and many cash tournaments. You got a strategy that works, you won a good amount of money even though you dedicated to the game just your little spare time and you feel very confident in your skills. Before you decide whether or not becoming a pro is worthwhile, you need to understand what the concept of professional poker player implies. In essence, you will need to dedicate a lot of your time and energy to the game in order to become professionally competitive; because once you make the switch, poker will constitute your main source of income. Furthermore, pro players generally cannot afford to maintain a daytime job or continue their education because this “hobby” is incredibly time consuming. Therefore, you should think very carefully and take into account the following aspects of decision.
1. Your passion for poker may fade, but your education remains
There is absolutely no guarantee that you will still enjoy the game of poker in three months from now, let alone three years. Therefore, if the decision of becoming a pro also involves dropping out of high school or college to pursue your dream of making it to the WSOP finals, then it’s a terrible idea. Moreover, no matter how much you love poker and the amount of time spent on honing your card playing skills, are you absolutely certain you are good enough to win the nosebleeds? On the other hand, the education constitutes an effective backup for the moment when the answer to the aforementioned question is no.
2. How will a potential employer perceive the gap in your work experience section of the resume?
You might argue that the game of poker improves several mandatory skills that are applicable in the real world, including risk management, effective decision-making processes, stress management, etc. However, you cannot be certain that your potential employer will view things in a similar manner. In fact, all he will see in the work experience section of your resume is a large gap. In addition, it is necessary to mention that aside from big tournament wins, the average poker player makes less than an entry level employee.
3. The poker income has a maximum upper limit
This is a common mistake for beginners and something that no pro will tell you. Unlike the real jobs where the possibility of promotions and raises exists, the income you earn from poker games does not exceed a certain plateau level. Sure, it might seem like you can increase your winnings by bettering your game, but your opponents have the same exact plan in mind, which means that the difference between you and them is constant.
4. Do you have a plan B?
If you can pursue a poker career without making permanent decisions regarding your life, then you should give it a shot. As long as you can fall back on the education and work experience, there is no reason to discard your poker playing dream!