the ProfessionalThere have been a number of recent articles at various poker web sites regarding how you can’t make money on the tournament trail. One article even went as far as to say that you can never be a professional poker player. I would like to address that article.
First of all, in order to deciefer whether or not one can be a professional poker player, one must know what the definition of “professional” is. According to one definition at Dictionary.com, “professional” means “engaging in a given activity as a source of livelihood or as a career”. With that definition in mind, I can confidently report that there are “professionals” playing at just about every level of poker.
Here are a few examples…
Let’s start with Wayne. Wayne is a good friend of mine that plays about six hours a day of 1-4-8-8 at the President Casino. Wayne is a solid player who never goes on tilt. He takes the swings and survives the rake of low limits. While I think that Wayne could do much better for himself if he would move up to 10-20, he seems to be satisfied taking home an average of about $500 per week. You might compare his salary to that of a “professional” bartender.
Scott is an online player. We interviewed Scott on a recent edition of our Monday Night Poker radio show. Scott says that he plays limits that range from 2-4 to 15-30 and takes home an average of $600 per week. Again, this is not an example of somebody making a killing with poker, but certainly an example of somebody using poker as a source of livelihood. You might compare his salary to that of a “professional” educator.
David is in a situation that is much like Unique Casino mine. He is generally a mid limit player with a few hours of low limit and local tournament play thrown into the mixture. David creates an average weekly income for himself of about $900. You might compare his salary to that of a “professional” webmaster.
Another definition of the word “professional”, as described by Dictionary.com, is “having or showing great skill”. One would have to agree that in order to consistantly make money at the tables, you would require a great skill in the game.
In no way am I stating that it is easy to become a professional poker player or professional anything for that matter. Like all careers, if you want to master what you do it takes hard work and dedication. I once read an article where the author compared his research and studying of the game to that of somebody with an MBA.
As with most dreams in life, there will always be naysayers. If a profession in poker is what you desire, study hard and keep on playing. As for the naysayers, simply thank them for playing when you take their money.