I've got a serious dilemma...

Lieutenant_OH7

Dormant account
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Location
dd
I have been into poker cashgames and MTTs since a few months, I used to play hold'em with playchips, but that was years ago. I wasn't taking it very serious, but the game suited me well, and I wanted to try it with real money at some point... Took a few years until I really got back into poker, and 4months ago I finally started...

I was succesful in some MTTs, and won 8 of those in a pretty short time. I mainly focused on cashgames though, which seem to suit me a lot more, I realised some time later... Started playing cashgames on a bitcoin poker site (Betcoin), read a good review about it and gave it a try with my very first deposit. Quite some gamblers/fish on there so that helped to make some profit already... I played on 2 other poker providers, one of the few sites only that are legal in my country (Belgium). I got better and more refined in the game as I played cashgames. Since some time I also multi-table which worked well too.
I did loose some money, but got better along the way, more insight into the game etc, so that motivated me to continue...

But now my problem:
I was able to make really nice profits in a short time, like I started with 10$ buy-in in a room, and in the same room I went up to almost 100$, playing some hours. That convinced me I could really make good money with poker, and the possibilities had to be even much better than this, since I was still playing at really low stakes... But the problem was I seemed to loose a lot of that money in the end... Did I play too loose or overconfident when I got a big stack? Was I lucky and did I think I was already that great because I made great profit, and kept on making mistakes, after those upswings?
I think it's a combination of all those things...

But the surprising (or not surprising) thing was that this pattern seemed to repeat itself later on, in a very similar way. I won a lot in a period like a day, but lost it again sooner or later, and offcourse that frustrated me...
AT some point I made more than 300euros in a day, and that really gave me wings... I was convinced that I could be a professional poker player, and the possibilities had to be much greater than this, in the end...
But even then I couldn't continue and keep those good results day after day... I didn't want to give up and I started again on the bitcoin site, playing up to 3 tables at a time, and they offer a nice VIP system with rakeback.
It did seem to going better than before, even with some downswings.
At times I did get mad and frustrated on bad beats and bad luck, cuz I thought I was so unlucky at times (I do have similar problems in life in general). But I still wanted to continue, thinking I also learned out of the hands that went wrong...

But so to cut my story short: I would love to be a professional poker player, I really like the game... For example the strategic thinking, the learning and evolving, the fact that you can play it from wherever you live, at any time. That you are not dependant on other people or a boss, etc... I feel like I really need it, to give me the (financial) freedom I'm looking for in life. I do have an income now, so in theory I don't need the money... I don't have a job though, and a "regular job" is just not an option for me (anymore). I was so euphoric when my earnings began to be really good playing cash games, and at another time when it went bad, I cried of pure sadness...
I don't want to give up that dream yet, thinking I really have the talent for this game, and already proven that I can do it, despite the losses...
But I can't deny that it's not really good for me if bad beats do get me mad, and my play might suffer under that too. Or the financial losses if I couldn't get my earnings and positive balance stable... In my opinion it's easier to find that balance though when you play games, rather than tournaments. I also feel that there is more luck involved in tournaments...

I do think the only way to find out for sure is maybe to give it once last chance, and do my very best to get it going... I gave myself a period of at least a few weeks now to consider, what the best thing is to do, because this is really a difficult situation for me. So I stopped playing for now...
It's quite important to me because if I could be a poker pro, it could really give me the life I want... That I can live independent (now living with my parents still), build something up and have the money in life to make plans etc... (Now I just have a limited income). Thats why I don't want to give up that quickly, but maybe you guys have a different opinion. At this moment I just wouldn't know what else to do if I had to forget about poker. So only if I'd see it really is not for me, or does not work out, I'd stop...
I'm also thinking, if poker is not for me, what do these pros have or can do what I could not? That might sound a bit arrogant, but I really believe I have all the skills to be a great player... I might not have nerves of steel, and I do have my flaws, but so does everyone, I think.

All ideas, advice or inspiration is appreciated!
 

slotmaster

Paleo Meister (means really, really old)
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Location
Ontario
Well you sound like me way back when I started in poker. You are many years too late as poker is pretty much dead. I would only play right now to try for some extra income and it most likely won't be steady income.

I do know someone here in Canada that stills play professionally and I know another who quit and went back to a regular job cause sitting in a casino 12 hours a day is no fun on the bad day's.

Actually I probably have lot's of stories so better just post this for now,lol.
 

cpdnd31

Ueber Meister
webmeister
CAG
Joined
Mar 23, 2009
Location
where the taxes are the highest
You also need to remember professional poker players have sponsers..

Here is what I would do.

First see if there is a local poker shool take the course as a hobby and learn.
2nd you live with your parents. if you were to tell them what would be thier reaction? Tell them what you have been doing, tell them you want to give it a try.
Have them set your limits and an amount of time to try, then at least you gave your dream a shot.
If it dosent work out then get that job save a certain percentage aside each check build it up set another time frame and then try again.
While your working learn as much about the game and also about the professional players and what they did and how they started. I am a big believer in educating yourself.

When I was younger about 20 years ago I was a professional black jack player, I had casinos flying me around to play. believe it or not people just liked to watch big betters and then they would think I can do that too. Its not that it was hard it was just long and borning. You love it and then after years of doing it, it loses the glamour. I gave it up after my second child was born.

Hope this helps but my best advice is to confide in someone and educate yourself as much as possible.
 

Andneas

Multiple forum accounts
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Location
London
Hey Lieutenant_OH7,

It seems that you have problem with mentality about the game (The Mental Game of Poker is a good book for this issue). Its actually quite common reason why otherwise good players didn't succeed in poker. Learn what tilt (psychological state when you do not play your optimal game ) is, and how to deal with it. Pretty often after a winning session players start to spew money because they have the feeling that they are in immortality godlike mode and cannot lose a hand. Then reality struck and they get depressed, start to question their ability to play, etc. Never put a blame on something outside of yourself. Its not the luck, its not the poker room, its not the gods. You are responsible for both winnings and losing.

Here are the few tips I learned:

Try to ignore the money. Yeah its hard, but while you play that's not real money, just some virtual chips going here and there. Not really a reason to get excited or frustrated. Also always calculate everything in big blinds. This way it doesn't matter the limit you play - 100 Big Blinds are always 100 Big blinds. Force yourself to not check your balance for a week. Just play the game. Always try to play the hand in the best possible way and ignore the outcome. Use some statistical software (HM2, PokerTracker etc) to follow your progress and to analyze your game. Join poker community where other players can analyze your hands so you can see the things from other perspective as well. 2plus2/pokerstrategy are good choices.

I disagree that the poker is dead - there are still plenty of weak players and becoming a pro/semi-pro player is definitely possible. Sure is not like "back in the days", but is far from impossible. Sorry for the chaotic answer, but I do hope that would be helpful to you.
 

Jasminebed

Game old gal
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Location
Ontario
I too would suggest you join a poker forum.
You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.
is a long established one, and they offer a number of resources beyond the forum itself.

You will also find higher stake games attract better players generally, and your low-stakes play and style may not be as successful.

I do remember an interview with a profession player who said the first time she lost $3000 was much harder than the first time she lost $300,000.

Even pro's have good years and bad years. Live play is much different than online too.

Set a realistic monthly/weekly budget. Buy some books and study them.

And find out about the tax implications for your country.
 

Lieutenant_OH7

Dormant account
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Location
dd
I too would suggest you join a poker forum.
You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.
is a long established one, and they offer a number of resources beyond the forum itself.

You will also find higher stake games attract better players generally, and your low-stakes play and style may not be as successful.

I do remember an interview with a profession player who said the first time she lost $3000 was much harder than the first time she lost $300,000.

Even pro's have good years and bad years. Live play is much different than online too.

Set a realistic monthly/weekly budget. Buy some books and study them.

And find out about the tax implications for your country.

Yes I know that site (2plus2), from one of Harrington's books that I bought, and I also posted my story there... It's true offcourse that the higher stakes you go play, the higher the level of the players will be, in general... However I have learned everything has it's advantages and disadvantages... If you play with less skilled players for example who are gambling around, it's not so easy playing those as well... Cuz if they are bluffing all the time, and they suddenly have a good hand, and you won't know it... I think it's better though to play 3 NL25 tables (at a time) than 1 NL100... You will be able to play more efficiently, and variance won't hit you that hard... A loss in one of the rooms can be fixed by the winnings in another :). I have to say when I playing micro stakes or just like 10 or 25NL I already felt that I was on a higher level than most players there... So it's very natural then that you try to play higher already, and my bankroll was like 4 times the buy-in...
 

Lieutenant_OH7

Dormant account
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Location
dd
Well you sound like me way back when I started in poker. You are many years too late as poker is pretty much dead. I would only play right now to try for some extra income and it most likely won't be steady income.

I do know someone here in Canada that stills play professionally and I know another who quit and went back to a regular job cause sitting in a casino 12 hours a day is no fun on the bad day's.

Actually I probably have lot's of stories so better just post this for now,lol.

Well, stories can always be interesting :) I also don't agree that poker is dead, there countless sites on the internet still running good and you have Pokerstars for example, which has a HUGE playerbase... However without really having played there, I know the level is pretty high so it's not easy to be profitable... Here in Belgium except for the online part, poker is dead though and you willl probably only in the weekends find some cash games in the casinos, which do exist, most at the coast... Level is lower as I heard, but if you can only play on certain occassions, and for certain stakes etc, its not very handy. Playing online you can play from where you live, whenever you want, as long as you want, multiple tables at a time etc etc... I 'll see if I can get my balance to be positive now, when I restart playing, that will have a great influence in my decision, if I either will continue playing cashgames or not... There is only one way to find out for sure ;)
 

Lieutenant_OH7

Dormant account
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Location
dd
Hey Lieutenant_OH7,

It seems that you have problem with mentality about the game (The Mental Game of Poker is a good book for this issue). Its actually quite common reason why otherwise good players didn't succeed in poker. Learn what tilt (psychological state when you do not play your optimal game ) is, and how to deal with it. Pretty often after a winning session players start to spew money because they have the feeling that they are in immortality godlike mode and cannot lose a hand. Then reality struck and they get depressed, start to question their ability to play, etc. Never put a blame on something outside of yourself. Its not the luck, its not the poker room, its not the gods. You are responsible for both winnings and losing.

Here are the few tips I learned:

Try to ignore the money. Yeah its hard, but while you play that's not real money, just some virtual chips going here and there. Not really a reason to get excited or frustrated. Also always calculate everything in big blinds. This way it doesn't matter the limit you play - 100 Big Blinds are always 100 Big blinds. Force yourself to not check your balance for a week. Just play the game. Always try to play the hand in the best possible way and ignore the outcome. Use some statistical software (HM2, PokerTracker etc) to follow your progress and to analyze your game. Join poker community where other players can analyze your hands so you can see the things from other perspective as well. 2plus2/pokerstrategy are good choices.

I disagree that the poker is dead - there are still plenty of weak players and becoming a pro/semi-pro player is definitely possible. Sure is not like "back in the days", but is far from impossible. Sorry for the chaotic answer, but I do hope that would be helpful to you.

Yeah, I agree, poker isn't dead for sure, look at how a site like Pokerstars is still running great with a an enormous playerbase... That doesn't make it easy to be profitable at such a site however. It's lik ads on the internet, 15 years ago it would make you rich, now it's only worth sh*t, but it's still used and placed on most websites... Someone recommended me that book already, and the same view on the money part... I think it's indeed wise to look at things that way, cuz as you mentioned it's only real money or profit, after you have withdrawn it... Thanks.

For what it's worth, here are some of my recent stats:

Total Games: 505 game(s)
doubt (disconnected) 1 game(s)
Games Won: won 127 of 505 (25%)
Win/Loss: won m฿118,07
Raise/Call Ratio: 0.4 (85 raises, 228 calls)
Call/Fold Ratio: 0.6 (228 calls, 365 folds)
Bet/Check Ratio: 0.8 (123 bets, 160 checks)
Flops: saw 229 of 505 (45%)
 

Lieutenant_OH7

Dormant account
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Location
dd
What kind of tournaments you are playing?

I wasn't playing tournaments anymore, just cash games recently... NL10-NL100, I did play MTTs some time ago, and was succesfull by times, but cash games suit me more and I want to specialize in it.
 

Lieutenant_OH7

Dormant account
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Location
dd
You also need to remember professional poker players have sponsers..

Here is what I would do.

First see if there is a local poker shool take the course as a hobby and learn.
2nd you live with your parents. if you were to tell them what would be thier reaction? Tell them what you have been doing, tell them you want to give it a try.
Have them set your limits and an amount of time to try, then at least you gave your dream a shot.
If it dosent work out then get that job save a certain percentage aside each check build it up set another time frame and then try again.
While your working learn as much about the game and also about the professional players and what they did and how they started. I am a big believer in educating yourself.

When I was younger about 20 years ago I was a professional black jack player, I had casinos flying me around to play. believe it or not people just liked to watch big betters and then they would think I can do that too. Its not that it was hard it was just long and borning. You love it and then after years of doing it, it loses the glamour. I gave it up after my second child was born.

Hope this helps but my best advice is to confide in someone and educate yourself as much as possible.

Thanks baby, I think I'm gonna look for a poker coach (specialized in cash games). If you ever lack something or feel the need for a handsome genius like me in your life, hook me up...
 

09237653

Ueber Meister
Joined
Oct 20, 2010
Location
UK
I think online poker has matured to a point where there is just too many "professionals" i.e. players making (or trying) to make a living on the sites, gone are they days you can easily play a few random games and make a few quid, its just all pros playing "pro" and all feeding the rake for the house so no one really wins. I wont play cash games much now and seldom do any MTTs its just not like the old days anymore.
 

hhhelllo

Not really here
PABnonaccred
MM
Joined
May 31, 2015
Location
canada
You are not going to like my answer

You have no clue what you are doing. First you have to buy a liscence for hold em manager and start learning the basics. Playing blind with no stats is completly useless.

Thinking of being a poker pro because you can make 300$ on micro stakes on a good day is absurd.

You have to learn many things starting with bankroll management.

Online poker players are very very good these days on nl100+ and you need a sample of hundreds of thousands of hands that can show you are a winning player before even considering making a living out of this.

Grow a bank roll from 100$ to 10k playing microstakes to start your journey. We can talk after that.

I dont mean to be harsh but I feel like you are dreaming.
 

SlotGrinder

Dormant Account
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Location
England
Yes your post is quite ridiculous to a poker pro because you're stressing over upswings and downswings over 100s of hands . Anyone can win or lose over 100s of hands it's a completely meaningless sample . You need to play 10000s of hands (probably more like 100000) and be winning decently to have any confidence that you are a "winning player" . Having said that you CAN make money from poker , just stop trying to make silly inferences like ok I won $100 in 10 hours so therefore in 100 hours I will make approx $1000 .. If you live at home and have nothing to lose anyway then play poker and try to make money from it but don't go giving up your job just yet... As a poker pro trust me and the poster above that you have a LOT to learn and not just about actually playing poker but also about bankroll management , huds , learning tools such as flopzilla , piosolver and most of all what you will learn is how sick the game can be if you play it full time . You can literally feel cursed day after day after day and it takes a hell of a lot of mental fortitude to keep playing well under those circumstances . On the plus side when it goes well it can be like you say financial freedom and you can make lots of money in a short space of time . But the game will test you hard , believe me

Theres lots of free vids on youtube etc for microstakes players and also pokerstrategy.com has hundreds of vids . Plus try to read as many articles as you can so you understand basic concepts such as opening ranges , 3betting , bet sizing , defending bb etc etc this will help you understand the training vids a lot easier
 

lotusch

A little mix of Dutch and Irish
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Location
Dún Dealgan
Old online poker player here.
Played it for yours before I got hooked to those bloody slots. :)

I also disagree that poker is dead because over here in Ireland there are still big cash games going on in Dublin for example with winner being paid anything between €5000 and €30.000.
Some really good games, some with a rebuy option. :)
 

Andneas

Multiple forum accounts
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Location
London
I wasn't playing tournaments anymore, just cash games recently... NL10-NL100, I did play MTTs some time ago, and was succesfull by times, but cash games suit me more and I want to specialize in it.

Did you play HU (1 in 1) cash games? Because otherwise this: "Flops: saw 229 of 505 (45%)" for cash games is ... insane mate. Even the loosest winning players I know never go over 30% at 6 handed table. You definitely need to check some starting hands charts etc..
 

Lemon

🍋🍋🍋🍋🍋
Joined
Mar 14, 2017
Location
UK
I honestly wouldn't wish being a poker pro on my worst enemy. The lifestyle is horrendous and the hours you need to put in just to keep up a reasonable standard of living means that the game just slowly consumes you after a while. There is very little about the game that is glamorous. People aspire to being like the 'top pros' but a lot of them are merely shills for the game, playing with sponsors' money or with most of their winnings going out to people who have staked them. It all looks so attractive from the outside but it's just a cynical attempt to attract more people to the game and keep it afloat. The game will burn itself out eventually as the player-base dwindles, despite the numerous way it tries to reinvent itself. Even the best players in the UK average barely more than a living wage once you factor in the hours, cost of traveling and so on. And at the end of it you look back and wonder where the last ten years went. Meanwhile, your friends are high up on their respective career-ladders, with relevant qualifications, a pension, job security and so on.

My advice would be to give it a go if you really want to, but make sure you have a plan B, so you can come out and not feel like the world has moved on and you're left behind. Don't dedicate your whole life to the game such that nothing else matters. The contradiction here of course is that you have to immerse yourself so much in the game to keep pace with it and be a potential long-term winning player. And if you're winning, it means someone else is losing, and eventually the roles will be reversed. Meanwhile the house keeps raking those pots and charging the entry fees.

Maybe try it for a year to experience the lifestyle and sharp-end of the game, but make sure you can walk away and go back to your real life afterwards.

I wish you the best of luck :)
 

SlotGrinder

Dormant Account
Joined
Jan 8, 2016
Location
England
I honestly wouldn't wish being a poker pro on my worst enemy. The lifestyle is horrendous and the hours you need to put in just to keep up a reasonable standard of living means that the game just slowly consumes you after a while. There is very little about the game that is glamorous. People aspire to being like the 'top pros' but a lot of them are merely shills for the game, playing with sponsors' money or with most of their winnings going out to people who have staked them. It all looks so attractive from the outside but it's just a cynical attempt to attract more people to the game and keep it afloat. The game will burn itself out eventually as the player-base dwindles, despite the numerous way it tries to reinvent itself. Even the best players in the UK average barely more than a living wage once you factor in the hours, cost of traveling and so on. And at the end of it you look back and wonder where the last ten years went. Meanwhile, your friends are high up on their respective career-ladders, with relevant qualifications, a pension, job security and so on.

My advice would be to give it a go if you really want to, but make sure you have a plan B, so you can come out and not feel like the world has moved on and you're left behind. Don't dedicate your whole life to the game such that nothing else matters. The contradiction here of course is that you have to immerse yourself so much in the game to keep pace with it and be a potential long-term winning player. And if you're winning, it means someone else is losing, and eventually the roles will be reversed. Meanwhile the house keeps raking those pots and charging the entry fees.

Maybe try it for a year to experience the lifestyle and sharp-end of the game, but make sure you can walk away and go back to your real life afterwards.

I wish you the best of luck :)

I hate to agree with you on this but I have been playing for 10 years + and it's exactly how you say for the majority of players (myself included) Ideally I would have got out of the game after making good money from 2009-2012 but unfortunately since then the game has dried up considerably . Now it's kind of a shitty job because you never know when or if you are going to get paid (I play tournaments and I can have many losing months in a row) This financial uncertainty used to be compensated by actually earning a lot more than I would have in a regular job but these days thats not really the case , especially if you consider the possible salary I would be on if I had invested 10 years of my life into another career...

Also , people think it's freedom because you choose your own hours and don't have a boss telling you what to do but that's only partially true . If you play tournaments then there are peak times where the best tournaments run (mostly evening for europeans) and since you can go 1000s of tournaments without winning then you really need to put in the volume of tournaments played and that means lots of hours since a typical good tournament lasts 8 hours or more . Plus the game can be infinitely frustrating because luck is a big part of the game , especially in the later stages of a tournament . Many many times you can get unlucky in a spot which can essentially cost you $1000s . Ive had several lost coinflips or badbeats which have cost me $10000s in equity . Of course it works the other way too and sometimes you get lucky but the nature of big field tournaments is that the vast majority of the time you won't win just because of the numbers . No matter how good a player you are you need a ton of luck to navigate your way through a field of 100s or 1000s of players
Cashgames are a more stable income (if you are a winning player) but again there's certain times of the day where you will mostly only be playing against other regulars . Also with the vast influx of east european and russian players who are quite happy to grind out low hourly wages with a tight solid style then it is not easy these days to make a lot of money at cashgames unless you have put a LOT of time and effort into studying the game
 
Top