Originally Posted by incompleteFOCUS
thanks for all the input everybody and to z4reio its not exactly influencing me to the point like "ohh hes making a ton, so if he could do it I could do it" Its more of a reality check, I want to see what professionals, or people who play it seriously as a hobby and work hard on there game can achieve at specific levels, It'll help me get an idea of how hard the games are as each level progresses. I know duncelanas told me to try it myself, and I will but I want to be able to compare with others and if people can answer these questions for me it would be great.
Oh, I can give you a shot of reality if you want it. I've seen a lot of things and have been through the tree chipper at least once and came out on the other side whole (save for a few mental issues
First of all, I play limit games - mostly mixed games, so my results are not going to be applicable to your NL game. Knowing my winrate in 2-7 TD isn't going to really help you identify with anything. Secondly, since US players got the boot from Stars, I play live exclusively now so that's another difference you need to account for. Previous to this, however, I played limit holdem nearly exclusively online.
The worst I ran was 5 months without making any money from poker. That's a looong time considering online volume. I had ~4 million hands in the bag before that, so that made it easier to deal with, but you can't believe how mind-****ing a run like that is.
So if you're really insistent on all those questions you asked, then here's a graph of my last million hands (also includes that soul-crushing flatline) of limit holdem before getting the online boot: http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/5837/limitn.png
As you can see, a 600k hand killing spree followed by a demoralizing sick, sick run of around -900 big bets. I don't know how much you know about limit holdem, but that's a really huge downswong. One that when I've heard of others clipping close to a thousand big bets in the past, I was emphatic that they were playing poorly or were outmatched but didn't realize it.
To put that in perspective, a typical bad run is around -100+ big bets. 300-500+ is a colossally sick run and nearly always indicates non-winning play; anything over -500+ and you're talking statistical outliers (if you're a winning player).
Using a variance simulator, you can see what's not impossible. This being 1000 trials of a million hands each sample using my wr and stdv. As you can see, 1 out of a thousand, million hand trials could result in -1100+ big bet downswong:
That should put in perspective just how sick my run was. I can assure you that since this is how I earn money to live, there was no monkey tilt or even passive tilt. Refusing to play tilted is a huge edge in poker.
Cut sessions short, take a few weeks off - whatever, but don't leak money away. Nothing like taking two full weeks off from poker and sitting down and flopping 3 sets in an hour and losing all of them (one of them with JJ on J88 losing to 44, and top set losing to bottom set), and a bunch other suckouts. Sick. Okay. Time to take the rest of the day off, maybe another week...
However, if you look closer at that chart, you can see that 60% of those million hand trials can incur a -500+ big bet swing. That's pretty soul-crushing and career ending for many people. This is why bankroll, money management and discipline are of the utmost importance for any professional player.
There's so much more to playing for a living than you realize (or that I could convey in a post), and there's a world of difference between winning play and playing for a living (and I'm not necessarily talking about poker skill).
One thing that hopefully has become apparent to you: if a significant winning player can get destroyed over such a huge sample of hands, then how do you know if you're a winning player going through a sick downswing or if you're just a losing player when you don't have a ton of playing experience (results) to draw from?
That's the basic conundrum for any beginning serious poker student. Also, it's possible for the results to go the other way; that is, a losing player can crush for 100K hands and think he's a winning player when he really isn't. That's also what makes poker so profitable. If this variance didn't exist, the games wouldn't either.
Bottom line: study your ass off and play a lot. Work toward being able to substantiate all of your plays mathematically. For example, "I checkraised all-in because I thought he would fold" is not a mathematically sound play. There are far more variables to it than that.
Now you may say, "Well, I got a read on him, though". Okay, well, that can be taken into your calculations as well, either by increasing the likelihood (%) that he holds the weaker part of his range (that you assessed mathematically for him) and/or that this increases (%) fold equity.
You need to calculate the EV of all of the outcomes (call/lose, call/win, fold/win) of this shove to determine its overall expectation (+/-) and act accordingly. If that doesn't sound easy to do in a few moments, well, there's a reason why most people don't play this game for a living.
However, that's not the challenging part. I would expect a professional doctor to know the specifics of the medicine he practices by mastering it away from the hospital. Ah, see how they call it *practicing* medicine? That's because there's always room for improvement in performance and knowledge. Same for professional poker, except the only life you're saving is your own. Study, study, study.
Most people would be far better served just keeping it as a side income. And if you're not already an established winning player, then having your sights on playing for a living is really putting the cart before the horse (maybe chips before the cards?), so to speak.
I'll reiterate from a previous post: approach the game logically and realistically, and the rest will make its presence known to you when/if it's time.