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Old 08-04-2017, 02:18 PM   #1
Brawny
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Question What does it really take...

to earn a living at poker. Obviously there are many considerations to make. I will list they few that I can think of but I would like to hear from those that have given it a go, whether you have been successful or not.

1. skill
2. proper bankroll
3. mental fortitude (dealing with bad beats and down swings)
4. financial discipline (bankroll and liferoll management skills)
what else...

So I have loosely crunched the numbers to figure what kind of hourly rate and number of hours a week I need to hit to meet my nut. What else should I consider? Being a student of the game seems key. What are the best resources? Is it worth investing in training videos, books, etc.? Who's been there? What advice do you have for me?
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:44 AM   #2
Motorola
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Re: What does it really take...

You need to deposit a negligble amount of your disposable income.

You need to practice solid bankroll management.

You need to play recreationally, while you work in a job that gurantees you an hourly.

You need to prove you can win over a significant sample size.

You need to ensure you enjoy playing , because even if you are able to beat the games, if you don't enjoy playing them there's no point.

You need to build enough of a bankroll moving up in your spare time, so that you start to earn an hourly comparative with your paid hourly job.

You need to continue doing this until your hourly is exceeding your paid job.

You need to save enough of your profits so you have 3-5 months money to live off, aside from your bankroll.

Then you quit your job and start playing full time.

You need to make good friends with very good players and talk poker most of the time you're not playing.

Basically this is what it takes to be a pro.
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:55 PM   #3
CallOnMECallOnMe
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Re: What does it really take...

I would say is better to have 12 month money to live off to not be too much stressed

And then ability travel and game selection
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Old 09-02-2017, 06:00 PM   #4
pucmo
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Re: What does it really take...

Outside of grinding online in tough games, one needs the 5 dollar type of rake caps at 2/4+ live games (in the USA), or at least daily 100+ dollar tourneys (USA; Vegas, LA? Florida?), or playing like every single around 1k live tourney in Europe/EU (living costs and variance might be unclear, also considering the 1k high tourneys, but B&B is one possibility, or maybe a van (diesel), and not those 132 euros per night or day hotels).

With a great online record in tourneys/cash, just maybe you might get supported, also incuding in the ones you will be playing in the USA; that lowers your ROI, though. Not sure if the backing boom is all over, but you need to actively seek it.

Under the current euro rules, it seems one can be in the USA 90 days as many times as one wants, as long as it doesn't look like you live in the USA (I might guess that meaning max six months per year, but could be less, as it seems it used to be 3 months per two years), but sleeping isn't free (a rent flat for one in Vegas might be only 400 dollars per month, if you are allowed to have one, and get one, or buy a used van, B&B?), and there are some tax issues (not really if you live in the UK, that could be a step in between, and as EU one needs no permit to move in there, just a place to live at, and they don't even have a register for people who live there, just a possibly voluntary National Insurance card, NIC. They kick you out only if you can't support yourself during your first five years there, if you can prove you have been there that long, lol. The flat costs are lower in the UK if shared, that's also one possible way in there, and Scotland is cheaper -- they figure to join back into EU in the future, but a part of the Ireland stays in the EU, just not 100% sure of their tax laws, but it part of the UK).

From Mexico and Canada you might be allowed to stay in the USA for 6 months, perhaps, at the time (we also can be in THOSE countries for that long), but I think you figure to need the nationality (for Mexico you need a job/incomes and reasonable Spanish ability and maybe 5 years, maybe longer).

You might get in the USA also with some real/wanted jobs (those rules also change and are unclear) (or try get a wife perhaps) but poker pros (gamblers) pretty likely don't get in the USA.

Although all USA winnings will be tax free more or less as soon as one has the residency of the UK or so, but as in the UK one does not have an official residency and all EU countries have their own laws, your own country can come after you for unpaid taxes even when you live in the UK.
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Old 09-04-2017, 12:52 PM   #5
Poker Clif
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Re: What does it really take...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorola View Post
You need to deposit a negligble amount of your disposable income.

You need to practice solid bankroll management.

You need to play recreationally, while you work in a job that gurantees you an hourly.

You need to prove you can win over a significant sample size.

You need to ensure you enjoy playing , because even if you are able to beat the games, if you don't enjoy playing them there's no point.

You need to build enough of a bankroll moving up in your spare time, so that you start to earn an hourly comparative with your paid hourly job.

You need to continue doing this until your hourly is exceeding your paid job.

You need to save enough of your profits so you have 3-5 months money to live off, aside from your bankroll.

Then you quit your job and start playing full time.

You need to make good friends with very good players and talk poker most of the time you're not playing.

Basically this is what it takes to be a pro.
I'm not sure that I agree with the one that I bolded.

Yes, it's always best if you do something that you love. I love poker and I'm a full-time player. I was an army musician, and I loved that as well. On the other hand, a lot of people do jobs that they might not like, but they like the money.

I've had an amazing variety of jobs. There were a lot of rough times in the past. In the 1980s my city was tied with Flint for the highest unemployment rate in the entire country.

I spent a lot of my life scrambling for jobs, or when I didn't have one, taking college classes and doing other things to improve my situation. I worked a punch press that squirted oil in my face every time it slammed down. I was a day laborer. I worked in a mail room. I also had office jobs and made money as a musician. I did temp work 40 miles from where I live. Whatever paid the bills was fine with me until I could find something better.

I think that in these forums we put too many restrictions on poker players:

Don't play unless you love it.
Don't play unless you can make at least 50K.
If you can only make 50K you should get a "real job" where you can make more.
If you can make more than 50K, you're probably smart enough to get a job that pays at least that and has benefits.
Don't play strictly MTTs--too much variance.

Yes, it helps a lot if you like or love your job. But how much you make can be just as important.

Dan Harrington was one of the top backgammon players in the world, but there was a lot more money in poker. Some very strong chess players and video gamers have made the same decision. Jonathan Little and Vanessa Rousso both dropped out of college because they were making so much money playing poker nights and weekends that it made sense to make poker their job.

Sometimes you just go where the money is, and there is nothing wrong with that.
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Old 09-09-2017, 01:42 PM   #6
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Re: What does it really take...

Moved from another forum
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Old 09-09-2017, 06:16 PM   #7
ArtyMcFly
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Re: What does it really take...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brawny View Post
to earn a living at poker.
1. skill
2. proper bankroll
3. mental fortitude (dealing with bad beats and down swings)
4. financial discipline (bankroll and liferoll management skills)
what else...
5. Luck.

It's a crucial part of the equation, but unfortunately it's out of your control, which makes points 2-4 so important.
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Old 09-09-2017, 07:18 PM   #8
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Re: What does it really take...

6. Brutal honesty about yourself.

In Motorola's list, where are you really? My guess is that you have barely past recreational playing.

The first lie that people tell themselves is their win rate. Most people start their calculation win a session where they ran hot. What happened before is ignored as "I was just learning." Many will not count the time they got drunk or decided to shot take at a higher level and spewed off a few buy ins.

Most recreational players play during prime time, which is Friday and Saturday night and some holidays. To get the hours you need, you're going to need to play on off peak times against regulars. Your win rate is likely to drop. In addition by putting in those hours, the regulars will be working on figuring out your game. What frequently happens is that you'll go through a slump as they learn your habits.

The second lie is their "nut." This just doesn't happen in poker. People forget about the "one offs" especially if they aren't monthly. Have a car? People forget the car registration, non-routine maintenance, and oh yeah, I'm not going to drive this car for the next 40 years. I've got to buy another one.

The third is their actual job hourly. If you're making $20/hr, you're forgetting that your employer at a minimum is paying some of your Social Security tax. Most employment situations include being paid for time off and sick time. Nobody pays you when you're not playing poker. Add in a decent job with health benefits, retirement savings, etc., your hourly could be 30% or more than the base hourly rate.

Can you make it? Yes, but keep in mind that having a long term successful career in poker is like having a long term successful career in professional sports or acting. Lots of people want to do it, but very few actually achieve it.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:00 PM   #9
Strappz
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Re: What does it really take...

Venice makes a solid point about the actual hourly you need to replace your current income. People make the mistake of looking at their hourly wage and stopping there. This fails to factor in taxes paid by your employer, retirement, and the various forms of insurance like medical, life and disability. Early on in my career I had a position that paid about $40k annually. However the total compensation per year was over $70k when factoring in the items I just mentioned.

If I were ever going to play poker professionally I would want an hourly rate that was double my current salary over a generous sample size. Too many younger players make the mistake of looking at the bare minimum to survive and shoot for that. It's backwards thinking considering when you work in any other capacity your goal is to make as much money as possible. It's like settling for a minimum wage simply to go pro.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:12 PM   #10
p0ker_n00b
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Re: What does it really take...

1.) Grow the **** up and if you find yourself bitching and moaning like some street hooker who just got tossed aside by their pimp, and you start to drink or stop playing or look at your graphs and downswings like it's some lost puppy then you need to fix your mentality or you'll never make it.

2.) If you have any concern if you are going to succeed, you probably are not going to succeed. It isn't the right time for you to make an attempt until you no longer have any doubts whatsoever and your poker game is so locked down that you know even when you are drunk, enraged and your girlfriend is breathing down your neck as to why you didn't do the dishes last week, that you can still at least play your B game because your A+ game is just that good.

3.) You need to know what makes you play your B game. Lack of sleep, not playing when you're sick, not playing when you're hungry, not playing right before bed when you're tired, not playing when the cat is pawing you from the floor because you haven't fed them yet. Summary: Get your **** together and learn that poker = discipline. Poker does not = "win bc I am good"

4.) If you aren't studying the game off the table or don't have 3-5 very serious and close poker friends to vent off to for when you break all the above rules, then you can **** off because it's probably that you suck at poker and no other poker player wants to talk poker with you.

5.) If any of your poker buddies are donkeys or fish, you're going to love talking poker with them while they continue to give you advice on how they play, because they are gods gift to poker.

6.) Get your financial **** together. 6 months is minimum for living expenses before you try to go full time. You need to start using a 50BI bankroll management rule or else you will fail. You need to not be stupid enough to leave most of your money on online sites (full flush, lock poker, full tilt....yada yada yada)

7.) Get a sample size of over 150,000 hands with a winrate of at least 2bb otherwise your winrate is going to suck too much and it will be too stressful - because I'm guessing you aren't crushing 200NL.

Everything else you will learn with time.
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Old 09-10-2017, 03:01 AM   #11
WereBeer
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Re: What does it really take...

OP, nothing in your post indicates that you can make the hourly you want or are even a winning player. So yeah study the game but since you need to live, get a real job and work at that. Going pro is probably a terrible idea for almost anyone but no point in even considering it unless and until your poker hourly exceeds your professional hourly.
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:16 AM   #12
sixfour
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Re: What does it really take...

A time machine, mostly
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:28 AM   #13
m869er
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Re: What does it really take...

**** playing cash game poker for a living. online or live.

**** playing online tourny poker for a living 16 tabling. start a business and play a few live mtts a week.
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:41 AM   #14
TedHawkins
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Re: What does it really take...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sixfour View Post
A time machine, mostly
Go back to 2003.
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:47 AM   #15
Kelvis
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Re: What does it really take...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TedHawkins View Post
Go back to 2003.
I have a feeling there is more potential to make money with a time machine than going back to 2003 to grind out poker.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:02 AM   #16
Brawny
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Re: What does it really take...

Well, I don't think that I'm fooling myself. I have been using the app Run Good and have a sample of nearly a year. I am basing my projections using the information gathered here and multiplying by 3 knowing that I will be playing 3 times the amount of hours per week.

Some quality considerations here and I appreciate the feedback. To answer the question why, it's for a personal reason.
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Old 09-13-2017, 02:17 PM   #17
venice10
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Re: What does it really take...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brawny View Post
Well, I don't think that I'm fooling myself. I have been using the app Run Good and have a sample of nearly a year. I am basing my projections using the information gathered here and multiplying by 3 knowing that I will be playing 3 times the amount of hours per week.
Without an attention to detail, it will be more difficult for you to succeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by venice10 View Post
Most recreational players play during prime time, which is Friday and Saturday night and some holidays. To get the hours you need, you're going to need to play on off peak times against regulars. Your win rate is likely to drop. In addition by putting in those hours, the regulars will be working on figuring out your game. What frequently happens is that you'll go through a slump as they learn your habits.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:21 PM   #18
WereBeer
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Re: What does it really take...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brawny View Post
Well, I don't think that I'm fooling myself. I have been using the app Run Good and have a sample of nearly a year. I am basing my projections using the information gathered here and multiplying by 3 knowing that I will be playing 3 times the amount of hours
What's your sample size, 500 hours? Your real expected win rate might be zero dollars. Also LOL at simply multiplying by 3. Like Venice said, winrates outside prime hours drop off a lot. Plus you might hate putting in the hours and not be able to do it. Lots of people go from loving poker when they put in a few hours a week outside their real job, and then absolutely hate it when they have to grind out 40 hours per week.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:21 PM   #19
JoseJohnnyJimJack
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Re: What does it really take...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brawny View Post
Well, I don't think that I'm fooling myself. I have been using the app Run Good and have a sample of nearly a year. I am basing my projections using the information gathered here and multiplying by 3 knowing that I will be playing 3 times the amount of hours per week.

Some quality considerations here and I appreciate the feedback. To answer the question why, it's for a personal reason.
As has been mentioned, one's hourly falls off A LOT while most people are at work. And one's hourly falls off a good amount weekday evenings when regs/people who have also studied the game play. This makes full-time poker not a good decision. But there's always part-time poker, with security, benefits, retirement allocations, credit approvals, etc. from a different 9-5 full time job.

What's your bankroll currently?
What's your liferoll currently?
What game and limit do you play?
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:12 PM   #20
Brawny
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Re: What does it really take...

My sample size is 550 hours. I average 2 sessions a week and 5.5 hours per session. My plan is to play 4pm-midnight Thursday - Sunday. Playing prime hours is a key component to my plan. The majority of the hours from my sample have come from Mon-Thur. 5pm-11pm. I will be putting in 32-35 hours a week vs. my current 11. This is why I chose a multiple of 3.
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Old 09-14-2017, 06:07 PM   #21
WereBeer
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Re: What does it really take...

550 hours isn't enough to prove you're a winning player, although if you're LOL crushing the game, you very probably are. It is easily enough for someone who is already a winning player to have a good feel for whether or not they can beat the game long term. What is your bb/hour?
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