Professional Gambler

All people gamble in life from time to time, but very few are able to make a living out of professional gambling. The reason for this is obvious: gambling offers little or no security. Gambling is all about risk. It requires participants in a game to constantly balance the odds of success and failure. It requires courage, skill, acumen and, above all else, luck. If gambling is so risky and difficult, why do some people choose to make a career out of it? Why are some people better than others? What exactly does it take to become a professional gambler?

 

Poker

There is perhaps no more popular a card game for career gamblers than poker - particularly Texas No Limit Hold`em, which is played online and in casinos all over the world by millions of people every day. Though millions play the game, proportionally very few would describe themselves as professional players. Many people enjoy an occasional card game or tournament - just as others enjoy the odd flutter on a major sporting event. What distinguishes professional gamblers from casual or amateur players is not easily defined, but frequency and focus are important.

Frequency

Most professional gamblers play a lot; nearly all the time, in fact. A professional poker player will rack up hundreds of weekly games in the early stages of his career because, as in real life, it takes money to make money. Players must ride out the low-stake tables ($3/$6) to generate a sufficient bankroll to graduate to the higher paid tables, at which point the nature of the game changes considerably. So at some point all professional poker players are slaves to the casino or online poker sites. When professionals reach the high-stake tables ($200/$400) they are able to generate a much higher income from significantly fewer games.

Focus

The hallmark of a professional gambler is focus. At this point it is worth distinguishing between professional gamblers and professional players. A professional poker player, for instance, will rely on his mathematical skills, reading of other players and understanding of the game to succeed. In truth he is not a gambling man, even if he will be required to take a chance every once in a while. A professional gambler tends to be someone who frequently takes risks that are not always based on skill or logic. Professional gamblers might bet on horses, slots or other random events and games.

Emotion

A professional poker player cannot allow emotion to dictate his game. When players bet emotionally, they are `tilting` - usually because of a bad beat or some other distraction, such as when an opponent manages to rile them. Emotion is unhelpful in poker. It does not change the odds and it does not improve a player`s luck. Professional poker players learn to avoid playing emotionally as doing so can destroy careers in little time and with no mercy.

Professional poker players must also be extremely disciplined, both in and out of the game. There is little point in playing well and winning big only to squander prize money on personal entertainment and gratification. Elite professional players use winnings to increase their bankroll so that they can play on high-stake tables.

Professionals are also well educated on the game. Dumb luck only lasts so long, whereas skill and knowledge always win over time, which is why beginners ought not to learn the game by playing wildly - they should read guides such as <a href="/http://www.pokerstars.co.uk/poker/how-to-play/hand-rankings/">http://www.pokerstars.co.uk/poker/how-to-play/hand-rankings/</a> to learn how to maximise their chances of success.