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StarGoing Pro as a Full Time Poker Player

If you've ever watched a World Poker Tournament or seen ads on PartyPoker for the really big tournaments, you'll have noticed that players you see throwing down the big bets and taking home huge pots do this full-time. This isn't just a holiday with cameras - these players are professionals, and the best in the world. And they don't live on a shoestring budget, by any means! But how do you go about becoming one?

Practice, practice, practice

We know it sounds a tad generic, but it really is true - you will never improve your skill at anything, from poker to carpentry, by only trying it once and expecting to become the next historic figure of that particular vocation. Poker pros play all the time, clocking up a full working week, if not more, just as you would work at the office. It's fun, but bear in mind that for them, it's paying the bills, so if you want to become a pro, you've got to put those hours in.

Once you're feeling really confident, start putting together a small amount of money to use for playing some real-money games, and then try entering a few tournaments. Tournaments are where the big money is, and you'll find that professional players make the majority of their income at these events. The obstacles here are skill and luck - unlike a regular income, if you don't win, you don't make any money. So, if you're not that confident with tournament play, give yourself some time.

Organise yourself

Poker may be largely a game of probability when it comes to what cards you're dealt, but it's how you play that hand that can make or break your attempt to walk away with that pot. There are countless strategies and tips that will assist you in smart bets and the best ways to deal with any combination of cards, either in your hand or on the table.

This is also a job, and as you're essentially self-employed, you can write off a lot of expenses as part of that employment, but this also means keeping receipts from casinos, hotels, and getting a good accountant if you're not great with the complex aspects of your finances (or you just don't have the time, which is equally as likely). Staying organised means not losing a lot of money you can't really afford to lose, whether on your way up or at the top. You're a business, so don't go bust.

Be responsible

This is crucial. If you're unsure about this career, do not leave your day job, do not run off to live in Vegas, and don't take out a loan to fund your fledgeling career, because any of these can really be a serious risk. Live within your means, and play with the money you can dispose of without suffering a lesser quality of life in comparison to the one you sustain at present.

With all that said and done, it's time. Get your poker mindset screwed in tight, and go for gold.