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Go Pro

Poker is getting very popular as a career option in our country. With that comes an influx of professional poker players. I have been playing poker professionally for about 7 years now and I am here to pass on some old-school wisdom to the up and coming pros as to what to expect.

1. Poker as a profession
Like any other profession, poker needs to be treated like one, if you need to excel at it. You need to have your own pre-game ritual/prep like how you would do before you go to work every morning. I agree my bedroom/workstation is my office on most days, but I make sure I make my bed (or get it done), shower, and change to something comfortable before I play my first hand of the day. I have also noticed that I study the best right after I wake up and right before I go to bed (weird). So, I reserve my study (mostly videos) for this time and add a session review between 2 sessions. This way if I had a bad first session, the review will help me get back my confidence and re-confirm that I am doing the right thing.

2. Commitment/work ethic
Session reviews are extremely boring. So is Phil Galfond's monotonous tone. Work ethic is what will power you through this. When you are reviewing your sessions, it’s very interesting if you are starting off. You see a lot of spots where you would do something different post review but in-game you did something else. Once you get used to spots, most of your sessions will be standard and only 2 or 3 spots come up in your reviews.

However, it’s key you do this exercise to reinforce learning.

3. Bankroll
This is your work tool and you need to treat it exactly like that. There are many pros who say, "I have gone bust many times". No. If you have the right work ethic, you won’t. They go bust because they just lost focus. (Gambling, playing wayyy out of their role, etc). Always treat your bankroll as a tool and keep it away from your life roll. Don’t buy stuff of your bankroll thinking its swinging money. It’s not.

4. Health
I don’t think I am right guy to tell you about this, but you get the idea. Turning pro sounds very fancy and maybe it is to a certain extent. However, the hard work behind the scenes is something no one tells you about. It’s very easy to ignore it because poker variance can give you enough reasons to think you are great at it.
Fighting for excellence is your job. There are too many mediocre pros out there who will make you think that this is it. It isn’t.

Good luck at the tables.