General Question

bluepromise2001's avatar

Should I learn poker to make money?

Asked by bluepromise2001 (32points) December 26th, 2013

Should I learn poker to make money?

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19 Answers

Staalesen's avatar

I would advise to not do it if it is intended as your main source of income. While I appreciate poker as a game and play it a lot with friends, the time and skill it takes to be so got that you can rely on it for putting food on the table is to much for most people.
If you are only looking to take a few bucks from your friends on a Thursday night game or something on the other hand, then I say; why not?

LostInParadise's avatar

Read the section of Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise that is about poker. Silver made a living for a while playing online poker before getting into the election forecasting business. The book gives a picture of what it is like to play poker professionally.

antimatter's avatar

It’s a crappy idea!
Here’s some food for thought…
Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died.
Steven Wright


zenvelo's avatar

No. The odds are against it.

Think of the occasional story you hear of someone making a good living off playing poker, and then think of how many of them have huge setbacks every once in a while.

And it is a lifestyle that is neither desirable nor sustainable for long. Poker is not a day job, it is not enjoyable, it is not creative, it is not a joy to be shared. It is a solitary pursuit played in crappy conditions under a lot of stress.

ibstubro's avatar

No. You should learn to make money – and lots of it – if you want to play much poker.

LilCosmo's avatar

I am no expert, but isn’t the whole idea of gambling for the house to make money? That being the case, if you do plan a career I poker, make sure you have lots and lots of money in the bank before you start. You are going to need tons of reserves to live on because odds are good you are going to lose – a lot.

wildpotato's avatar

@zenvelo I disagree with your last paragraph. My buddy loves living off his poker skills. He likes living in Vegas, still enjoys playing poker after five years of earning his bread with it, and it is not a solitary, joyless pursuit for him. He posts about his successes on Facebook and offers his friends a stake in his tournaments, so it becomes kind of a team thing, with a bunch of interested people rooting for him.

CWOTUS's avatar

No, hell no. You should learn poker as an occasional pastime and one of many ways to lose money. Like marriage.

Unlike marriage, however, you can walk away from the game more or less any time – without additional penalty – and only lose what is on the table. You don’t usually lose the table itself, and the house that it’s in, unless you’re a terribly addicted gambler.

zenvelo's avatar

@wildpotato If your friend likes hanging out in Vegas casinos, with no natural light and no fresh air, the more power to him. And after five years, what does he have to show for his life?

Kropotkin's avatar

Yes. If you’re serious about it and motivated, and study the game diligently, you can make a lot of money out of it. Motivation is key, and coping with down-swings.

It’s a difficult game to master, and the competition has got a bit tougher in recent years. It does require a lot of learning, patience and eventual playing experience.

It is not a productive or creative endeavour, but then neither are most service sector jobs. It can be fun though, and you don’t get a boss or manager being a pain in your backside.

gorillapaws's avatar

You can actually do ok playing poker professionally. It’s called being a grinder. It’s gambling, so obviously nothing’s guaranteed, but because you only have to put up an ante when you’re either the small blind or big blind in Texas hold ‘em, you have many opportunities to fold without having to pay in.

Grinders are incredibly conservative and take advantage of the inherent odds of only playing when they’re in a strong position. Most players find this approach horribly boring and slow and so play hands they should be folding according to the statistics. The grinder will win more hands than she looses because the odds are in her favor.

This requires a level-headed dispassionate temperament. Is not guaranteed to win 100% of the time. It would be easier to make a money doing a real job. Also, I would avoid online poker like the plague. You have no way of knowing if you’re playing 10 other strangers or one Russian hacker with the other 9 accounts/hands.

funkdaddy's avatar

An old poker pro I used to read advice from had this same question and his answer was that you could learn to be really good at just about anything else you’re passionate about for the same time and cash commitment it takes to be really good at poker. And when you’re done with any other education (whether through school or work experience) you’ll never lose money with it.

So you should only pursue poker if it is the thing you are most excited to do out of all the possibilities in the world and you actually have aptitude for it. Otherwise, play for fun, get good if you want to and take a weekend trip to a casino or Vegas for great entertainment. Don’t rely on it for food and use the same skills somewhere else. Most jobs are a no lose proposition, you show up and they pay you, it’s amazingly easy that way. With poker there’s no automatic pay days or paid time off, and if you’re not right in your head things can go bad quickly.

If that doesn’t worry you, then the amount of self-discipline and finding your own strengths and weaknesses will transfer to anything you do, but it is a harsh lifestyle and truly survival of the fittest. You will not be the fittest for some time if you’re just starting out, but you can be the best at a table pretty easily. Pick the right table and consider the motivations of the people you’re playing with.

A lot of full time poker players, both the big names you’ve heard of and smaller folks you haven’t, post blogs online including hand histories and strategies. You can type “diary of a poker player” into a search engine and that will give you a start. If that stuff gets you interested rather than boring the hell out of you then maybe it’s for you.

Otherwise use your time in a smarter way and play on weekends as a hobby, it’s a great game.

Kram420 I think shares an honest look at a guy who has the poker skills and talks about the ups and downs of the lifestyle in a blog, he’s been at it for years, live, online, internationally, and in Vegas

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

One does not learn to play poker to make money. One learns to play poker for the sport of it. One learns to play poker to join the group. If one becomes quite proficient, one may end up making money playing poker, being called Jesus, and have people gunning for them all the time. To learn poker with profit as their goal is a different game. It is called, “A Fool’s Game.”

Rops's avatar

I would advise you not to learn it for making money. Some people used to lose lots of money and fortune while playing it. It’s a gamble. But you can learn it just to enjoy with your friends.

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