Signs that You Could be a Professional Gambler

Gambling was once called the hardest way to make an easy living. From playing poker to crushing casino games, being a professional at any recreational gambling pursuit takes more work to master than gaming ever used to. But could you be the type of person for whom gambling professionally is a good fit?

Poker, Casino Games and Online Skill Games have become reputable ways of earning a living, with many disciplines required to remain in steady profit easily recognizable from the world of business.

Below are five ways that you can prove that you’re ready to turn professional in a gambling environment. It should be stressed that any decision to ‘go pro’ within the gambling profession relies on strong support and awareness that there are gambling resources out there to help you if needed.

  1. Good Bankroll Management

Managing your money as a professional gambler is the absolute key to success. Bankroll management is essentially monitoring the money you have set aside as a ‘float’ for gambling.

The most simplistic bankroll management for someone who enjoys poker, and feels they have enough money to work on their game as a profession might be as follows: $100 is set aside for playing online poker. In order to manage this bankroll, the player would only play tournaments that cost a maximum of $5 to enter, giving the player a safety net of having to lose 20 games in order to lose their entire roll. Except of course, a smart player who doesn’t do that, because they’re sticking to a formula, not an amount.

Casino banking

If you only had $5 in your gambling bankroll, would it be sensible to wager it all on one single no limit tournament? Of course not. Luck is a flighty mistress, and she rarely plays fair over a small sample size. Likewise, if you had $10,000 in your bankroll, would it be equally as worthwhile to play $5- entry games? No, because you should be using that sort of bankroll through profit and at that level, there are better games to be played that can earn you more money.

It’s about the formula and investing no more than 5% of your roll on any game is a decent baseline to experiment around. If you go on a downswing, lower those limits, and equalize the variance. If you find yourself winning more, climb the buy-ins and prove your profitability at a higher level. You’re aiming for growth within a stable structure. Be sure to keep your real-life and gambling funds strictly separate, possibly by using a different bank account for each.

  1. An Even Temperament

Gambling is, by its very nature, a career built on risk and reward. Therefore, since your profession is one designed to press your emotional buttons, it’s crucial that you have a mental disposition that resists it.

To ‘tilt’ is to get angry or frustrated at the game you’re playing, be it baccarat or roulette, slot machines or blackjack. It’s vital that you keep a cool head, and feel no success or failure along the way too deeply.

We’ve all been there, in casinos when a lucky punter has won big on the roulette wheel and gone crazy. If you’re a professional, you may not feel the highs or lows as you did when you were a recreational player. But the upside is that you get to play a game for your profession.

  1. Financial Security

This is, of course, the very thing you seek to accomplish from your burgeoning gambling career. So, why are we suggesting that you should already have it? Well, because to a certain degree, you should. Recklessly changing from a steady job, to becoming a professional gambler is an absolute no-no.

Woman holding cutout of pigging bank over tablet.

At the very least, you should have some real-world money tied up for a good few months. So, that should your gambling bankroll deplete, you can push on again in another profession. There’s absolutely no shame in having a second job as back up to a successful career as a poker player. When poker makes the player so much money it becomes impossible to balance both jobs, then and only then should they drop the steady employment or alternative source of money.

Gambling when you know that you have plenty of money behind you win or lose allows you to play your optimal game. Especially without fear of the consequences. You still need to approach each bet with a professional, calm attitude. But it’s better than doing so with money worries hanging over you. Never play with scared money, the saying goes, and it’s not wrong.

  1. Long Game Mentality

While this might seem like the least important piece of advice that we can give you, it might turn out to be vitally so. Many gamblers who are profitable, are successful in part because they don’t appreciate the value of a single bet or buy-in for the money it truly represents.

Imagine a poker player who regularly plays $25,000-entry high roller tournaments. Thinking about what good that money to could to hundreds of people who need it more than themselves. They would probably never sit down at the felt. But if they can mentally block out that buy-ins value, then they can win millions. And donate a portion of it to charity. The popular poker player Dan Smith is a great example of this. Having cashed for over $35 million at the felt and pioneered the ‘Double Up Drive’ to help needy charities.

No single win or loss should be felt if you’ve got a strong ‘long game’ mentality. This being that every game you play is building your knowledge. And refining your strategy for the next game and the next. It’s all one long game.

  1. Sensible Exit Strategy

Every game has an end game to it. The roulette wheel always lands in a numbered pocket. The poker tournament ends with all the chips sitting in front of one player. Even the best professional gambler has an escape route in the planning stage.

A Dealer Shuffling Cards

The COVID-19 pandemic meant that going to a land-based casino became impossible for some months. There may come a time where what you do for a living, changes. If that’s the case, you might want to already have a handle on personal investments, retirement plans or a private pension fund set up with some of your winnings.

Being a professional gambler doesn’t mean that you don’t have to think of the future. It’s all about being sensible in the middle of playing a game for a living.

Paul Seaton

Paul Seaton


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