5 top tips for turning pro

Are you thinking of going pro? Karl Mahrenholz has been there, done it and bought the t-shirt – here are his five top tips

1: Don’t treat your job like a hobby

Turning pro may sound fun but remember pro means professional and that’s exactly what you must be to be successful. Make sure you are putting in enough playing volume to overcome variance and be sure to spend plenty of time away from the table studying and trying to improve.

2: Maintain a good work-life balance

Playing poker as your main source of income can be incredibly stressful. Be sure to set yourself working hours and time off to spend with friends and family. Remember to maintain a healthy, balanced life.

3: Focus on the process, not the results

Even the best in the world go on downswings you wouldn’t think possible. Keep emotion out of your play and work extra hard on improving your game. If you’re playing the best you can, the results will follow, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.

4: Surround yourself with like-minded people

The best way to learn and improve is by discussing strategy and analysing hands with fellow pros and enthusiasts. Join forums and Facebook groups and ask plenty of questions but keep an open mind – just because one person says something, it doesn’t make it the only right answer.

5: Good bankroll management is key

Don’t turn pro until you have enough money saved up to pay your living expenses for a year. This money should be kept separate to your poker bankroll to ensure you can afford to live without taking yourself out of the game when on a downswing.

Still undecided? Check out our feature, ‘Life as a poker pro – the hard way to make an easy living


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