High Roller Radio

The poker table is waiting for you! Become a true professional and play to win.

(Photo by Dan M Schell, CC0)

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Studying

What’s the most important thing you can do when first learning the game? Study it. You might not have had to study anything since high school, but if you want to be a professional poker player, that needs to change. You have to utilize every resource you possibly can. That means clean-cut, organized and well-trafficked manuals. Seek out how-to guides as resources only from a credible source — preferably one that’s completely schooled on your chosen game. The 888 guide to Texas Hold’em is a great place to start, and a way to update your strategy if you haven’t played in a while. Besides being comprehensive, this guide explains strategies, such as how to bluff and how to manage risk. It’s one of the most significant starting points for those hoping to hop in, and a refresher course for those that already know how to play.

It might surprise you to learn that studying does not lose its value once you have the basics of the game down. The basics are something that everyone needs to know, from newbies to pros. However, the baseline level of knowledge on how to play the game will not suffice when playing real-stakes tournaments against real poker pros. If you want to get in with their ranks, it will take some extra effort.

To become a real professional, you’ll need to study.
(Photo by Stephen S, CC BY)

You need to treat studying poker as if you were in college and poker was your major. Act like you have to write a thesis on poker to get your doctorate degree in poker. Only then can you venture out into the real world and start your professional poker practice. As with studying in school, there are several tactics you can use to supplement and enhance your education. You’ll need to employ as many of these as possible. 

You’ll also need to brush up on basic skills like math. As you know or will soon find out, math is used in almost every aspect of the game. If you don’t know it, learn it. Odds, equity, expected value — all these factors contribute to your success. The better you are at reading them and predicting them, the better your chances of winning. And if you want to be a professional, you better read up on the more complicated aspects of the game. 

Additionally, game theory and combinatorics are two things you’ll need to have a working knowledge of as well. These subjects are integral to the game, but they also have a place in the wider world of science and high academia. Thesis papers have been written on these topics, meaning they require a level of competency to comprehend. It’s complex stuff! But don’t get discouraged. 

To go pro, you’ll need to understand the concept of game theory.

Once you comprehend these subjects, you’ll naturally understand how they relate to the game. However, you must do everything in order. You don’t want to be reading a textbook on combinatorics if you haven’t read the Texas Hold’em guide to have a working knowledge of the game. You won’t be able to relate the two and could end up confused and frustrated. 

Seek Out Your Professor and Use Them 

If poker is your major, you need to make sure to find a highly experienced professor to study under. You can start by researching online community poker forums and sites. Figure out which ones are frequented by professionals that make a living playing poker. Then, join one of these sites and become active in the community. 

In doing so, you’ll be able to make acquaintances online with other members who can direct you to valuable resources. One of them may even be able to teach you a thing or two. A blossoming friendship with a pro is a great thing for a rookie to nurture. In fact, these people can teach you just as much if not more than a how-to guide. You’ll learn strategies and tricks of the trade that you won’t find anywhere online.

Those whose ranks you wish to join should have specific qualities and expertise that make them stand out as professionals.

(Infographic by adda54)

Another great way to foster a professional friendship is to play in casinos. Though you won’t want to immediately get into high-stakes tournaments with professional players, you can get a lot out of just watching them. Pull up a chair and observe how they play. Their gestures, their moves, and even their general air can teach you a lot. 

When the time is right, strike up a conversation. You’ll want to be genuine and friendly. Remember that though you want to find a teacher, they may not want to have a student. So, spend some time getting to know them before asking for any lessons or advice. A long-term relationship with a better player is much more valuable than a quick exchange, so make sure that they are getting something out of it as well. You want them to see you as a valuable addition to their life, not just somebody looking to profit from their knowledge. 

Make sure your teacher is as dedicated to his profession as you hope to be.
(Photo by Amtec Staffing)
Seek your professor wisely. They should be a true professional, meaning that they make their living from the game. It shouldn’t be just a hobby for them. Choose someone you want to emulate; someone who plays with integrity and skill.  

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

What differentiates a casual “just-for-fun” poker player from a real professional? In a 2012 study, scientists found the difference is mainly in the way you play the game. A professional will concentrate on each move. He or she is mentally invested in each game and does not make irrational moves or decisions based on emotions.  

Learn from and emulate the traits of the most successful poker players.

(Infographic by Andy Sowards)

A professional poker player treats the game as you would any employment, spending a specific amount of time per week on the game. And you don’t get to slack off or quit out of frustration — this would be akin to walking off a job in retail after a nasty experience with a customer. Patience and discipline are vital assets to the professional player. You must take the time to learn the game, implement your strategy and wait until the time is right to make your move. 

Becoming a professional poker player is no easy task. If it was, everyone would be doing it! It takes real grit to dedicate yourself to the game. You’ll have to put in unpaid hours of learning, studying and fostering relationships with the right people. However, if you are willing to dedicate yourself, it won’t take years. Just follow this guide to go from rookie to pro in no time flat.

Good Luck at the Tables!

From Rookie to Pro in No Time Flat!

Increase Your Odds at Being a Winner!

From Rookie to Pro in No Time Flat: Increase Your Odds and Become a Winner

Are you excited to be introduced to the world of poker? Even if you’ve played recreationally for a while, you’ll need to brush up on your skills to go pro. To do so, you need to utilize specific strategies and implement practices into your everyday life to become the best player you can be. And though it can be difficult to wade through the sea of information available on the internet these days, it is possible to become a winner by using the information at hand. Read this guide to discover how you can get there.

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