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Turning Pro in 2022 – How to make it as an Online Poker Professional

Real money poker

The ‘online poker boom’ began in 2003 when a never heard of player, at the time working as an accountant, became the first player to qualify for the World Series of Poker (WSOP) online and then take down the event to become world champion. 

His story inspired many new players to turn professional, seeing that an unknown, average looking everyman they could relate to had found success on the world stage.

Fast forward to today approaching 2022, online poker games have become considerably harder to beat, as the beginners, or ‘fish’ who joined the poker scene in the two decades since that fateful day have worked on their game and become the ‘sharks’.

If you want to turn pro and make it at the online poker real money tables in 2022, this five step guide is for you.

Step 1 – Use Bankroll Management

The usual recommendation for professional real-money poker is to have 20 buy-ins or more in reserve for whatever stakes you are currently grinding.

That means you’ll need $500 to play 25NL where the big blind (BB) is $0.25 and a 100 BB buy-in is $25. Once you have $1000 you can then move up in stakes to 50NL (blinds of $0.50). 

Make sure you can maintain a positive winrate (BB/100 over zero) at the stakes you are playing at before moving up a level.

Step 2 – Practice for Free

If you’re just getting started, either start playing for play chips – at play money tables – or you can also take advantage of free video poker games on some online casino sites before moving onto to playing against human opponents.

Familiarise yourself with all the variants of poker and then stick with one where you’ll be consistently profitable. Identify which games and stakes you are best at.

Be aware of the differences between all the variants of Texas Holdem, Pot Limit Omaha and mixed games such as Razz and Stud.

Once you’ve mastered play chip tables and low stakes, then slowly move up in stakes until you reach a level where your hourly winrate is enough to pay the bills.

Step 3 – Read Books & Forums

The TwoPlusTwo Poker forums are the premier source of information, news and networking for online poker players.

Some experienced professionals post threads detailing their hand histories and breakdown their decisions in terms of ranges and GTO (game theory optimal) analysis. 

The forum also reviews and sells the latest poker books, and old classics that are still relevant today – such as Doyle Brunson’s Super System, a course in power poker for No Limit Holdem players.

It can also help to watch footage of cash game play on shows such as High Stakes Poker and Live at the Bike.

Step 4 – Use Poker Software

Many ‘regs’ – regular players, or ‘grinders’ who earn a living playing poker, and even some recreational players, today use poker tracking software.

The common programs poker players use in cash games are PokerTracker and Holdem Manager.

If you’re a tournament player there are also programs such as SNG Wizard and others which help you use perfect Push / Fold strategy in the late game stages of SNGs and MTTs when stacks are short and the blinds are high.

Notetracker software also allows you to take notes on and color code players in-game.

Step 5 – Take Shots

In poker circles taking a shot refers to testing your metal at higher stakes as a way to sharpen your game. 

For example if you’re a 100NL player (stakes of $1/$2) and you see a fish move up in stakes to $5/$10 with an open seat to their left, you may want to temporarily put aside bankroll management to follow them. 

As long as you set a strict limit for how much you’re willing to lose if you go on an unlucky streak of coolers and bad beats, you can test yourself at higher stakes in the right situations, such as having position on a fish. 

Playing against more skilled opponents can also provide you with lots of opportunities to review your hands post-game in Holdem Manager or PokerTracker and learn from the situations those players put you in.

Professional online poker players routinely will battle against each other even if they consider each other to be excellent players and there not to be much edge.

How Much Cash Back Will I Earn?

Rakeback increases your winnings from online poker as you continually earn money back from every raked hand or tournament you play.

Many players earn a living wage from rakeback alone. Use the calculator below to estimate the size of payments you’ll get over a given period of time. The calculator will compute your expected daily, weekly, and monthly cash back depending on the stakes and tables you input.

Calculate Your Rakeback

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