Thursday, January 3, 2008

Not All Pros Are Created Equal

Poker ProAre you a poker pro? Do you know one? I'm not asking if you know Phil Ivey or Howard Lederer. In my opinion, those guys are extremely successful poker professionals, but you really don't have to be that good to go "pro."

In the purest sense of the word, a professional of profession X is someone who makes a living by doing X. Whether X is poker or hockey or sculpting or sales, the definition applies. So if you can get by with a lifestyle that only costs $100 a week, and you make that much a week at the tables, you are a poker pro. If your lifestyle requires you to provide for a family and pay a high-interest mortgage and you make $300 a week at the tables, you are not a poker pro.

A lot of people claim to be semi-pro players. What does that mean? To me it means that you make enough through poker to pay for at least some aspect of your life. Using my college experience as an example, I could pay rent with my winnings, but needed another source of income for food and entertainment.

By thinking of poker professionals from a monetary standpoint rather than an assessment of pure skill it keeps things in perspective. Practice to never assume anyone is better than you before you sit across from them. Skill will show itself in the statistics.


  1. Hey,

    Thought i would check out your blog as you left a comment on mine!

    My bf is a "poker pro" he makes a good living out of poker, he isnt really rich or famous (unfortunately!) and i think i will soon have the confidence to call myself a semi pro as for 5 months now i have averaged a very good profit.

    So how long do you think you should consistently perform before you could confidently label yourself as a semi-pro? :)


  2. Hey, in my comment about your "TV Poker" article, I said I was a simi-Pro poker player! I just cashed in my 4th WSOP/WPT event in a row (call me a skillful "luckbox"), make about $200 a day when I do play a full day at the casinos ($1/$3 NL Texas hold'em), win some coupons at a local steak house bar game, and a couple bucks at low NL on-line play. Do I qualify as a simi-pro???
    Signed, Chipslinger

  3. You're semi-pro, I'll give you that, David. This post is just a matter of opinion though, so don't take my word for it.

    I mainly wrote about this because when I was just starting out people I'd play against would claim they were "pro" players a lot. This may or may not have been true, I'm not judging, but I do know I could out-play a decent percentage of them.

    Pro is a subjective term to many people, it's important to know that.

    Hey, Julz, glad you could stop by. :-) I'd say you just have to play long enough that you feel confident that you can bring in X amount of money a month. X being something substantial compared to your expenses.

    Poker is about proofing your ability to yourself rather than to other people.