I have been asked by many people what the best way is of turning pro in poker. There are certain things that need to be in place in order to play the game for a living.
Firstly, if you are to play the game for a living then it stands to reason that you will need regular almost guaranteed stable income. Now with that in mind then there is only one way to achieve that and this is to play cash games. Poker tournaments are too high variance for any player to be able to earn consistent income and it is consistent income that you need when you rely on poker for a regular wage.
Also whether live game poker players like it or not, online poker is where you will no doubt stand your biggest chance of making it as a professional poker player. In a live game, when bad variance strikes, it can leave you not making money for weeks and even months on the trot. Any online poker pro will multi-table and the advantage to multi-tabling is lost on many live game players. Firstly, despite playing in a much tougher environment, the ability to offset a smaller yield per hand by vastly superior volume is something that needs to be considered seriously.
For example, let us say that you earned $1 per hand in a live game but you only saw 20 hands per hour. This means that you will make $20/hour which is not bad. Now consider if you played online and only made $0.10 per hand but you could see 600 hands per hour. Suddenly you are now making $60/hour and also the ability to get reward points and rakeback makes playing online poker a simple no brainer above and beyond playing live poker.
So the equation is simple. If you have to choose between tournaments and cash games then you choose cash games, it is that simple. Then when you have to choose between online cash games and live cash games, it simply has to be online as long as one very important criterion is met. This is that you can master the art of playing multiple tables. If you can’t then you are better off playing live poker simply because live poker games are much softer than online poker games on a per level basis.
Playing online poker and playing multiple tables does involve building a system based way of playing. There is no other way to explain this because you are not going to be able to watch as many players when you are active on so many tables at the same time. So you need to design a system of play that is effective against a particular table dynamic. This is easier said than done and it does involve a lot of experimentation until you finally find the correct way of playing. A period of observing the online games that you are thinking about playing in will pay huge dividends in the long term if you want to turn pro.