Playing poker for a living is tough; in fact even if you don’t play for a living and only as a part-living, like I do, it’s still tough.
It isn’t that the stakes that I play at are tough; it is the constant grinding that is tough. For example, this is why I don’t recommend playing full time, because full time poker play simply gives you no leeway to do anything else and you have zero flexibility. So what is so tough about sitting at a computer for forty hours per week clicking a mouse?
Well, if you think about that last sentence then you will quickly see how difficult that is. Imagine a scenario where you are not physically moving your body for such long periods of time… that in itself is tough for many people. If that leads to discomfort then this will affect your state of mind. At the end of the day, poker is a mental game and if you are not on it 100% then you will have a greater chance of falling foul of your opponents by doing self- harm. This is before we even consider whether or not we are good enough.
Let us consider that you are good enough first of all. One of the areas that you will slip into when you beat any level for a good clip is that you will become careless and complacent. Only yesterday, I made a horrendous play in a pot at the $50 level through carelessness, overconfidence or whatever you want to call it. The play cost me $20 when I tried to turn my hand into a bluff on the river. When you look at any successful online poker player, many of them are plugged into systems like I am and play in a systematic way.
So when you do something that doesn’t belong in a clearly defined system then it highlights that discipline can be a problem. But that’s just it, you see… some days my discipline levels are different and on some days I play with the discipline of a rock while on others… well let’s just say that my standards slip sometimes. Is this because we are human and these events are inevitable… I simply don’t know as I am not a shrink. However, what could be the problem is the very nature of the activity that you are looking to do.
With no personal interaction with anyone then this is another aspect of online poker that is tough to handle. Playing poker involves a constant state of learning but reading more theory is where many players go wrong. This is because “you” are such a big part of the equation that you should be learning about yourself first and foremost.
There are many players that have enough poker grounding to be able to beat the game well that don’t. As a rule, one of the main reasons for why they don’t beat the game or beat it for much is that they have destructive traits to their personality that they have yet to learn how to control.
Someone once said that poker was a “tough way to make an easy living” and how right they were.