Top 3 Tips for Playing Poker for a Living in 2020

By Tadas Peckaitis
April 05, 2020

Back in the early 2000s, many poker players managed to quickly move up in stakes and build big bankrolls from virtually zero, and this played a huge role in poker booming. While the “good old easy days” are over, you can still decide to playing poker for a living and achieve success if you are ready to work (hard!) on your game.

Becoming a successful player in today’s climate takes a lot of time and effort, which is why you no longer hear nearly as many great “rags to riches” poker stories. However, the poker dream still isn’t dead. As a matter of fact, with the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic ranging, we’ve borne witness to how popular poker remains, seeing massive surges of popularity for the game online while people are on lockdown.

In a nutshell, if you decide to utilize your time effectively to study poker, you can certainly come out as a stronger player. Plus, if you been considering playing poker more seriously, now could be the perfect time to take action. Maybe these tips will help you out in working towards starting to play poker for a living.

poker time clock

Be Realistic About Your Skill Level

The first thing you need to do is assess your skill level. As mentioned, the golden era of poker is a bit behind us, and beating the games these days is no longer a walk in the park.

However, that could also be a good thing since many players will not commit enough time and effort to master the game, and this opens the doors to ones who are determined to win.

This is especially true in an online setting where competition is getting tougher, and only serious players stand a chance to succeed in the long run.

To play poker for a living in 2020, you’ll need to figure out where you’re at skill-wise. It’s harder than it sounds because players tend to overestimate their skill level, which could be a costly mistake.

It goes without saying that this type of mistake could be quite dangerous, with dire consequences because you’ll be making a significant change in your life and potentially putting a sizable amount of money at risk.

If you have not seriously played poker before, it would be wise to dedicate yourself to studying Texas Holdem strategy rather than jumping into the heat of the action. Moreover, you probably want to keep your regular day job for the time being until you’ve mastered at least the basics, so as to ensure a steady flow of income.

Of course, if you are already beating your stakes and just want to dedicate more time to poker so that you could take it more seriously,  taking a leap of faith and following your dream sounds like an okay risk to take.


Poker isn’t going anywhere, so whether try starting to play for a living right now or in a couple of months, it won’t make much of a difference in terms of what you need to win. On the other hand, taking that extra time to get prepared and go into it as ready as you can be could be the thing that defines your success.

Utilize Available Resources to Improve

If you determine that you might not be there just yet results-wise, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on your plans to someday play poker for a living. There are plenty of great resources out there you can use to improve your skills and get better in whatever format you’re looking to play (MTTs, cash games, or sit and gos).

Spending some time and some money enrolling in courses from some of the best poker sites out there will be an invaluable step in your transition to playing poker for a living. With so much fierce competition out there, you want to give yourself the best chance to start on the right foot, and learning the latest strategies will help you achieve that goal.

Many coaching platforms will help you understand the kind of mindset you’ll need to develop if you’re set on becoming a professional poker player. You may not think you need this advice right now, but once you make a move and get started on the grind, you’ll realize just how helpful these tips can be.


Understand What It Takes

Just as important as learning about the game is understanding what it means to be a professional poker player. This isn’t just about sitting down and playing poker many hours each week. Sure, this is an integral part of the process, but it’s only one part. There is much more to playing poker professionally.

You need to devote some time to study on top of your playing sessions as well as manage your whole day yourself and build proper habits, all of which is probably harder than you might think it is at the outset.


You also need to get used to the variance that comes with the game and make your plans around it. This means always maintaining a healthy bankroll and making sure you have plenty of buy-ins behind for the games you’re playing.

It also means learning how to deal with all the emotions that come with the lifestyle. Just as you’ll feel at the top of the world after a great session or after winning a tournament, you’re likely to feel down when things don’t go your way.

While these emotions are entirely normal, it is essential to learn how to keep them under control and don’t let them influence your decisions at the table and, more importantly, don’t let them spill into your private life.



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Tadas Peckaitis poker author
Written By.

Tadas Peckaitis

Tadas Peckaitis is a professional poker player, author of the free poker book “Play ‘A’ game and be the boss at your poker table”, and poker coach at He is also a big fan of personal effectiveness and always trying to do more. Tadas shares his knowledge about both of these topics with his […]


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