Requirements to play online poker


Learning to be a great poker player will take lots of hard work and dedication. In addition to working hard and persevering, there are few things you before you start. So here is what you need to have before embarking on a poker career.

Time. This is non-negotiable. The more time you have a week to devote to poker, the faster you will see improvement and reach statistically significant sample sizes of play. It is suggested about 7 hours a week devoted to poker as a good start. This can either be an hour per night or 3.5 hours on Saturday and Sunday, it doesn’t really matter if you are playing cash games. Just make sure you are rested and sober.

When I started playing online poker I had no job and was living at my mom’s house, so I spent probably 7 or more hours per day playing poker. Even though I had no one to walk me through the process, due to the sheer amount of time I spent devoted to poker, I went from being a losing player at microstakes limit hold’em to having my first ten thousand dollar month in a span of 5 months. You won’t need to spend as many hours as I did to learn because I am going to make sure you don’t do the stupid things that I did, but if you are only playing an hour a day it still may take several months before you start making “real money.”

A blank slate. Whatever you think you know about poker should be erased from your memory right now. This is also non-negotiable. There are a lot of sources of bad information about poker, and your friends from your home game and the commentator on television are right at the top of the list. Many are fooled by the small sample sizes and weak competition of home games and greatly overestimate their ability. No one is naturally capable enough to beat a decent level of online poker and you are no exception.

A small amount of money. This is negotiable. I know of other pros who have built a six figure bankroll from zero, but doing this instead of depositing a small amount like 100 dollars will cost you countless frustrating hours playing long freeroll tournaments just to win fifty cents. Chris Ferguson actually did something similar as a proof of concept on Full Tilt, but it is better leaving it as that unless you are truly broke.

Be fit and focused. One key diffeeence between good and bad players is the ability to stay focused for long hours and to know when they are getting tired, so they leave the game. This is why physical fitness matters, and it also counts if you play live games with their grueling hours.

A decent computer. This is also somewhat negotiable. The ideal poker computer is a Windows based machine that has a dedicated graphics card that is from the past few years. A high resolution screen is a plus too. Laptops are just fine, (I’ve flawlessly 16 tabled on one I bought in 2008 and has an integrated graphics card) if you bought your computer in the past 3 years and it isn’t a netbook, you should be just fine. Having Windows is way more important than you may realize, as a lot of sites that advertise themselves as Mac compatible (and many still aren’t at all) merely have a web applet to play through.

In addition to the poker site compatibility, being a successful poker player will entail running third party poker related software frequently. All of this software has a Windows version and only some have Mac versions. If you have Linux, you can always try to use WINE to make everything work, but as an Ubuntu user myself, it is just way easier to get Windows and dual boot. If things are lagging, you can try to optimize your PC, but you will likely have to play as many tables as you can without lag and just save up for hardware upgrades.

This should go without saying, but do not spend money you cannot afford to lose on poker. If you do everything like in the previous paragraphs, you will only have to deposit once, but there is always a chance that you will not succeed and therefore you should treat your poker money like an expense, not an investment, until you are a proven winner.

If you have all of those things, then we will move on to the very basics. Read them even if at first glance it seems like you know all of these things already.

Luske Poker
Full Tilt Poker
Everest Poker
Jonathan Duhamel
Amsterdam poker

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