Reasons to play:
- Can make a lot of money
Reasons not to play:
- Can lose a lot of money
- Immoral way to make money
- Losses can lead to depression
- Waste of time
Can make a lot of money
People can make and have made a lot of money playing poker in a relatively short space of time. There are players that have made millions at poker with 2 or 3 years of player. Realize though, that these players are very talented and that they have put in thousands of hours playing and studying the game.
There are two types of players that make money at poker:
- The Fish – He doesn’t really know how to play and get’s very lucky to win. This player can only win in the short run though. After playing a few sessions, he will eventually be a losing player. Most fish lose the first time they play, but obviously there are a few that get lucky and win once or twice.
- The Shark – He knows how to play the game. He’s studied the game. This player makes a profit over the long run. Even the best players lose money in some sessions, but in the long run they make a profit.
Obviously, whether a player is good or not is relative to the game. You can be a fish in one game and a shark in another. If were playing with Phil Ivey I’d be a massive fish. If I were playing with my friends I’d be the shark. The aim of poker is to play with players that are worse than you. You don’t have to be the best player at the table to make a profit, if you’re the third best player at a table of ten, you’re also in a good situation and will make a profit in the long run.
Poker is fun. It does give you a rush. You get the enjoyment of any other card game, but you also money on the line which makes it even more exciting.
Can lose a lot of money
Most people are losers at poker. The sharks and the casinos eat all their money. It always seems like there are more winners than losers at poker. But that just doesn’t make any logical sense. The casinos take a percentage of most hands that are played. It’s usually something that seems insignificant like 5%. I mean what is £5 when you win a £100 pot? What people don’t realize is these small rakes add fast and due to the rake, most players at the table are losers.
Poker-rooms, online and offline, make millions and billions of dollars every year, living off the rake they take from the games. This money comes from the players pocket. Most players are losers – don’t forget this.
There are many players that are addicted gamblers and can throw their lives away due to gambling. We’ve all heard of a friend’s friend that used to be a successful business man, with a great wife and kids that gets addicted to gambling, loses a lot of money and throws his life away. A year later he’s divorced, his kids won’t speak to him and he’s in massive debt.
How can you avoid this happening to you? Don’t start playing poker in the first place. Once you play a few times, the game can suck you in.
Immoral way to make money
How do the pro’s make money at poker? The answer is by playing against players worse than them. The winning player searches for the fish and know that they are going to beat them in the long run, but the fish don’t know that they are going to lose. This is like the hustler in a pool game. Some make consider this stealing and immoral.
The pro’s don’t make their money by playing players as good as them or better than them. In that game, either there opponents take their money or the casino does.
It is true that in many games both players think they are the better player and therefore one may argue that it is a fair game since both players think they are ‘conning’ their opponent. But in actual fact, one player is going to win in the long run and that player has taken money immorally from his opponent.
There is also the issue that when the worse player takes money off the winning player, the winning player did not enter the game willing to lose money and therefore some argue that this is ‘stealing’. Not stealing according to the law, but stealing in a moral sense.
Some of you may say that you’re not looking for worse players, but you are happy to play against whoever you come across. Some may even say they look to play against better players. I can tell you now, that you will never make a lot of money playing poker. This is fair if you’re playing for fun, but beware that you will probably make a loss in the long run.
Mike Caro, a top player and teacher of the game, said that he wished he spent less time playing with the pros trying to get their respect and more time with the fish and taking their money.
If you do want to make money playing poker, a basic lesson is to search out the fish and flee from the pros.
Losses can lead to depression
Even if you’re a successful player, there will be stretches of weeks and possibly months where you are losing money. Being a professional you accept this as part of the game and realize that in the long run, you will eventually show a profit.
However, these lows can be very low. Losing in so many consecutive sessions can really hurt you emotionally. In any competitive game you have this and people will tell you that highs when you win are so high that you’re willing to accept these lows.
I would say this is true in most sports, but in poker, from experience I would say this might not be true.
There was a time when I was playing at the $100 online tables. My bankroll was around $2000 at the time. I lost $400 one Friday afternoon in an hour or two. I had put in so much effort in the past to make that money and losing it was so depressing. The whole weekend I was upset about the loss.
I did get over the loss and nowadays losing a few thousand dollars in a few days doesn’t bother me. But the question is, do the highs outweigh the lows? This may sound silly, but I honestly believe that they possibly don’t. I am saying this from experience having played many games and had many ups and downs.
Poker is similar to a drug. You can get addicted and you do have highs and great days, but do they outweigh the many days of depression?
The positive factor being a good, winning player is that you will have more highs than lows and you will also make money, so even if the few lows do outweigh the many highs, you may still be willing to suffer a bit to earn the money.
These lows can also affect your game and cause you to lose even more money. Beware. Take a break from playing when you do hit a depression.
Waste of time
Everybody wastes a lot of time – watching TV, on the net, etc. Poker is addictive and can cause you to lose a lot more time. If you play for 2hrs once a week that’s fine. The problem is that you start off playing once a week, and then the next month it’s twice a week and within a year you’re spending hours a day playing. It completely takes over your life. It will affect your social life. It may cause you to do badly at school or university, which in turn will affect the job you get.
Playing poker may turn you from an A student to a C student, which will cause you to go to a worse university which will lead to a worse job and lower salary later in life. Is the £10 an hour gambling worth more than the difference between £20 an hour and a £40 an hour salary later in your life?
Poker is addictive. It can ruin your life. If could be all right to play every so often with friends, but beware. It can take over your life.
Please note: poker players can make money quick and lose money quick. In the long run, the best player does win. But it could be months before that happens. Poker involves a lot of luck. Just watch this video for an example.