Growing a decent bankroll through playing online poker is quite a challenge, but definitely do-able! It’s going to take at least 6 months starting with nothing, so not for you if you have an electricity bill that needs to be paid this week!
If, however, you have time to devote to study & research, enjoy a challenge and like playing games then this could be right up your alley, read on…
The very first thing to do is get signed up for an account
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When that’s done you will need to learn the basic rules. There are many different variations of poker, but by far the most popular is Texas Hold ‘em, so start off with this one if you are a complete novice. Most large poker rooms have a poker school where you can learn the basics, or head over to aworldofpoker.com and join the poker school.
Spend some time reading up on good, solid strategies. For a while you will only be playing premium hands and folding a lot more than playing! When you are comfortable with your playing style you can then begin to mix it up a bit, but to begin try not to fall into the beginner’s trap of becoming a calling station – the sharks will eat you for breakfast.
To successfully earn a living from poker; stamina, a cool head and discipline are absolutely essential qualities.
Once you have the basic rules mastered it’s important to remember that poker takes 5 minutes to learn and a lifetime to master, so don’t go thinking you can give the likes of Doyle Brunson a run for their money straight away!
With the rules learnt you then need to find a few poker rooms offering no deposit bonuses, which simply means they give you a starting bankroll to play with just for signing up. The bankrollmob.com (http://www.bankrollmob.com/?t=19402) is a great place to start.
Play a few “play chip” games to build some confidence and practise, but it’s not necessary to spend more than a couple of days doing this because it will not give you a correct overview of how real money games are played, and you really want to get thank bankroll moving upwards.
Stay well away from the cash games, stick to stt’s (single table tournaments) and mtt’s (multi table tournaments), but be aware that mtt’s can take hours to complete, so make sure you don’t have to be somewhere in a couple of hours’ time!
Join all the freerolls (free to register games) offered, and take them seriously. It’s usually wise to sit out for the first half hour or so and let the loose players and all-in maniacs knock themselves out!
To keep your bankroll safe it is recommended to have at least 200 times the amount of the buy in available in your funds, this is because you simply cannot win every game and you will have losing streaks that will put a big dent in your bankroll if you are playing out of your depth.
With this in mind your aim should be turning your $20 or so sign up bonus into $200 playing freerolls; once you have done this you can start playing the $1 games until your funds are at $400, then move to the $2 tables until you’ve earned $1000, then move to the $5 tables, etc. If you suffer a losing streak, simply step back down a level until you get your money back (don’t ever be tempted into the cash games or casino as a quick fix – you will lose!!)
With a bit of practice and a solid strategy in place it is easy to play up to four tables or more at a time, but it will require concentration, so close down Facebook, Skype and the poker room chat box while you are playing!
Once you have been playing for a couple of months and hopefully have started to see a decent bankroll growing, you can then look into getting sponsored to play (yes people will actually pay you!), to earn this privilege there is usually a small test to make sure you understand the rules properly, and you will have to prove that you can successfully make a gain on a set amount given to you (usually around $50 or so to begin), if you continue to prove that you can win consistently then their investment in you will increase considerably. In return the company will take a small percentage of your winnings.
If you intend to make a full-time income and earn serious money from playing online poker, never stop studying and refining your playing style.