How To Become A Professional Poker Player

Pro Poker Players

For many British gamblers, becoming a professional poker player is the ultimate dream. But how attainable is it? Can it be done solely at an online casino? Professional poker players are increasingly getting their start there.  Read on to learn what going pro is all about.  Discover different ways to make your mark, the benefits of going pro, and incentive to being a casino online poker professional in the United Kingdom.  While it's possible to make a living playing poker without leaving your flat, not everyone has the stomach for it.

How To Become a Professional Poker Player

Ask a hundred different professional poker players how they got their start and you'll hear a hundred different stories or more! Like pretty much any profession, there are lots of different ways to break into playing poker professionally in the UK but here are a few things you'll hear players mention time and time again:

  • Playing at online casinos - professional poker players know that the internet offers fertile ground for growing your game. Most poker sites on the web offer daily tournaments where it's possible to pick up some top real cash prizes
  • Offline - increasingly, land-based casinos seeking to compete with sites on the Internet are hosting poker tournaments
  • Major tournaments either offline or at casinos online- professional poker players go after the big money wherever it is.  These events are sometimes invite only and can have large real money buy-ins, so won't be for everyone

Unfortunately, there's also a lot of hard graft in becoming a professional poker player. Cruising low stakes games looking to build up your bankroll slowly but surely is a strategy adopted by many wannabes in the United Kingdom and across the globe.  Can you make it work for you and at what cost?

Why Become A Casino Online Professional Poker Player?

The biggest draw for many players is the freedom of escaping the 9-5 job and forging a new career in the casino online. Professional poker players are their own bosses and stand to make huge amounts of money. Of course, they stand to lose large sums of money too.

With large-scale televised tournaments, the best professional poker players are treated as celebrities and can make huge sums of real cash through endorsement deals and the like. For those of us who can't play an instrument, being a certified poker pro is the closest we'll ever get to being a rock star. It's this dream that most have in mind when they start thinking seriously about becoming a poker professional, even if very few players ever reach such a high level.  It's definitely more realistic that being a footballer in the world cup sporting two left feet.  Yet for British players, there's another big draw especially if you have an aversion to the tax man.

Do Professional Poker Players Have To Pay Tax?

Pro Poker Players

One of the reasons there are so many online casino professional poker players is that internet gambling is entirely legal in the United Kingdom.  What many people fail to acknowledge is UK poker players are exempt from paying tax on gambling winnings ever since a change in the law around the turn of millennium. This means that, if real money poker winnings are your primary source of income, you can get away with paying virtually no tax.

Why 'virtually' no tax? Any benefits you receive, such as free entry into top tournaments or complimentary travel, may count as taxable benefits. There may also be implications for your pension unless you keep up with National Insurance contributions, even if you're not obliged to contribute as a poker pro. It's worth consulting a British account or tax professional if you really do hit the big-time.  Don't worry you'll be able to afford it with all all that potential tax savings. Whether you play live or at online casinos, professional poker players in the United Kingdom have a definite advantage.  Compare this to the USA where even small time players will have taxes withheld whenever they hit a jackpot.  Even in Canada where gambling is generally tax-free, anyone who makes a career out of gambling will pay dearly to the government revenue agency.

Did You Know?

In 2001, the 6.75% betting levy that UK gamblers were once subject to was abolished and replaced with a tax on companies that take bets instead.

Testing The Waters

Thanks to the rise of online casinos, professional poker players in the United Kingdom no longer have to go all-in from the start.  These days it's easy to learn the game online for free.  Once you build enough confidence you can start grinding away at cash games and trying your hand at online tournaments.  It's easy to enjoy poker as a hobby at a casino online.  Professional poker players can fly under the radar from their colleagues, friends, and family.  With the ability to play anywhere, there's no need to pack up your life and move to Las Vegas or even travel the world.  Thanks to casinos online, professional poker players don't need to quit their day jobs until the timings right.  Many amateurs turn pro after winning a massive main event like the WSOP.

Subsisting Solely Online

After succeeding at online casinos, professional poker players have a choice.  They can play online, enjoy live games, or experience some combination of the two.  The most fascinating part is that it's entirely possible to make your living exclusively online.  There are players making a million pounds a year without having to show their faces in public.  Celebrities can only dream of that kind of notoriety.  Yet it's totally feasible to be a strictly online casino professional poker player.  Of course the limelight is much brighter in the real world.

Disadvantages Of Becoming A Professional Poker Player

It's easy to see why so many Brits find the idea of becoming an offline or online casino professional poker player attractive. Who doesn't love total freedom, financial independence and notoriety?  I can't believe we didn't mention getting to play the game they love for a living. But it's not all peaches and cream or should we say royal flushes.

Some players get tired of betting on a game that they've loved all their lives. Others struggle just to break even, and never turn a profit playing professionally. Even the best professional players stand to lose thousands of pounds of their own money every year. Compare this with how you feel after even a small loss at an online casino. Professional poker players might have to deal with worse every single day. Still, if you can hack it, it's a life like no other!

A Final Word Of Caution

Whether you play live or at casinos online, professional poker players and their track records vary widely.  You might not realise it, but many poker pros in the UK and elsewhere aren't as successful as they appear.  Many of them are simply wealthy through whatever means and can afford to purchase buy-ins to landmark events.  That doesn't mean their balance sheet is worth envying.  We're not mentioning this to deter you from enjoying the action at casinos online.  Professional poker players mirror capitalism in a lot of ways.  It's easier to make money if you have some to begin with.

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