Becoming a Professional Poker Player – Top Tips by Fedor Holz

fedor holz becoming poker professional

3 minutes

Last Updated: November 5, 2023

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One of the questions that I often encounter is: “how to become a full-time poker player?” While this is a very broad question that entails many different aspects, in this article, I will share my top three tips for anyone looking to become a professional poker player.

1. Honestly Assess Your Situation

The first thing you need to do is assess your particular situation. So many players don’t seem to know where exactly they are in terms of their skill level, which is the first thing you need to be clear about.

But you also need to think about your personal situation.

If you are just starting out with poker, it is not realistic to expect you will turn pro in a few months. It will probably take a couple of years before you get to where you want to go.

This also depends on your willingness to learn, your studying abilities, and the people around you.

One way or the other, it is important to take the time to assess your situation and manage your expectations about what you want to achieve.

For example, if you have a full-time job, you need to figure out how you’ll get from that point to playing poker professionally and eventually quitting your job.

If you want to be a professional, you won’t be able to have a full-time job – these things are simply not compatible.

So, to sum it up, you need to:

  • Figure out your skill level: look into your results and stats and talk to other players. Look into available training content to help you improve.
  • Manage your expectations: be honest about how much time and effort you are willing to put into becoming a professional player and plan according to those parameters.

I do honestly believe it is quite achievable to become a mid and somewhat higher-stakes winning player, but it is very difficult to get beyond that point.

2. Your Studying Habits

One of the biggest mistakes many people have is the lack of a proper improvement routine. A matter of fact is that most players are simply lazy when it comes to studying.

fedor holz importance of poker study

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They grind and put in the hours at the tables, but they don’t question their game enough, they don’t review their hands using all the available software out there, etc.

For example, one very important and relatively easy thing to do is get your preflop strategy in line.

If you aren’t willing to do this, it usually means that you’re simply not dedicated enough.

What I often see at mid-stakes are the same mistakes over and over: people not opening enough hands, under-defending their blinds, not 3-betting enough, etc.

It is essential to develop a good study routine and challenge yourself. Test your decisions using the solvers and discuss hands with friends and other players in your circle.

Start by looking at wide ranges and spots that come up often, such as button vs. big blind, small blind vs. big blind, etc. These are the situations that repeat themselves over and over again, so you really want to study them hard.

3. Become Involved in a Community

If you are really serious about becoming a full-time poker player, it is important you find a community of people you can work with. I would suggest finding three types of people within this community:

  • The ones you can teach – to help you learn how to formulate your thoughts.
  • Your peers – players on a similar level looking to move up and facing similar struggles
  • Coaches – people who have been through this journey and can help you with the problems you are dealing with.

For me, having a community of players around me as I moved up was really essential, so this is something I can honestly recommend to everyone serious about becoming a better player.

If you’d like to find out more about how to embark on this journey the right way, check out the video above, where I go into more detail on each of these three key points.

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