Is professional gambling really a thing? Yes, we all know that there are people who have become celebrities for being professional gamblers. But most people believe that you have to have an insane life story to get into that circle only a small percentage of people can tap into. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be like that.
Like any other profession, nobody is born a pro gambler, and you can start your gambling career with any background you have. Simultaneously, like any other profession, it’s not just playing a few rounds of slot machines and winning thousands of dollars. It takes a lot of skill (so there’s a lot of learning to it), experience, dedication, and focus. You won’t be able to earn substantially overnight.
Of course, it’s perhaps too ambitious to expect to become a multi-millionaire and participate in TV shows sitting next to Phil Ivey. That’s like watching basketball and thinking you can be the new LeBron James. Still, it is a viable profession if you have the courage to take off in that direction, but it’s not straightforward at all. Before we go into how you can do gambling as a job, let’s look at the negative side of it.
The first and the most important thing you need to master is to always remain in control. The success of gambling partly lies in the fact that human beings love to compete against each other and thus prove they’re better than the opponent, at least on a certain level. Your ego is a big part of the equation. The worst thing you can do is chase your losses. Yes, it might help you win back the money once or twice, but it will be a fluke. On a consistent basis, you’re bound to lose, and professional gamblers know never to do that.
Furthermore, tying into the previous point, you have to remain in control when the money’s not rolling in. With gambling, you have to be ready to focus on the long-term profit, instead of expecting to be in the green every single time. The cash will flow in and out in waves, and your job is to come up with and implement a strategy which will make sure you’re positive in the long run. So you need to prepare for a lifestyle which allows you to have a month (or months, even) of losses and have enough money in the bank to get you through to the next winning period.
After that, you need to consider whether you’re psychologically suitable for such a profession. If you’re not able to stick to your plan, and, more often than not, you find yourself spending more than you expected, you should probably reconsider. Gambling addiction is a serious problem which you should not take lightly. There are some signs you can spot in a person with compulsive gambling, such as overpaying, chasing losses, having unfounded confidence, and playing too often.
If you find some (or all) of these behavioral patterns in your life, you should seriously consider seeking help or fighting the urge off on your own. A report has shown that one in five Americans with pathological gambling have attempted suicide, which makes it an addictive disorder with one of the highest suicide rates. Make sure that one more round doesn’t become one too many.
Now, let’s turn to the more positive sides. With the right strategy, it’s perfectly possible to make a living out of gambling. Let’s take a look into why you should actually do it.
If you compare professional gambling to some other desk jobs, you’d be hard-pressed to find many similarities. As someone who’s betting on sports or placing blackjack bets for a living, you’ll have a unique lifestyle. You can organize your life the way you want, without any restrictions which come with having a regular 9 to 5 job. This way, you can devote yourself more to other hobbies and family, and the lifestyle, in general, is a lot laxer.
On top of that, if you’re interested in earning money via tournaments, they take place in luxurious casinos all over the world. Just imagine it being your job to travel to Las Vegas or Hong Kong and stay there for a month, all the while your partner is happy to know that you’re on a business trip.
However, this can be a double-edged sword. While traveling and visiting new places is a dream job for pretty much everyone, it could really stretch your budget. If you’re in a period when you’re not raking in as much money as you’d want, going to a luxurious hotel for a tournament may be tough to afford.
Moreover, if going to a land-based casino is your bread and butter, you can suffer from having to travel a lot. Say you find a niche where you play a certain game a certain way to maximize your profits. A slight change of rules that your local casino imposes can derail your strategy. Then, you have to change and go somewhere else, which is not an ideal thing to do all the time.
Then again, there’s a solution to this. Instead of commuting every time to a brick-and-mortar casino, give online casinos a go. They offer you the convenience of playing straight from your home without having to go anywhere. Moreover, you can visit a website whenever you want and pop in for a game or two in the middle of the night. And it’s also way easier to manage your bankroll when playing online, because, in reality, it’s easier to stay away from games. You can start playing poker and see that it’s not your night after ten minutes. Nobody goes to a land-based casino, buys the chips, and then leaves after 15 minutes.
Another advantage is using bonuses. Due to the huge competition on the internet, most online casinos offer promotions in order to attract players to sign up. You can utilize these promotions (just make sure they come with acceptable terms) to earn money without spending any of your own.
So let’s suppose you weighed all the pros and cons and decided professional gambling is just the thing for you. How do you do it? Well…
You need to work out which games you should play. In order to turn pro and make a profit in the long term, you have to focus solely on games of skill, such as poker and blackjack. A professional slot machine player doesn’t exist.
To become efficient in poker, it takes years of practice and experience. But since you’re competing against other players (rather than the house), it’s up to you and your prowess to earn money. Yes, there’s a bit of luck involved in getting the right cards, but it’s not about which cards you have, it’s what you do with them. Similarly, there are plenty of strategies you can utilize while playing blackjack. Blackjack, like most card games, is a game of numbers. There are basic strategy charts which will give you a mathematical approach to the game. These charts show what odds you have depending on the cards you can see, and they’ll tell you what the best course of action is.
More advanced than these charts is card counting. Counting cards is a system which takes years to master, but once you get a hold of it, it will maximize your chances of winning in blackjack. It revolves around counting which cards from the deck have gone through so you can better anticipate what the next card will be.
Most professional gamblers stick to poker and sports betting. Poker is perhaps the game most reliant on one’s skillset, where your decision making has the biggest impact on the outcome. With sports betting, if you think it relies simply on the luck of trying to guess a future event, well, that’s why you’re not a pro yet!
On the highest level, sports bettors are more mathematicians than gamblers. They compare odds given by sportsbooks and have a model which lets them determine what actual odds of a certain event are. Say you have a model which says the odds of the Warriors winning is +150 (2.50 decimal, or 3/2 fractional) and you find a sportsbook which offers odds of +200 (3.00, 2/1). The margin of actual odds and sportsbooks’ odds is where you will make your profits. These occurrences happen more often than you’d think, so it’s viable to earn via sports betting. You can find these odds models online, but as you keep more experienced and start spotting flaws, you can improve it on your own.
All in all, it’s perfectly possible to become a professional gambler. But it’s by no means easy. Like with any other profession, you need knowledge and experience to excel at it, and even then you’re still not guaranteed to win all the time.
If you decide to go down this road, just make sure that it doesn’t take control of your life. Remember, you have to remain in charge all the time. Don’t succumb to emotions and start chasing losses. You’ll often overpay, and that’s a one-way ticket to financial troubles. Instead, make sure you have a sensible strategy which you will stick to the same when winning or losing. If you manage to do it in the right way, you’re in for a dream job. Good luck!
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