The evolution of a poker player

In a way it has been very difficult in many ways for people coming into poker to try and play the game for a living and to remain doing so for any length of time. While on one hand there has been massive opportunity because of massive amounts of action online and being able to multi-table and make money from rakeback and sign up bonuses and everything else, the game itself has been forever changing. This has basically meant that much of what you know today will be of no use or of little use maybe this time next year.

A whole new era

Poker really moved into a new era in 1999 with the arrival of the first online card rooms. Many people within the game claimed that this was nothing more than a novelty and wouldn’t last. Well clearly just like the invention of electricity and nuclear power, the internet and with it online poker is here to stay. But just like with any new environment then the changes were going to come thick and fast but one thing can be guaranteed to happen and this is that the environment that we live in will not be the same this time next year or even next week for that matter.

So to be a professional poker player for any length of time involves being totally aware of the environment that you are going into and how that environment can change. If you are not aware of how those changes will affect your ability to be able to make money and you have no back up plans in place then your long term profit making potential isn’t good. My own example has been instructive because the way that I play poker now is in no relation to how I played in 2002 or even in 2007 for that matter. I started out playing limit hold’em in full ring and played a lot of hours to simply make my wages.

You need to keep moving

Then the full ring games really got tough to make money at and so six handed games came to the fore. Suddenly I had to learn a whole new form of poker. Then when limit became solved I then realised that the game had no future for me as a source of making money. I had a brief flirtation with SNG’s soon after but this was because I needed to find a new way of making money. I was advised though to learn no limit hold’em by some people who were crushing the games and their earn rates were all the proof that I needed to learn yet another form of poker.

Even after switching to NLHE towards the back end of 2007 then I am still playing the game differently now to when I was back then. In fact I have just made further changes to my game recently despite spending nine years as a serious poker player. In my experience then you are in a constant state of evolution and once you realise this then you need to realise that you will need to change at some stage.