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Is it possible to be a poker pro?

@Top1Percent

“Is it still possible to live by poker on the threshold of 2024?”

In a poker school, it is normal,(actually it is the order of the day), to receive questions, to hear doubts, to listen to perplexities, both from beginners and more advanced players. One of the most common questions I get asked is, “Is it possible to live on poker now in 2024?”

Usually the answer is limited to “Yes” without going into too much detail (how to do this is then explained in the coaching tracks) but the other day it was a friend who asked me, and I paused to think about it more than usual.

For the rest, it’s true, it’s definitely still possible since it’s our job for us at Top1Percent, but it’s clear that these are no longer the golden years where just knowing a few more basic theory concepts was enough to win a lot without any problems.

What has changed since that day? The answer delves into and parallels the evolution of poker over the years, and it seems to me a topic for reflection.

Of course today it is more difficult but it can be done

There is no denying that the average level of play has risen, and is continuing to rise, from the years when playing aggressively, knowing pot odds and equity were sufficient requirements for an enviable winrate.
Today the theory is much more in-depth and generalized, thanks in part to the spread of software such as solvers, ICM calculators and more. In practice, we have gone over the years from tables with players who barely understood the concept of range to today where almost everyone has at least a smattering of GTO.
This should be highlighted and emphasized, though: ALMOST everyone has at least ONE INFARINATION of Game Theory. This implies that there are still many players who do not know it, and many more who know some concept of it, but do not yet know how to apply it-or do not do it well.
What does it all mean? Simply that it is possible to be better than the average field, (which means being a winning player), by applying yourself and studying. Again, less basic than it used to be, but far from impossible.
In this case I was talking about mid-high stakes for the Italian scene. Obviously at higher levels the knowledge of the game is greater, however, the solution is exactly the same.

Study, determination, commitment: the best opportunity

Whether you are in the microlimits but are unable to win consistently, whether you are a mid-stakes player struggling with a tougher field, or even a high stakes player competing against the top players around, there is a way to win, and it is the same in all three scenarios.
The key is to apply yourself, be determined and ready to study hard. If the intention is to make a living from poker, and that is something we really want to achieve, then this is the way to go: to put yourself under to constantly improve.
I am reminded of the example of Mike Tyson, the iconic boxer, who used to wake up before dawn to start his training routine with a good run. What motivated him was the knowledge that no one else was training at that hour, and that meant Tyson was getting an edge against opponents.

The sclaata of microlimits can be frustrating for a poker player

In poker it is the same thing, with the exception that it is much easier to be better than the average person in your field than to be the best fighter around.

However, the mechanism that must move is exactly the same. If you study more than your opponents, you will take more and more advantage against them, and the results will come. Maybe it will take longer, these results may come later than a few years ago, but they will come.

Solver and study within everyone’s reach

One of the main differences is that today software for delving into poker down to its roots is available to everyone. It was this that made the field more difficult today, but it is also the same driving force that can enable us to become even better.
Earlier we used boxing as a comparison, but we can get closer by taking another mental sport, or game as it may be, that goes hand in hand with poker more often than it seems.
We are talking about chess. Those who know about the subject will know that modern-day chess players are considered the strongest of all time. The reason for this is not that suddenly we have all become geniuses, but it is that today there are chess bots (which can be associated with our solvers) thanks to which it is possible to take deepening in study to unprecedented levels.
The study becomes longer and deeper, but guarantees greater successes. There, that’s exactly what solvers in poker are all about. They allow everyone (those who are committed) to become better, and if you have the dedication to use this tool better than others, you will eventually become the strongest.
By doing so, putting in consistent effort and study, you can realize your dream of making a living from poker.
If you don’t know where to start, or you want to streamline the whole process, a coach may be the solution, to learn the best methods, identify leaks, and cover the 360-degree overview of the game. Join the Top1percent school may be the solution you’ve been looking for.

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