Freedom and Stress: a Pro Poker Player’s DayHarry Coulter | 22 Dec 2017
For some, playing Poker professionally sounds like a dream come true; for others, it sounds as though it could be a living nightmare. What do the pros think?
Poker players have turned professional for as long as the game has been played. While many players aspired to go pro and failed dismally, others have made more than a success of it.
Players such as Ryan Fee, Ellie Biessek, Grayson Nichols, and others all started playing Poker socially, but took it to the next level when they realised they had a knack for it, and never looked back. Find out about a day in the life of a pro Poker player and see whether you’d be cut out to play professionally, or if you’d prefer to stick to enjoying casino games on your Android device!
Reaching for a Dream
According to pro players who have shared their experiences, there is no such thing as an average day. While most days start off in the same way, they could go in any direction within moments.
Before Fee and his fellow players went pro, they all lived regimented days. Fee was a college student who now travels the world and plays Poker, Grosvenor Casinos Poker Pro Biessek was a maths teacher, and Nichols is a University of Florida graduate and regular face at the World Series of Poker’s preliminaries.
However, a successful pro Poker playing career means money can come in thick and fast, and with money comes freedom. One of the first things discovered by many players who turn pro is that the self-discipline they cultivated before taking that momentous step comes in very handy with all the spare time they suddenly have.
So What Do Pro Players Do Every Day?
It can be tempting to think that pro players spend their days doing little more than playing Poker, but that could not be further from the truth. Yes, there is a good deal of Poker-playing, but most pro players cannot allow that to get in the way of ordinary life.
There are beds to make, meals to prepare, and pets to be exercised, in addition to giving interviews, writing articles about the game, and reading as much as possible to improve skills. For Fee, a typical day when living in a house-share with other players saw him start the day with coffee and breakfast, play Poker for most of the day, and spend some time relaxing with housemates before going out for a group dinner at which they discussed the day’s Poker experiences.
For Biessek, however, her only average days are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, which are her Poker-playing days. A 3-day work-week means the teacher-turned-pro player has a 4-day weekend.
Biessek said that, while she does give some of that time to writing Poker-related articles and helping other players improve, she is able to spend a great deal of it doing what she likes. However, she added that she missed teaching maths, and would consider returning to the profession on a part-time basis so she could continue playing Poker at pro level.
Not Without Stress
As appealing as all that free time and exciting Poker gaming sounds, being a pro player is not without its stress. According to a player who preferred to remain anonymous, going pro does have its drawbacks.
The player said that one of those drawbacks is uncertainty. This is not just the uncertainty of never knowing when a downswing is going to hit, but also the uncertainty of state legislators who seem to want to change gambling laws as frequently as they change their underwear.
A third drawback is that being a pro player dependent on winnings can be all the more stressful when there is a partner and children to consider. A downswing does not have to be too much of a threat if a player is single, but it can have far-reaching consequences when a family is involved.