Many people have turned the game of poker from a hobby to a career, but what exactly does it take to become a professional? Although playing poker does not assure you a regular paycheck, the successes of some have caused the game to appear as a lucrative money making option. But before you quit your day job for a gig at a poker table, there are some things you have to take into account. First, you need to look at your win streak Are you winning games? Keeping honest records of your wins and losses will allow you to fully assess whether or not you are a successful player. Doctoring your stats is only going to hurt you in the long run. Keeping good logs will also help you determine on average how much money you’re making per hour. The more hours you put into your records, the more accurate your assessments will be, which brings me to my next point. Putting In Time They say practice makes perfect, and they were right. The more time you devote to playing poker the more likely you are to up your win streak. If you just won your last five sessions at the casino are ready to quit your office job, you might want to rethink that decision. Getting thousands of hours of practice under your belt will help you determine if poker as a career is a viable option, or if your luck is just hit or miss. This will also help you see how high of stakes you’re playing at. You might be making a small profit playing at lower stakes, but higher stakes will be necessary given the lifestyle you want to lead. Higher stakes means higher downswings, so you also need to make sure your bank account will be able to handle it. Your bankroll Even most amateur poker players understand the basics of a bankroll. Like any working business, a poker player will need capital in order to make his or her bets. You’ll have to factor in the type of poker you will be playing (limit, no limit). It’s best to build up your bankroll while you still have a steady income, so that you can determine how much money you’ll have to be bringing in in order to live comfortably. Looking Ahead As with any new business, the chance of poker success comes with an equal chance of poker failure. Be prepared for the inevitable losses that will come with your wins. Be ready for your life to change with the hours you’ll be devoting to poker. But most of all don’t be discouraged! There are plenty of resources and guides out there for new poker players, like 888poker College get the full guide here. Poker can be a rewarding industry and a fun endeavor for any card game fanatic.