Hello! This year I have intentions of becoming a professional poker player, and these are my plans in order to do it. Firstly, the reason I want to be a pro. Throughout my life, I have always had the drive to be great in some field. When I was around 10, this was being a world-class goalkeeper in football. As I got a bit older, this drive ended up fizzling out and I lost the motivation. During my early teens, I had the drive to be one of the best in the world in video games such as Overwatch and Rainbow Six: Siege. Due to issues involving commitment and other aspects such as school, this never manifested. Again I had this drive when I was roughly 16-19, I wanted to be great at mathematics. I was very good, but once I started my degree I realized that it wasn't for me. The reason I wanted it wasn't for ego or prestige, I wanted to see how far I could stretch my mind and body. There's a Socrates quote, "It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable". I have always had a strong self-belief that I had what it takes, but nothing ever came to fruition for me. I had a sad realization as I got older, the less chance there is for me to be great in a field. I got into chess when I was 19 but I knew I would never be a GM because I didn't start when I was like 4 years old. I had been playing poker since I was 18, for fun, nothing more than kind of just knowing the rules and some basic strategy. Once I got to university, I started playing in the universities poker society, where people would play every week for money and had stakes as low as 1p/2p. I went every week under the pretense that I was going to spend money for entertainment, and in the long run, I will always lose. After a couple of weeks, it became clear this wasn't the case, and I could very much make money in this game. It seemed like a good supplement to university, and could maybe help pay for some extra things.
I kept playing, becoming obsessed with the strategy, and talking for hours with people better than me and anybody I could learn from about what was going on. Quickly, feeling myself improve, I wanted to learn more and more. It's a rare experience to feel yourself improving at something and that directly affects the amount of money I could make, especially since I've been in academia my whole life with only a couple of part-time jobs. There were times the idea of going pro crossed my mind, but I would push them aside, in order to not get ahead of myself. The difference with poker is that everyone starts when they are (roughly) 18, so I am not already 15 years behind everybody who is good and simply can't compete. This obsession with learning has been with me my whole life, and this wasn't a new phenomenon for me, but it always feels good. I got better, I became the president of the university poker society, I made some money, and lost some money, nothing special. I made another thread where I spoke about strategy and my current playing plans. I am playing 5z and 10 reg at the moment. I am grinding up a roll but I understand this is incredibly hard, and that micro stakes are somewhat of a rake trap, but I do think anybody who thinks it's impossible to make it through is just coping and isn't committed enough to improving or making it through the stakes. I have started taking solver work and independent study more seriously, and I am feeling it in my game.
Funnily enough, this year starts with me playing poker less. I am in my final year of university and am taking a break from the amount of poker I play, in order to make sure I finish out my degree with no regrets regarding the effort put in. After my exams in June, I will start committing to poker almost wholly. I have plans of working part-time from July to Septemberish, to build up extra roll, and in order to survive before I can do poker full time. This will either be through a trading internship if I can get one or some other job. Towards the end of the year, in autumn, I will take a break away from work to play poker full-time. During this time I plan on temporarily living in a country with lower living costs like Thailand, with a couple of friends who are also trying to be pro poker players. This time will give me the experience of playing poker full time and the lifestyle that comes with it, so I can see if 1) I am capable of doing it and 2) if it is the life for me. Hopefully, after this trip, I will not need to go back to work and will be able to support myself full-time from poker. I understand this is hopeful for such a small turnaround, but with the amount I plan on committing to poker I believe it can be done.
I am open to any advice or speaking with anybody else who is on or has been on, a similar path to me.