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It’s hard, really.

Daniel Negreanu said at some point that poker is the hardest way to make easy money. He’s absolutely right.Imagine this, you went on a heater of several tens of buyins, but you’re playing either a high variance playstyle or a high variance limit. Now, everything that you’ve worked for the last 15-30 days, turns to ashes and dust in two or three very harsh losing sessions.Previously, when you were winning for these 15 days, you were feeling like the king.

You can make a living from this, you are on your way to taking on the world! But suddenly, the cruel mistress of luck shatters your dreams in one felt swoop of her wand and you’re back to square one or even down a few bucks.At this point, a lot of people I know, poker players and recreational players alike, have tilted off bankrolls because of anger, greed and nostalgia. With no money in your account, you’re only left feeling sorry for yourself and this definitely didn’t solve your anger problem.The only thing you can do is swallow your pride and start grinding again at the lowest limit that you can afford and hope that you’ll be mentally solid enough this time to survive the swings.My advice is that if you know that you are not a mentally strong person and have often enough episodes of anger, suffer from depression or are emotionally unstable,just play for fun. Play as well as you can, but don’t try to make a living out of poker because the sheer psychological pressure not only from actually trying to survive earning a living from this game but also the social pressure from your friends, partner or even wife will be tough.

Imagine being on a downswing for a while and getting asked “How much did you win this month?”. Not a pretty sight.It is infinitely harder talking to some people about your profession, because most people don’t really care about the fact that you’ve been studying this game for years and you perceive it correctly as being a skill game in the long run and you don’t see poker as winning or losing sessions, or hands, but as a very long marathon. These people do not care that you are a professional poker player, they just think of you as a degenerate gambler whom at some point is going to lose all their money and come to them asking for a loan which you will never get because of your “credentials”, and you will often be seen as the plague of society. It’s true that a lot of people don’t actually know what they are doing and pretending to be professionals when all they are doing is boasting and ruining their and your image.

We all have heard of a story of a poker player that lost and went to borrow money to pay off their debts, and often enough from the wrong guys. And even if you tried to explain everything to the ignorant people that see you as a degenerate gambler, they would still say that these are excuses and reasons for you to keep gambling your money away continuously. DO NOT! I Repeat. Do not attempt to reason with these people, just avoid them because they will 7be a negative and overall destructive force that will influence your lifestyle if you let them. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone, we’re all here to make a career, make money and remember that you have always played this game for fun also, you like it and see the competitive edge on your opponents, then that’s all that should matter to you.Although, if you’re willing to step over and embrace the hard parts of this game and lifestyle, it can be very much rewarding.Think about it, the volume of work you put in is exactly how much you get paid and not a cent more or less. It’s up to you to make money for yourself,beat the other players and the rake and excel at what you’re doing.This takes time.

This takes dedication. Like the game. Love the game. Having an outright passion for poker will get you far, lacking it will take you nowhere.Time is of the essence. You can work every day for a year or you can take a 3-month vacation. You decide, based on the money that you have made and saved aside. No one questions you, no one has the right to ask you where you’re going. You are a free man by all means, only dependant on your income.Poker is also an international language, go to any casino, sit down and play. You’re on vacation and low on funds? Try the local casino, beat the tourists and prolong your vacation.

Maybe forever.Do you feel this? It’s the feeling that you don’t have to get up early tomorrow. Or you do, because that weak player you’ve been wanting to play with is at the tables around that hour. Either way, you’re waking up to your new life. A life of poker freedom.Monsters ahead! This journey that you’ve set yourself onto is not an easy one, but it’s very rewarding. It’s a high risk, high reward investment of your time and a lot less of your money, I hope.So let’s get on track and start learning a little bit of solid fundamentals to aid you in your thought processes later throughout this book and while you’re playing.Disclaimer:If you don’t understand all these notions perfectly and know these chapters by heart, you will not be able to understand the rest of this book. This is really important in the development of your game and without a solid, fresh understanding there will be no correct and accurate decisions.

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