You will be forgiven for thinking that nowadays poker has become more and more difficult with fewer and fewer people able to make a full-time income out of it. There is no doubt that poker has become more difficult as there are more and more knowlegable players out there thanks to video training sites and hundreds of different books on the subject covering everything from cash games to tournaments. However, it is still possible to make a part-time income playing poker either at work during your lunch break or in the evenings when you have a bit of free time. Making an income from poker isn’t easy and does require some time and dedication to get it right. In the past I have been making up to £10,000 per year in the UK tax free simply by playing tournaments. However, these days due to time constraints and the increasing difficulty of the game I am unable to do so but will be sharing some of my tips and tricks on how I used to do it.
First and foremost you need to sign up with a reputable site. In this instance I will sign up to bet365 as they are my favourite all-round casino and sports book and they offer poker on the ipoker network. Playing on a networked poker site simply means you are paying against people from other poker skins such as ladbrokes or Betfred. This allows sites to use a pre-existing customer base rather than attempt to start up their own poker room which is extremely difficult to pull off. Bet365 offer a £100 welcome bonus which is released in stages and this is one of the ways in which you can make a part-time living but I will go through that small in-depth a bit later.
Personally I find Texas hold ’em games just too difficult nowadays as so many people are playing at a much higher level and players from countries such as China or Eastern Europe and they are able to grind out the low stakes cash games for a reasonable income for where they are based, whereas players in the UK cannot grind them and make enough money to survive.
Due to the difficulty and saturation of Texas hold ’em I prefer to play pot limit Omaha high low. Although this game is also getting more difficult there is still a lot of value in the tournaments which run nightly in every major poker room. By learning this game to a high level you can crush the nightly tournaments and maintain a 50% ROI. This means for every £100 spent on buyins you should be looking at making £50 profit excluding bonuses. To get to a level where you can crush these games you need to sign up to various video poker training sites such as deuces cracked or alternatively search on YouTube for such videos. Once you start playing these games you will realise who the fish are as they will have very basic grasps of how the game plays. With pot limit Omaha high low you are dealt four cards and you must use two of them in your hand in order to make the best five card poker hand as well as the best five card low hand with the best low hand being a2345. Many players will happily chase half the pot which leaves a lot of value for those hands which can scoop the entire lot. If you are unsure what I am talking about then pick up a few books on Amazon such as the ones linked below.
As mentioned earlier you can claim welcome bonuses at all the major poker rooms. At bet365 you can get a £100 welcome bonus which will be released to you as you start making money for the site. Every time you are involved in a cash game or register for a tournament you pay Rake to the house and this is how they make their money. For example in a tournament you may buy in for £10 +£1 this £1 is the rake that goes to the house and you will get a percentage of this back released as a bonus. Obviously if you are simply playing tournaments you will not rake as much as playing cash games and your bonus may take a long time to release.
This is it for my basic introduction to the game, I will post more in depth guides as to how I managed to make £10,000 per year playing the game. These will involve slightly more in-depth analysis of each game as well as a guide to rake back and various software such as hold ’em manager and poker tracker.