There are millions of people around the globe who play poker. A majority of them see it as a recreational activity that costs them some money but provides entertainment. Some, however, approach poker from a different angle and use it as a significant source of side income or even as a full-time profession.
It’s no accident that only a small fraction of all players actually make money from poker. Achieving long-term success in poker is no easy task and it requires a combination of certain skills and qualities. You’ll find that most successful players possess some, if not all, of these seven qualities.
1. Willingness to learn
One of the most important qualities of successful poker players is their willingness to learn. Many people are happy where they are in life and don’t feel the need to learn new skills and this approach may work in some fields. Not in poker, though.
Those who strive to be successful understand that they can never stop learning and improving their game. Things are changing all the time, there are new strategies and ideas, and if you aren’t keeping up with the curve, you’ll be left behind.
2. Emotional stability
No matter how good of a player someone might be, poker will always be an emotionally charged game. Variance, swings, bad beats, you name it – there are always things that will happen and that is out of your control.
Staying emotionally strong and stable in these situations is one of the most important qualities of a poker player. It’s important to keep the right perspective and not allow things you can’t control to influence your state of mind or your play. Letting emotions take over can only compound the problem.
Sometimes, playing poker is fun. You get dealt plenty of playable hands, you see a lot of flops, and it’s all good. But serious players who play a lot will also have to deal with sessions where they’re card dead for hours.
Staying patient and not trying to force things is of the utmost importance. If you’re not getting playable hands, you’re supposed to sit and wait for good cards and good opportunities. If you get bored easily and start playing any two cards you’ll have many losing sessions that could have easily been avoided.
4. Good with money (bankroll management)
Good poker players know that their bankroll is their main tool. Once the money runs out, it doesn’t matter how good a player you are. If you can’t afford the buy-in for the tournament or a cash game, you won’t have a chance to put those skills to good use.
Because of this, knowing how to handle your bankroll correctly is another crucial quality in a poker player. Just because a game looks juicy it doesn’t mean you should sit down. If you can only afford five buy-ins for that particular game, you’re taking too big of a risk. It’ll take just a few bad beats or bad decisions to completely decimate your bankroll.
The game of poker is in a constant state of flow. Things don’t just change on the global level where people come up with new strategy thoughts and ideas. During a single session, you’ll often have to change gears and adapt to new situations as new players join the table or circumstances change (players get stuck or drunk, someone’s on tilt, etc.).
The ability to quickly adapt to these new situations is thus a very important quality you’ll find in most good players. You need to be able to quickly recognize these new circumstances and change your entire game plan based on the fresh information. The better you are at it, the better your profits will be.
6. Love for the game
Poker comes with its own set of challenges and it’s hard to keep at it if you don’t love the game. This is true for almost any profession but especially true for poker as it requires so much focus and energy. With some jobs, you can auto-pilot your way through things and still make it work. This will hardly fly with poker.
So, a majority of good players actually love the game and enjoy all of its challenges. Sure, nobody loves downswings and bad variance but the best of the best know these are just another part of the whole. To win in the end, you have to lose sometime, and that’s completely fine.
7. Good balance in life
Finally, no matter how much you might love the game, you can’t allow for poker to become the only thing in your life. This can lead to burnout and cause you to start hating it. If all you ever do is play poker, talk about hands, and study, you’ll eventually get tired of it.
Serious players who want to hang around for a while thus do their best to create a good balance in life. They’ll make time for other things they enjoy and spend it with their friends and families. You need to get away from the game completely every now and again and just do whatever else it is you love doing.
What we’re all about at
We offer the highest EV poker software, and training tools available on the net. These are recommended and used by today’s top poker players from the world. We’ve been doing this since 2009 with the emphasis on offering unique and creative poker software that will help any level of poker player be a more thoughtful and successful player at the table. We’d invite you to check these titles out:
DriveHUD – DriveHUD is a poker database and HUD for your online poker play. It overlays a HUD on your online poker tables, and display vital stats about each opponent on your table. It tracks and records all of the hands that you play online. This allows you to review, re-play, filter, graph and analyze all of the hands you’ve played. So you can improve your poker game. LEARN MORE.
Asian Hand Converter – Asian Hand Converter allows you to track your online poker games and run a HUD on several popular Asian poker applications. It supports Poker King HUD, Red Dragon HUD, Bingo Poker (formally Hitea), PokerTime, PokerBros, and Upoker HUD. It works in conjunction with Holdem Manager, PokerTracker, and Drivehud (integrated into Drivehud). You can run multiple tables on these sites on your windows based PC with the use of most popular android emulators. The converter supports LDplayer, Bluestacks (beta), and Nox. LEARN MORE.
Leak Buster Software – Leak Buster is a poker software that interfaces with your Holdem Manager or PokerTracker database, and extracts key statistics about your play in order to find your largest poker leaks. Its unique scoring algorithm weighs the impact of your leak against average win-rates. And it suggests ways to correct those leaks through the use of videos (over 50) and written modules. LEARN MORE.
PokerZion – Get Started with PokerZion’s Proven Poker Training for $7! From over 12+ years of playing poker, combined with techniques and tactics used to win over $500k+ in cash games, this the most comprehensive structured learning course on no-limit holdem. And it’s only7$! All lessons include a combination of poker training videos, written and audio modules, quizzes and articles. LEARN MORE.