Most people you speak to would probably say gambling as a full-time career is not a practical goal. However, a good number of people have successfully made a career out of gambling. Perhaps one of the most high-profile among them is Dan Bilzerian. Granted, he has several ventures going, but he is predominantly known as a career gambler. The owner of Brentford FC and Midtjylland FC, Matthew Benham, is another name that stands out.
Before you start imagining what your life would be like if you were a successful career gambler, you need to properly weigh the pros and cons associated with the field. Let’s start with the negatives.
1. The cons of being a career gambler
- Due to the nature of the activity, being a career gambler can expose you to all sorts of vices. If you find it hard to maintain discipline, you may end up with some bad habits.
- You will have to live with a bit of a social stigma in some circles. The general public appreciates successful career gamblers but very few people really want to introduce themselves as “a professional gambler”. It doesn’t matter if it is an old boys gathering or a high profile business function; you may be forced to find an alternative description for yourself.
- The success of your career hinges heavily on the whims and caprices of the gambling institutions. If you are an offline gambler, you may find yourself moving location numerous times in a short period of time in search of conditions that are favourable for your career. A simple rule change to your favourite game can seriously hamper your success. When the US Government banned online gaming, it was much harder to find an easy game of heads up poker at 5am GMT for example.
- You may find yourself at odds with your belief structure. This is especially true if you have a religious background that is opposed to gambling. This internal conflict can leave you feeling unfulfilled and unhappy even if you end up being very successful.
The chances of failing and becoming a financial failure are higher than in most other endeavours. Look around you, there are countless examples of failed gamblers. Many of them never get a second chance at a happy life.
2. The pros of being a career gambler
- You will have time for other activities that matter. Do you want more time with the family? Do you want to spend more time in your garden? Becoming a career gambler will free you from the shackles of the 9-5.
- You can become a celebrity. Maybe not as popular as A-list stars but word gets around quickly these days, thanks to social media. It only takes one huge win to make you quite famous.
- You will develop mental resilience. This can help you massively in other spheres of life and will come in handy if you start a business.
- You can make new connections. The gambling table can be one of the best places to run into high profile individuals. How these individuals can improve your life is up to you.
- You can travel the world. With poker, for example, competitions happen all around the globe. This offers you the opportunity to make money while travelling the world, a combination many people would give anything for.
- You can secure the financial future of your family. Big winnings can mean you have enough money for your life, and to help out those around you.
You will probably notice from the pros and cons that beginning a career as a pro gambler is about balancing risk and reward. You need to be able to understand odds, and make good decisions. If you believe you have the enough discipline, and are still hell bent on making gambling your full-time job, here are some other things you need to know.
3. Gambling is not purely about luck
Contrary to popular opinion, you will need more than luck to excel at gambling. The best gamblers play strategically. This increases their chances of achieving success. This explains why many gamblers stay calm in the midst of a losing streak, as they know that they can quickly make back whatever they have lost if they stick to their strategy. They believe in what they are doing and manage their bankroll in such a way that they feel in control.
4. You need to embrace games that require more skill
While playing free mobile bingo and other games in online casinos is a great way to get your feet wet, you will need to play games that require more skill. Poker and sports betting are two of the best arenas. There is a reason so many successful gamblers focus on poker for instance. The odds are not stacked against them as they are in many other games. The chance of long-term success is higher because it is your skill relative to your opponents that dictates your results at the end of the day. Being in a competition against other players instead of the casino, increases your chances of becoming a successful career gambler. You can also choose who you play against. If a table is filled with strong players, you can find an easier table. Keep this in mind. It is all about having an edge.
5. Making money as a career gambler is not a walk in the park
Making money as a professional gambler is feasible but it is not easy. You need to be better than your opponents, minimise big losses and maximise gains. You also need a good deal of practice in order to build the right level of skill needed to start off a gambling career. Do not make the mistake of going all in and quitting your job until you start seeing consistent success with your gambling. Click here to see how you can improve your skill without asking for help.
Below are some additional nuggets you need to keep in mind as you build your gambling career. Remind yourself of these on a daily basis until they become part of you.
6. Do not gamble without a predetermined plan
You always need to know what your overall goal for any gambling session is before you embark on it. At what stage do you give up? At what stage do you take home whatever you’ve made instead of re-investing? These questions should form part of your plan.
7. Don’t go on a revenge gambling session
Revenge gambling means chasing your losses. Doing this usually means throwing caution to the wind and abandoning your strategy. In most cases, it ends in disaster. If you have dreams of becoming an accidental millionaire, it may be best to re-evaluate your position on making a career out of gambling.
8. Don’t leave your comfort zone
During your gambling career, you will find out that you achieve the most success in certain games. It may not be poker. It could be betting on horse racing or cricket. The key is to make sure you never venture out of this comfort zone except to learn about new areas. If you are skilled in horse racing, poker and football gambling stick with them; you will achieve more success than a gambler that takes a scattergun approach. If you try something else with simulated activities (not with real money), and back test your strategy, and find you have an edge there too, then gradually incorporate it into your portfolio of activities. The games you have the most skill in, are those you have an edge for whatever reason.
9. Avoid overexcitement
It’s great that you have made a few thousand pounds. However, you can quickly lose all you’ve made and more if you allow overexcitement to creep in. This applies both during the game and after the game. You need to stay grounded during the game to make the right decisions. You need to stay grounded after the game to avoid mental patterns that will put you under pressure in your next game (thinking about making down payment for a brand new car with the next lot of winnings). Always gamble with your head and not your heart.
A career in gambling is challenging and fraught with many dangers, but it can be rewarding if you are level headed and take a long-term strategy that gives you an edge.
Are you a skilled gambler or thinking of becoming of professional gambler? Has this article opened your eyes?