Living the Dream: Tyler Jones, professional online casino poker player, discusses how his fantasy became reality!
As Hold’em players we all share the same fantasy, to play poker professionally. Whether we play in a home poker game, log a few hours playing online or frequent a favourite local card room, the dream seems to linger with us like a bad beat. My friend Tyler Jones is living his dream and making a living playing Hold’em professionally. Tyler shared his aspirations with me in 1993 on our first day of classes in the seventh grade. I recall a failed bookmaking endeavor we partnered on later that year (the principle wasn’t keen on our entrepreneurial ambitions). Tyler set his sights on this goal from a very young age but like any profession, an education is needed to be successful.
Tyler plays exclusively online because of the freedom to play an enormous amount of hands per hour and the freedom to play anytime, anywhere in the world. For online professionals it is highly recommended that you take advantage of poker sites’ deposit matching promotions and third party sites which offer rake back bonuses. Tyler prefers the “Rush” style of cash game poker which usually consists of a pool of people and every time you fold, you are moved to another table. By playing four tables at a time the “Rush” style of poker allows him to play around 1500 hands per hour. With this amount of exposure and by playing only premium pre-flop hands, he makes a comfortable living.
But with more hands comes more bad-beats and the possibility of going on tilt. Tilting with 1500 hands per hour can be fatal. He sites bankroll management as the most important ingredient for success for a career in professional Hold’em and says that, “a player can have a ton of skill but without proper bankroll management, they will not succeed.” A fatal mistake that people make is not separating a bank account from a bankroll. When you blow your roll (which everyone does) there is money to rebuild. You should never have more than 5% of your bankroll on the table at any time and don’t be afraid to lower your stakes during a cold streak.
At the end of Tyler’s first year of professional poker he had some unusually profitable days followed by three weeks of losses and said goodbye to his bankroll. He took some time off and went back to school. He analyzed his game, watched the professionals and took advantage of all the video footage, advice columns and tools available to him online. Most importantly, he did not give up. In closing, Tyler recommends that you keep an eye on players who do not auto top-up their money at the table; this may be a sign of a beginner who doesn’t have the funds to stay at a competitive stack. Also, STOP set mining. If you are re-raised, chances are your pocket 8s are not going to hold up without an eight on the flop, so let it go!
You probably won’t see Tyler on TV anytime soon, but he is one of the countless number of people making a living doing what he loves. Are you next?
About the Author
Online Casino Player
A 31 year old Gaming and Poker analyst from Victoria, British Columbia. With a background in Casino surveillance and professional dealing, along with over 25 years poker experience (Yes he has been playing since 5 years old) he would consider himself a serious-casual player, with a professional run on the horizon.