Recreational poker player vs. pro poker player

A professional poker player (a pro) relies on poker as his main source of income. He need not win every time he plays, but must come out well ahead in the short term as well as the long run.
Considering luck (chance), over which even the most skilled players have no control, is a big factor in the game, poker pro is not an occupation I would recommend to anyone. I am sorry to see so many young people leave college to take up poker as a career.
On the other hand, a recreational poker player participates for the diversion and mental challenge. Likely, he also enjoys the social interaction (which appeals to man’s basic instincts). Almost all are “serious recreational players;” the main goal is to go home a winner.
In both cases, it is desirable to have a separate poker bankroll and use money management, so players can afford to lose now and then – even for a sustained period of time. Some pros have backers who put up the money for them to play, especially in big tournaments. That removes much of the trepidation of going broke; as a result, he is more relaxed and more apt to make the correct decisions.
Serious recreational players: This involves playing with funds we can afford to lose, but our main goal is to win as much money as possible. Unlike pros who play almost every day – like a job, recreational players may get into a game once a week or so in local casinos – with occasional trips to Las Vegas. Many are retirees who have played different varieties of poker for years.
Many serious recreational players have weekly home games with their “poker buddies.” One problem is, after several such home games, everyone knows how each plays. It’s great for the PokerSharks, but tough on their hapless opponents. But it does avoid the huge “cost-to-play” (i.e., rake, etc.) in the casinos.
Recently, many recreational players have turned to “pub leagues” – bars and restaurants that offer poker without a rake, relying instead on sales of food and drinks for their profits. Thus far, these have not had a significant impact on the casinos. Recreational players continue to brave the freeway traffic to enjoy their favorite poker games.
Fame and glory: For those seeking fame and glory, the pro route is the best way to go; although many serious recreational players have managed to do well in major poker tournaments.
Many delight in playing in front of the TV camera and being interviewed in poker magazines. A few – mostly the pros – will find their way into the Poker Hall of Fame and the Seniors Poker Hall of Fame – great ways to honor those who have distinguished themselves in our poker world. And pros can “earn” huge sums of money – into the millions!
Consensus: Several of us were chatting one evening about poker as a profession. What did each of us think about it? The consensus: To each his own.
Every person is entitled to his or her personal preferences – a right to choose how he would spend his days, his life. The big question: What does the professional poker player contribute to society? Good question!
Watching a pro on TV or reading his interview in a magazine, provides the rest of us with a welcome distraction from the more serious aspects of the real world, much like watching a movie star or a top basketball player.
In the final analysis, poker pros contribute “zip” to making this a better world. Contrast this with a doctor who heals his patients; or the businessman whose company provides a product that is useful to society – and employs many people in the process.
Where would our world be without the technologies created by engineers? Many recreational players come from this part of our society. They play for diversion and enjoyment of the game.

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