What makes top professional poker players stand out from the crowd?

Becoming a professional poker player is a dream of many people who have spent time playing the game, either online or in person. The idea of earning a living doing something you love, winning acclaim and respect, as well as potentially huge cash prizes, is one that is extremely tempting. However,top professional poker players can seem like a breed apart, possessed of that indefinable extra something that makes them stand out from the crowd. Just what is that quality? And can anyone acquire it?

The truth is that there isn’t any one magical ingredient that enables some poker players to turn pro and reach the top of their game. It’s a combination of factors, some of which are innate and some of which can be learnt. One thing that’s certain is that being a professional poker player isn’t the easy ride it sometimes looks like, and that getting there and staying there requires constant hard work and self-improvement.


Poker players don’t turn pro overnight. One thing they all have in common is thousands of hours of playing experience, whether at physical tournaments and cash games or at the best NJ online casinos. The more youplay, the more you’ll learn, and the better you’ll get. Practice, experience and the confidence this gives you are essential attributes for anyone even thinking of turning professional.


Along with experience, self-discipline is probably the most valuable characteristic shared by top poker players, whether they’re professional or not. Iron self-control – over your emotions, your actions and your mental processes – is absolutely crucial. An undisciplined player may get lucky now and again, but in the long run, they’re always going to lose. Discipline is essential if you’re going to make it in any field, from athletics to the arts, and poker is no exception.


Intelligence and the ability to keep learning is definitely something that separates the top players from the also-rans. You can see it in their eyes, and in their poker strategies. It’s worth noting that many professional players have impressive academic qualifications, and while these aren’t strictly necessary, they do indicate an aptitude and a willingness to study hard and absorb information.

For the top poker players, every day is a school day and they never stop learning. A keen mind that sees every moment as an opportunity for further education is a sign of a real poker professional.

Mental resilience

Playing poker full-time may be fun, but it’s also an extremely stressful way to make a living. Professional poker players must be able to handle immense pressure, knowing that their income depends on whether they win or lose, all under the spotlight and sometimes in front of a large audience. The freedom of the occupation is more than countered by the uncertainty, and all the stresses of an amateur game are multiplied many times when you’re a pro.

These are just some of the qualities that separate professional players from the herd. One could also argue that the indefinable quality called luck has something to do with it, but what some call luck, others might put down to skill. Whatever you call it, this quality can also make all the difference to a top poker player. 

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