Jobs are hard to come by these days, and some of us are seeking ways to increase our income. A second job is not uncommon for most families that are not fortunate enough to be raking in the dough from the primary job. Believe it or not, poker can be your second source of cash-flow! Absolutely, you can play poker online to give you some extra income. However, there are a few things you need to consider. To start with, I would not advise someone to invest a whole lot of money into playing poker for a second job, especially someone fairly new to the game. It's true that there are people make great money and even play poker as their first income.
However, many people will not be as fortunate and a lot will end up losing money. Other considerations are your commitment to really learning the game, your bankroll (what you can invest to start) and your required income. However, if you follow a basic outline, invest time into getting better and treat your bankroll as an investment, you just may become a regular winner and earn a little extra spending money playing online poker.
The most important aspect to winning poker is the most often overlooked - bankroll management. There are a few great articles just on how to manage your poker bankroll, and there are also many different opinions about the proper bankroll. The most important thing is that you absolutely must have some form of bankroll management and the patience and discipline to see it through. Find out what some of the newest articles are suggesting and talk about it with other poker players. If you cannot find anything, use this as a guide.
In cash games, you should probably have somewhere around 25 to 30 buy-ins for the limit you would like to play. Keeping with that goal, if you have $500 to play poker, you could comfortably play the $10 buy-in level, moving up to $25 NL when you get to around $750. No doubt you are not going to be making a whole lot at these levels, but ideally, you'd like to get to at least the $25 NL level to make any reasonable money (the goal is to play the higher levels of course). You have to start somewhere though.
Whenever you get around 25 or 30 for the next level you should decide when to start playing at the higher level. It is vital for the health of your bankroll to move right back down if the move-up doesn't go well. It is not unusual to move up and down more than once before becoming a fixture at a new level.
Some people prefer tournaments instead of ring cash games. Make sure if you choose this that you research bankroll management for tournaments, as it is a little different than cash games. However, if you are really playing for more steady income, then cash games are definitely the best option. That way you can play a fairly low variance style, which most agree is a tight-aggressive style, earning rakeback and clearing bonuses in the process. Be sure not to overlook this important aspect of grinding cash poker games.
Poker rakeback gives you some steady cash flowing into your bankroll, even when you hit that bad run. If you have never heard of rakeback before it is basically a system in which you get a portion of the rake that you paid sent back to you at the end of each month. Before you sign up for a new account, be sure to research whether or not they offer rakeback to their players (usually through a third party). If you already have an account somewhere, it becomes very difficult to get it, and trust me, you will be amazed at how much it adds up!
Don't forget to keep track of how you are doing. This goes beyond just tracking whether you have money left in your poker account after playing. There are several poker tracking devices on the market and all seem to have their benefits. Many will let you try them before you spend the money on them.
Once everything is in order, just make sure you play! There's no better way to increase your poker prowess. You should definitely spend a bit of time studying. However, don't get wrapped up in the studying, playing is where you gain experience and learn. While reading or watching videos, take notes, bring them up with players you respect. Be sure to post hands and closely follow the discussion. Make sure you take valued suggestions and try to implement them.
Final thoughts - treat your bankroll like an investment and your playing time like a job. Play your best game as much as possible. You wouldn't think it would have to be mentioned, but don't ever play drunk and avoid playing when tired or distracted. If you put in the work and focus on your game, you can be earning a very decent second income playing poker from home!