6 Ways to Make $20,000 a Month From Poker (Just Do This!)

6 Ways to Make $20,000 a Month From Poker

This article was written by blackrain79.com contributor Fran Ferlan.

Whether you are an experienced player or a total beginner, improving your poker game takes a lot of time and effort.

There’s no improvement without effort, but with the right approach, it doesn’t have to take months or years to take your poker game to the next level.

This article will show you 6 surefire ways to quickly improve your poker game and make some decent profits, $20,000 per month or more.

None of them negate the need for effort on your part, but they will help you improve your poker skills (and results) more efficiently.

1. Start With Why You Want to Improve Your Poker Game

If you want to improve your poker game, the best place to start is to think about why you are doing it in the first place. 

Getting clear about your motivations will help you with the process, because it will force you to define what improvement means in the first place.

Do you want to make more money? Do you want to impress your friends on the next Friday poker night? Are you preparing for a huge tournament? 

Or are you doing it because you want to perform at the highest level and become the best player you can possibly be?

For me personally the answer was simply freedom.

6 Ways to Make $20,000 a Month From Poker

Becoming a professional poker player has allowed me to travel the world non-stop for over 10 years now, and make a living from my laptop.

Let’s get one thing straight though, there’s no right or wrong answers here. 

You need to be honest with yourself, and not pick answers that you think are more desirable or acceptable.

If you want to improve your game because you want to make more money, there’s nothing wrong with that. 

There’s nothing wrong with trying to make more money to improve your financial situation, to take care of your family, or to be able to afford something that will bring you joy or fulfilment.

For a proven strategy to consistently make money at low stakes poker games, check out Crushing the Microstakes.

The point of defining your motivation is not that you can feel better about yourself because you have some noble goal in mind (for the most part). 

Rather, it’s about having the idea of working towards something you deem valuable. 

This will make you more likely to follow through with your strategy, instead of abandoning it halfway because you don’t know why you’re bothering with it in the first place.

Playing poker is easy and fun. Improving your poker game can be difficult and boring. 

So without a clear goal in mind, it’s very easy to stray off course, because there will inevitably be periods where you just don’t want to bother with it.

By defining your goals and motivations, on the other hand, you’ll be much more likely to follow through during the inevitable periods where you just don’t feel like studying, and would rather just play some cards without thinking too much. 

Unfortunately, there’s no improvement without studying. 

Studying the game remains the number one most reliable and irreplaceable way to improve your poker skills.

And there’s no way around that. No trick or gimmick can replace good old-fashioned studying, and ignore anyone who tells you otherwise.

On a related note, check out Nathan's video on why the vast majority of players lose money over the long run.

Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you have to spend hours on end straining your eyes hunched over dusty tomes to learn something new.

Everything you need to know is already available to you, so it’s just a matter of choosing the option that works best for you based on your preferences.

This is why this first step is so crucial. By defining what you want, you can choose the best way to go about it more easily.

Now that you have a plan in place, it’s time for the hard part: the execution.

2. Consistency is Key to Improving your Poker Game

When you scratch beneath the surface, poker is an incredibly complex game, and improving your poker skills takes time. 

So if you want to quickly improve your skills, consistency is key. 

One of the best ways to improve just about any skill is spaced repetition.

The basic idea behind spaced repetition is breaking down your study sessions into short intervals, and taking regular breaks in between, then repeating the process consistently. 

This is proven to be a much more efficient learning technique than just cramming for hours on end. 

And here’s the kicker: it doesn’t matter how long or short your study sessions are. 

Spaced repetition is more efficient even though your study sessions might be shorter overall. 

For example, four 30-minute study sessions may be more efficient than studying for 3 hours straight.

6 Ways to Make $20,000 a Month From Poker

Taking this approach takes a lot of the pressure off, and makes it more likely that you will actually follow through with your studying plan. 

A lot of players make the decision of finally sticking with their study plan, and they’re extremely motivated at first. They work for hours on end, and it works great at the beginning. 

But once their initial motivation starts to wane, hitting the books for hours on end seems more and more daunting, until they inevitably lose interest and quit altogether.

It’s great to be motivated to improve, but relying on motivation alone is not enough to follow through. You will inevitably experience periods where you just won’t feel like doing what you’ve set out to do. 

But by starting slow, you’re reducing the resistance you might feel, which makes it more likely for you to follow through with your plan.

Studying for hours on end is difficult. But setting aside 15 minutes before your playing session to watch a video or revise your notes is manageable, even if you don’t really feel like doing it.

Making small, meaningful progress in the right direction is infinitely better than standing still.

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3. Hand History Review is The Best Way to Quickly Improve Your Poker Game

Hand history review is the single best exercise to improve your poker skills. 

As they say, experience is the best teacher, so there’s no better way to learn than from your own individual experience.

Hand history review entails going through the hands you’ve played, particularly the ones that you were having trouble with or where you made a mistake.

6 Ways to Make $20,000 a Month From Poker

You can do this to identify and fix leaks in your own game, as well as to study the game of your opponents.

When you’re playing poker, there’s only so much time available for you to process all the information and make decisions on the felt. 

But when you’re studying your hands off the felt, you have all the time in the world to think through all the factors. 

You can calculate the pot odds and the implied odds, think about your opponent’s range and your perceived range, the previous action sequence and so on. 

If you ever feel stumped when doing a hand history review, it can often highlight a potential leak in your game.

For example, if you don’t know if you should call or fold to a preflop 3-bet with a certain hand, you should probably brush up on the topic of preflop 3-betting.

Or if you often don’t know what to do on the turn, you may need to work on your double barreling skills.

Asking a question like: “what is it that I don’t understand?” can lead you in the right direction.

Going through the hands you’ve personally played is invaluable because it allows you to learn from your own, direct experience. It can show you the limits of your own understanding of the game, and where your skills may be lacking.

This way, you’ll know exactly what you should be working on next, and it will force you to think critically about your own game, and dispense with the notion that you already have it all figured out.

For more advanced poker strategies, check out Modern Small Stakes.

4. Enroll in an Advanced Poker Course

In today’s day and age, it’s easier than ever to find materials on virtually any topic, and poker is no exception. 

If you want to improve your poker skills, there’s no shortage of information out there just a few clicks away.

What were once the secrets of the trade is now readily available information to anyone interested in improving their game.

However, this comes at a cost. While it’s now easier than ever to find information, it got to the point where there’s simply way too much of it. 

Parsing out through all that’s available to find the stuff that’s relevant to you is becoming a challenge of its own.

Even if you want to improve your game, it can be difficult to know where to even start.

If you want a systematic, step-by-step programme that’s guaranteed to take your poker game to the next level, enroll in Blackrain79 Elite Poker University.

You will learn all you need to know about crushing the game in today’s competitive environment, whether you’re a tournament or a cash game player.

The course covers each and every aspect of the game in extreme detail, along with hundreds of examples to illustrate the more advanced concepts.

Elite Poker University goes way beyond your standard online poker course. 

It takes a deep dive into a lot of difficult, marginal spots you’ll often encounter at the felt, and shows you how to play optimally in virtually every spot you find yourself in with confidence.

Aside from the detailed technical game strategy, you will also learn how to approach poker from a mental game perspective, and how to manage your poker career like a pro.

You can watch the complete walkthrough of BlackRain79 Elite Poker University in the video below for more details.

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5. Invest in Some Good Hand Tracking Software

In order to improve your poker skills, you need to have a reliable way of measuring your progress. 

Due to the short term luck element involved in poker, it’s difficult to accurately measure your improvement in a short period of time. 

Variance can have a huge impact on your short term results, so it’s important not to get carried away with your short term results, positive, or negative.

Simply put, variance measures the difference between how much you expect to earn and how much you actually earn over a specific sample size. 

For example, if you bet on a coinflip 10 times, you would expect to win 5 out of 10 times, since the probability of winning is exactly 50%. 

If you win more than 5 times, you experience positive variance (i.e. you’ll win more than expected), and if you win less than 5 times, you experience negative variance.

In poker, variance can be brutal, so sometimes you’ll experience losing periods even if you’re playing perfectly. 

So when trying to improve your skills, it’s important not to get too caught up in short term results.

If you’re on a losing streak, you may be under the impression you’re making no progress at all, while in reality you may just be experiencing negative variance.

Conversely, if you’re winning, it may not necessarily be the result of your improved skills, but you may just be running hot due to positive variance.

For these reasons, it’s important not to pay any attention to short term results at all, and instead to focus on other aspects of the game you have control over.

For example, focusing on being more aggressive on the turn, calling down wider against loose and aggressive players and so on.

In order to know whether or not you’re improving in that regard, you need a reliable way of measuring your progress. You can’t improve what you don’t measure.

If you play poker online, consider investing in a hand tracking software like PokerTracker 4 and the HUD which literally puts your opponent's stats on the table for you!

Improve your poker game

Poker Tracker 4 is the ultimate software suite for serious poker players. 

With its powerful tracking and analysis tools, you can accurately track your performance, identify leaks in your game, and make more informed decisions at the table.

It allows you to import hand histories from your preferred online poker site, and its advanced analysis tools provide detailed statistics on your opponents, your win rates, and much more.

In addition to tracking and analysis, PokerTracker 4 also includes a range of customizable HUDs (heads-up displays) that give you real-time information on your opponents' tendencies and weaknesses. 

With this information at your fingertips, you'll be able to make more confident, profitable decisions.

I have used the PokerTracker HUD for over 10 years as a pro as I have discussed many times on this blog.

PokerTracker also comes with a 14-day free trial, so there's no reason not to give it a try, if you take online poker seriously.

6. Fix Your Biggest Leaks First

Winning poker is all about identifying and fixing the mistakes in your game. In order to win in poker consistently, all you need to do is make less mistakes than your opponents. 

It’s easier said than done, of course, but at the end of the day, this is what it’s all about.

The best poker players in the world weren’t born that way. 

They just worked exceptionally hard at eliminating leaks in their game over a long period of time, and they continue to do so without getting complacent.

Improving your skills in any field is hard, and poker is no exception. 

In order to make improving your game easier, it may be worthwhile to flip the script, and instead start thinking about how to simply not make mistakes while you play.

For example, bad calls!

how to improve at poker

It’s hard to figure out what improvement in your poker game would even look like. 

You may say that improvement means making more money, but as mentioned, your short-term results aren’t a good indication of whether or not you’re actually improving.

It’s way easier to recognize when something is broken than to figure out how to improve something that’s already working.

The same concept can be applied to your poker game, as well. 

Instead of thinking how to improve, think about what you’re doing wrong and try to fix it.

You may argue that this basically means the same thing, and fair enough.

But it’s easier to solve a problem if you define it better and ask better questions.

Question 1: how do I improve my poker game?

Question 2: what is it that I’m doing wrong and how can I fix it?

Both questions are trying to solve the same problem, but it’s way easier to conjure up an answer to the second question. 

The first question is vague and nebulous, and the second question is more precise and actionable.

In order to improve, you first need to figure out what you’re doing wrong. This obviously takes some humility and self-reflection on your part. 

If you think you’re already doing everything perfectly, there’s nothing to improve.

You can try this as an exercise. Take out a pen and paper, and write down everything you think that is wrong with your poker game, be it mental or technical game-related. 

This can include the mistakes you’re making, spots where you’re not sure what to do, concepts you’re not quite familiar with etc. For the mental game part, try to think about what makes you tilt the most.

You don’t necessarily need to separate the technical and the mental game, as the problems between the two are often interconnected, but you can if that’s what you prefer.

It’s important to keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers here. 

The best way to do this exercise is to write down anything that comes to mind, no matter how basic or trivial it may seem. Give yourself the permission to write down anything that pops in your head.

Then, take a break and come back to the list the next day. Go through the list and rank order the problems that you think are the most costly, or identify the ones that are easiest to fix.

Pick one thing from the list, and focus on solving it until it’s no longer an issue.

Then go back to the list and pick another item. Rinse and repeat.

You can expand or refine the list as you think about something new that may be worth adding. 

If you don’t know what your leaks are, you can find out by using a hand tracking software like PokerTracker 4

There’s a part of the software called “Leak Tracker” that shows you EXACTLY where your stats fall out of the norm for most winning players, so you don’t have to guess anymore.

Conversely, you can check out my other articles on the most common amateur mistakes you should be avoiding.

6 Ways to Make $20,000 a Month From Poker - Summary

To sum up, here are 6 methods to help you take your poker game to the next level in as little as a month:

1. Start with why

If you want to improve your poker game, you need to have a clear idea of why you’re doing it in the first place. This will help you develop a plan, and motivate you to follow through with it.

2. Consistency is key

If you want to achieve meaningful progress, you have to keep at it even during the periods where you won’t feel like doing it (especially during those periods). In order to avoid getting overwhelmed, start small and celebrate small victories along the way.

Making a small step in the right direction is infinitely better than standing still.

3. Hand history review

The best way to learn is through direct experience. Review hands that you’ve played to recognize mistakes, identify leaks in your game, and figure out what part of the game you should be working on next.

4. Enroll in a poker course

If you want a systematic, step-by-step programme specifically designed to take your poker game to the next level, enroll in Blackrain79 Elite Poker University.

You will learn all the advanced poker strategies you need to crush the game, along with hundreds of example hands, downloadable “cheat sheets” and much more.

5. Invest in a hand tracking software

You can’t improve what you can’t measure. If you play poker online, consider investing in a hand tracking software like PokerTracker 4.

One of the best features of the software is the Leak Tracker, which tells you EXACTLY where your stats fall out of norm for most winning players.

6. Fix your biggest leaks first

To figure out how to improve your poker game, it may be worthwhile to flip the script and think about how to eliminate mistakes from your game instead.

It’s easier to figure out what doesn’t work than it is to improve something that already seems to work.

Identify and fix the most costly mistakes from your game first, then start worrying about the minutiae.

Lastly, if you want to know the complete strategy I use to make $20000+ per month in small/mid stakes games, get a copy of my free poker cheat sheet.

6 Ways to Make $20,000 a Month From Poker