Professional or recreational?
A lot of my friends ask me whether I am a professional poker player or just a recreational player. I want to say that I think there is no clear answer to this question because I approach poker as entertainment but also treat it professionally at the same time. Of course, if you really want to talk about the difference between the two, then there are still many differences. I will talk about this topic today.
The first difference between a professional player and a recreational player is that professional players must play hands with consideration of mathematical probabilities and the range of the hands. They should consider all the characteristics of opponents including their betting styles, sizes, and their unique habits. Only when players are keeping up with and know everything thoroughly, they can win the game, especially in tournaments. Since blinds keep rising, at the end of tournaments, players should rely on their experience and need luck to play pre-flop. Nonetheless, the reason why poker attracts recreation players is that everyone has opportunity to reverse situation, and recreational players often think that the result is followed as already decided. Most recreational players believe that winning the games definitely means playing well and losing means playing bad.
Recreational players will play hands with a wide range at the pre-flop. If they continue to fold, then it would be too boring. After opening three flop cards, they feel like good lucks will come and still have opportunity to hit the following two cards. Relatively speaking, professional players can call or raise hands at the pre-flop but they decide it very carefully. They use different range of hands according to the position with a mathematical perspective to analyze the probability of each hand.
So, whether you are a professional player or an recreational player, as long as you play poker in the right way, and study the best strategies, develop your own discipline, learn how to observe the opponents, experience the sense of balancing between the offensive and defensive style, conceal own habits, and fear and perseverance, your skills will improve and most importantly, you will be able to think better than others in every field.