Poker is a game of skill, but many people are unaware of this. You need a combination of talents to world class player, but a blind robot could "make a living" at poker. Poker can be very profitable if you can sustain the variance.
Things You Will NeedTough mind.
Study "game theory." You don't have to be a genius to figure out game theory, it doesn't require a high level of thinking, even though it takes some time to learn. Game theory is like the science of statistics. You have to learn the probabilities in order to be profitable long-term. Not to be confused with a player who gets lucky from time to time and eventually ends up broke.
Teach yourself how to deal with the swings. The most important factor in poker is tilt. You can blow all of your winnings in a short period of time if you allow yourself to "go on tilt." Take a break or have a "cut off" point. if you're a bit hot-headed then you probably need to quit after losing one buy in. It all depends on your personality and ability to handle stress.
Find a mentor. I was lucky enough to run into an older man in a casino, little did I know how much he would influence my demeanor and way of approaching the game. Try to find someone who has been in the game a long time to learn from. They have already learned a lot from they're beats, you mise well learn with them.
Bankroll management. One key factor in a poker players success is his ability to manage his money. The basic idea is to play poker with 5% or less of your bankroll at a time. You never want to buy into a game with your entire bank roll. You should also keep your spending money separate from poker money.
Take the same time to act. Never alter your acting time in any game. You always want to make decisions in increments of 10 or 15, never take 5 seconds to call one time then 6 seconds to call the next. Good players will notice how long it takes you to check when you have a bad hand, or how long it takes when you have the best of it. It takes a lot of patience, but the lack of tells is well worth it, which brings me to my next tip.
Time your opponents actions. Take a mental note of how many seconds on average, your opponent takes to act when weak or strong. If your opponent always takes 6-7 seconds to call when drawing, make sure to take advantage of this.