(Original post by CaligulazBaby)
I agree the hoh trilogy is gold dust but sklansky's theory of poker is a touch advanced for a beginner. Obviously any reading is better than none but if I remember correctly 90% of the book covers high stakes limit he, razz and stud. I'd suggest Phil gordon little green book instead. The guy's a socially inept dweeb but his advice is sound and it'll help you think like a good player.
OP I'd very quickly remove any thoughts of making money from poker out of your mind now. Everybody spends their first year sucking at the game, the second year getting good and if you're not making money by the end of the 3rd year (which most don't) then relegating it to a hobby is the best bet. I read somewhere that only 7% of all online poker players show long term profit...
I'm a semi-professional player, started in 2005. The recession killed the game in 2008. The hobby players couldn't afford it any more and the tables are mostly full of competant regulars now. You can find freeroll tournaments all over the place where a website will offer $5 $10 prize pools so you can play for free and still learn a bit. Reading books + playing a ton of hands = best way to improve quickly.
At the start you should avoid cash games, including 0.01/0.02 games because you will lose money quickly. Playing limit poker will give you a better idea of the strength of hands when it comes to showdown after the river. Once you feel genuinely semi-competant at judging the strength of your hand then make a $110 deposit and play $5.50 SnG's.
Whoever said play Omaha...lol. Don't even think about playing it. While they're completely correct that it's easier to make money...it's a game with such high variance that you can say goodbye to 10 buy ins very quickly if you don't know what you're doing.
Never pay more than 10% rake for any tournament or SnG. Never pay more than 5% rake in any cash game.
Here's my list of qualities possessed by a winning poker player.
1 - Natural raw intelligence. This pretty much goes without saying, every decision in poker boils down to being a math decision and every chip you put into the pot is a quantative investment based on presumed hand equity. If you can't grasp this then poker aint for you.
2 - Math OCD. you have to play literally thousands and thousands of hands before you become competant, let alone a winning player. Then off the table homework consists of relentless number crunching. For example what's your equity in 4bet shoving QQ from the small blind v's a 3bet from an aggressive player on the button.
3 - Even temperament. If you let emotions guide you then again, poker aint for you because anger will lose you money quicker than a divorce without pre-nup.
4 - Free time. The best players in the world play at least 50 hours a week. You wont catch them up playing 49 or less...
5 - Healthy lifestyle. You need a healthy mind to play good poker and eating crappy food, partying all night or having no friends will drain you.
6 - Understanding your mind state. This goes hand in hand with number 3. If you've just split up with your long term girlfriend then it's highly unlikely that you're going to be bringing your A-game to any table.
7 - Money management. You need AT LEAST 20 buy ins for any cash game or SnG. Then anything up to 100 buy ins for high variance games like mid-stakes Omaha or higher, or large field tournaments. Can you resist chasing your losses at a higher stake to win back money you've just lost?
"Damn I'm 2 buy ins down, if I can double up at a higher stake I'll win all that money back..."
There's other stuff that I'm probably missing out but meh, I think you get the idea of how difficult it is to make any sort of living from playing cards.
EDIT, 8 - There's one more thing I forgot.......................... .....
You've been dealt 83 off suit all day. Suddenly 84 suited looks pretty.