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Professional poker players have an unusual profession. They play a game to make money. Just 20 years ago, the concept of being a “poker pro” was met with disdain due to the stigma placed on the game.

While that has largely changed in the new millennium, poker pros are still generally misunderstood by friends and family. Some have a hard time wrapping their head around the concept of “poker pro” and others don’t truly understand what that means. Today we will take a look at a few common misconceptions friends and family have about poker pros.

You’re Just Gambling

Despite the fact that poker is much more mainstream than it ever has been, there’s still a large segment of the population that view the game in the same vane as Blackjack or other forms of gambling.

“It must be nice to be able to go out and gamble all the time,” is a common comment poker pros have to endure from family and friends. People just don’t understand the difference between playing poker and slots. Even if you’re a winning player, people think you’re just getting lucky.

You Don’t Have a “Real Job”

Those who play poker for a living run across this frequently. People view playing poker as a recreational activity and find it hard to believe that people can make a living at the activity.

Many people assume that the only way anyone makes money at poker is to hit a huge score such as the WSOP Main Event. They know little about the real world of poker and the grind that many pros endure every week just to make ends meet.

The social stigma many place on poker prevents them from considering it a viable career pursuit and poker players often have to put up with questioning about when they are going to “settle down and get a real job.”

You Have No Social Life

For better or worse, the online poker culture has made poker players look like a bunch of anti-social introverts that want to have nothing to do with the outside world. While there are certainly players that fit this category, the opposite is true for many players.

Poker is supposed to be a social game and for many, the only reason they play poker is to hang out with friends or to have a good time. Many have active social lives and enjoy many of the same activities as non-poker players.

Or You Just Like to Party All the Time

On the flip side, you will run across people that assume that poker players do nothing but party when they are not playing poker. Do some players like to get their groove on away from the tables? Sure. But that’s not the preferred scene for many of us.

You Know How to Get them Comps at ALL The Best Casinos

How many times have you had someone try to get you to hook them up with free stuff in Vegas or elsewhere? Granted, some of us can get you comps at particular casinos. The problem is that friends think you can get them free stuff EVERYWHERE.

After all, you’re a big shot poker player so you can get them free stuff. They don’t understand how comps work and when you try to explain how things really are, they get pissed.

You Can Teach Them How to Play Poker Like You Quickly

How many times have poker players mentioned what they do for a living and then someone approached them to “teach them” how to play. The problem is that they think this is something that can be accomplished quickly and they do not want to put in the work to achieve the necessary results.

It is similar to what I have encountered as a self-employed adult. A few of my friends hear I work from home and they want me to teach them how to do the same. The problem is that it’s not as simple as “do A and B to achieve C.”

Poker is not something that can be learned quickly. Sure, you can pick up the basic rules of the game quickly but that doesn’t mean you’re ready to play Erik Seidel or Jeff Lisandro. If that were the case, most of us would be highly successful poker pros.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.