Online Poker: A Professional Reports His Experience | TechBook

Online vendors such as “Pokerstars” are in Germany at least since the “TV Total” any term. Stefan Raab made it to the event to make poker as a hip lifestyle acceptable.

Live from online poker – is it possible?

According to a study by Pokerolymp, there were more than 357,000 registered, so-called real money players in Germany in 2013. Playing on the computer and making money – for many a fantastic idea. TECHBOOK explains: How exactly does this work and how quickly does the reverie become an illusion?

Berlin-based poker pro Martin S. (31) answered our questions. Why he lives like many other German players in exile has a simple reason, he explains: “As in Austria, for example, here in Stockholm, gaming profits do not have to be taxed.” This freedom of movement in tax law makes countries such as Sweden and Austria a mecca of gambling for countless players from all over Europe.

At the poker tables of the virtual world, in addition to the experienced pros, especially the inexperienced beginners and recreational players are increasing. Many of them just want some entertaining entertainment, but some are looking for financial success.

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In order to play successfully, a player would need to learn to learn poker, discipline and perseverance, says Martin S .: “At first, poker may still be about luck, but what matters more is skill. So that means: play, play, play. Never give up and above all: never stop learning. “

Online poker portals

Only those who are clever and knowledgeable have a good chance of earning big profits in virtual poker games. To prepare, poker expert Martin suggests: “Before you visit one of the online poker portals, such as Pokerstars, Partypoker, or Everest Poker, it is highly recommended to attend a basic course in a poker school.” Like the poker portals themselves, there are many hundreds of schools in the network. For example, game videos teach how to play poker and win hands. Analogous to other tutorials and tutorials you will find similar educational videos on Youtube.

Warm-up with play money

Another tip Martin emphasizes: “Play money with play money!”. Learning strategies should be the best practice for beginners in rounds of play money stakes. Such an option is offered by all popular poker schools. This gives you the opportunity to learn to assess and improve your own skills. Playmate mode is safe to use and in some cases even real money wins.

True to the motto “practice makes perfect”, the formula for success is that the player’s chances of winning increase as experience increases.


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Get in low and get out big

“To avoid quick losses, beginners should always start with low limits first,” recommends Martin, “because there are very important differences between the play money mode and proper playing, to which it has to get used.” So if the player Do not want to run the risk of getting out prematurely right after an all-in, should he move slowly to the bigger pots.

Risk control through clever BRM

“Staying in the game for longer and maybe playing poker a little later in the game is not a matter of luck, it’s about having the right management!” Explains Martin. Through bankroll management, poker players can reduce their risk of losing their entire invested capital. As a result, total losses are reduced as far as possible to a minimum.

A golden rule for this is: online poker players should have at least 30 full buy-ins to sit at the virtual poker table. That’s about 30 big blinds. So if a limit of one euro is required at a poker table, the player must have a minimum amount of 30 euros. If this is not the case, or if the player has already fallen below this limit due to lost laps, then it is time for him to leave the table to increase the remaining balance on tables with lower limits.

variance understanding

Who wants to play tournaments should be aware from the beginning that they are exposed to a huge variance. “Most lay players are already overtaxed at all to reach an adequate level of play, not only to participate in mid / high stakes tournaments, but also to be able to win them,” says Martin sharply. An adequate mindset and the mentioned bankroll management are absolutely necessary for this.


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What utilities like HEM are good for

Utilities are an absolute “must” in online poker, making them indispensable in helping players to actively analyze the game. Examples include: Holdem Manager (HEM) or SnG Wizard.

What are tracking programs

The program notes the hand histories of the hands played during the game. That is, it analyzes which cards the players have received, how they acted, and how much money was circulated.

Tools for professionals

  • Bankroll Management (BRM)
  • discipline
  • mindset
  • poker knowledge
  • variance understanding

Legal and psychological risks

A risk remains the game and thus the player always received. That goes for the poker table itself as well as away from it. Poker professionals are legally and mentally on thin ice.

In general, the consumer protection Germany warns online before these five player traps:

  • (According to the current legal situation) is a criminal offense due to participation in prohibited gambling.
  • Malware carries a high security risk.
  • Possible data abuse when depositing on the player account.
  • In principle, bonus credit can not be paid out, and there is also the risk of theft of sums already paid or received.
  • In case of damage (eg fraud) no legal remedy is possible due to the ban on gambling.

In addition to the risk of gambling addiction threatens in extreme cases even trouble with the authorities. As soon as a player pursues the game of poker professionally, ie actually earns his living, he has to pay income tax to the tax office.

With tax software easier through the tax return

From hobby player to professional

Like lottery and casino games, poker is considered by the state to be a game of chance. This results in a tax advantage, since income from legal gambling, which can be attributed to private assets, are tax-free for the time being (including even a profit in the millions in Las Vegas). For the same reason, however, no losses can be asserted that had to be made in the context of profits, such as travel expenses, stakes or losses from these operations.

Caution: Capital gains, such as interest or dividends, which are obtained through gambling winnings must be stated in the tax return and thus taxed.

It looks quite different with professional players, who achieve commercial income from their game according to 15 EstG. In the case of professionals, the amount of the tax is calculated in the same way as for the normal employee, based on the actual revenue generated (less revenue).

The classification as a recreational player or professional depends on a number of different factors. Significant here is above all, whether serious profit intentions exist, whether the time spent in online poker can be categorized as working time and whether there are other income or not.

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It’s easy to forget that it’s estimated that only about 5% of all poker players are winning players in the long run. Conversely, to succeed as a professional, 95% of all players must be left behind in the long run and even if that should be done. A careful style of play is especially advisable for newcomers to the game, even experienced professionals often rely on the strategy of ” Grindens “. It is a special style of play in which, with minimum risk, small, secure winnings are continuously earned over a long period of time.