According to expert poker players, you cannot take lessons to know how to become a professional poker player. The key to becoming a professional is to practice, practice, practice. In the words of Michael Graz, a professional poker player, in order to reach this stage you have to eat, drink, sleep, live and breathe poker. It will occupy every waking moment. You must have a love for the game and if you don like losing, then you will not be a successful player because even the great ones have losses. There is a vast difference in being a good poker player against your friends and playing against those who are experts in the field. Take a vacation to Las Vegas and play against some professional players to see how well your skills and strategies stack up against theirs.
The best way to get started in playing poker is to start playing online. There are many free sites where it won cost you anything to play. This way you learn the rules of the games and start to develop your own repertoire of strategies. One thing it will be difficult for you to learn online is how to read your opponents and get to recognize some of their poker tells because you won be able to see their faces. As you gain more confidence with your wins in online poker, you can graduate to playing poker for real money.
This does not have to be large amounts of money because there are many one and two dollar games. You may be able to play all day for $20. Then as you start to accumulate money when you win several pots, you are getting started on your way to becoming a professional player. Many online tournaments offer you a chance to win your way into a tournament which ordinarily would cost you tens of thousands of dollars in entry fees. This is the ultimate chance to play against the big boys of poker.
Visit a casino and play poker against the regulars. It does not have to be a daily event, if you don want to engage in it as deeply in the beginning. As you win more and more games, you start to develop a bankroll for yourself and gain a reputation in the poker world. You can take part in small local competitions as a way of building up your confidence and getting to play against a wide variety of opponents. Most casinos have tournaments where they invite some big names in poker to play and these games are not as expensive to get into as the world series games.
The most consistent way of becoming a professional player is to play as many cash games as you can. If you are a good player, you can expect to win about 75% of the games. Do not become impatient when you do hit a losing streak because this will only take your focus off your game and cause you to make costly mistakes.