September 12, 2011

The Good and the Evil of Poker Propping

For a layman, being a poker prop might seem like the embodiment of online poker paradise: one doesn’t just get to play rake-free, he might even get to be paid to do his favorite thing… after all, if playing poker is all you ever do, getting paid for it does indeed sound like a dream come true. Frankly, for a person who does indeed play poker for a living, becoming a poker prop doesn’t carry any downsides: it’s pure gold, regardless of the number and severity of the propping restrictions. The problem is that only a small fraction of online poker players can claim that they do online poker for a living. For a recreational player, poker propping may have a few nasty surprises up the sleeve.

In order to be a successful prop, one needs to be quite committed to the game. Sure, folks will tell you that they know of countless players who lost money before they became poker props, and that they’re now able to squeeze a profit thanks to the propping benefits. While these stories are probably all true, one needs to bear in mind that the guys these stories are about were probably not the average recreational players to begin with.
In order to avoid setting yourself up for a major disappointment, make sure you’re 100% honest with yourself when assessing your online poker capabilities before signing up. As a poker prop, you probably will not be allowed to play at full tables. you can almost take it for a fact that you will not be allowed to queue up at a table which is full, in order to wait for a seat to free up. You will instead be required to start your own table. As a poker prop, you may also be required to play at the Razz, Stud or Omaha tables, because overall action tends to be rather slow at those poker variants, and the primary duty of a poker prop is to create action where there’s a shortage of it.
The prop manager will pretty much watch your every step, so breaking the propping rules isn’t something you should ever count on either.

For an experienced player, playing short-handed PLO, or even Stud isn’t a problem. For a recreational Holdem addict though, things will be quite different. Brush up on your game if you reckon you’re not quite fit to undertake the duties of a poker prop. Take your game to the next level of poker thought and diversify. In order to fully enjoy the benefits of a stiff poker propping setup, you need to develop a set of skills that are better than average.

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