Online poker sites do such an amazing job attracting new players into the ecosystem by selling them only one side of the coin (rewards). People often get carried away by the opportunity to win thousands of dollars a month from the comfort of their own home with very little effort and don't care about taking into account the other side of that coin (risks). Don't get me wrong, the idea of entering a $10 tournament and end up winning a couple of thousand dollars after playing just a few hours, it does has it appeal, and I've been playing the game for over 10 years now. I can see why new players feel the same way too. I was once that player as well.
HOW TO WE APPROACH THIS?
As an experience online poker player I know and understand we need to take into account both sides of the coin before making any decision. And, this doesn't just apply to online poker, it also apply to many aspects of life. You can't take a decision expecting to earn/win something and NOT take into account the risks involves. Trust me, if there's something to gain from it, either personally or financially, there's a risk involve. There's just no way around it. So, before analyzing the risks and rewards associated with online poker, you need to make up your mind and be honest with yourself as of why are you playing online poker?
IS IT FOR ENTERTAINMENT REASONS?
Meaning, are you playing online poker because you enjoy playing the game and having a good time? Then in this case, there aren't many risks involve unless you start using money you can't afford to lose to be able to play. When we reach this point, we must open our eyes and be honest with us and accept we might have a gambling problem. Thankfully, many poker sites offer a feature called “Responsible Gaming”. Meaning, you can set deposit limits, what is the maximum stakes you're allowed to play, etc.
IS IT FOR FINANCIAL REASONS?
Are you playing online poker for the sole reason to make money? Become a professional player? If this is the case, then it is a completely different ball game. Studying the implied risks of poker is no longer an option, it's MANDATORY! It would be amazing having to focus only on the rewards (like making a consistent living) but unfortunately it doesn't work like that. We need to also asset the risks associated with online poker and one of the biggest risks online poker players have to evaluate are…
Luckily, we know quantify all that. All it matters now is to work out the numbers and evaluate whether or not it´s in our best interest to play online poker for money.