This is a topic that is discussed a lot and there are hundreds of teenagers along with other people who dream about playing poker professionally. Before I get into various aspects that are every day life for professionals, lets determine what this term actually means. You might think that in order to call yourself a ''pro'', one has to play nosebleeds with Phil Ivey and other superstars, but actually it's like any other job. If you make a living from doing it, you deserve the title.
Most people actually think that making money playing poker is easy, at least certainly easier thank cooking those burgers at MC or any other ''real'' job. They don't understand that in reality all players who have made it somewhat big are among the hardest workers out there. You will have to spend hours not only playing poker, but also working on your game, which might be and in reality is boring for the majority of people. This isn't the only hard aspect about the game, but lets take baby steps through all of them.
One of the big stepping stones in your carer will be variance, also known as swings. While poker is a true game of skill and the best player will always win in a longer term of time, short term swings can be massive and you can have several losing months in a row. This depends on the game time you are playing, but tournament players actually can even have a losing year. Yeah, the whole year spent at the tables while being a winning player, but still somehow ending up with less money than at the start of it.
You might think that this does not apply to you, but it does. If you are well prepared and have a big bankroll, this might help to avoid the stress this monetary swings bring into life. Living alone and having only yourself to take care about also helps. However, if you have a family to feed, losing for months might not be an option. I'm being a little negative here, but you can never be too careful.
You might think that being a poker player is one big party, as it seems to be for the guys who have made it to high stakes. This actually is quite far from the truth, when it comes to the actual low limit grinder making his/her living playing cards. Having to spend hours at your computer grinding will limit yourself in terms of going out and meeting your friends. The best games also usually run during weekends, so if you want to gain the most value of the games, going out to party often won't be a smart decision most of the time.
Skill level of your opponents
Poker actually used to be easy money for a while, back when the big boom was at its peak in 2003. Today the average skill level of your opponent will be equal to some of the best regular players, back in the days. Players and game have evolved due to a lot of learning material including educational videos and articles being out there. Why is this important? Well, if you don't work on your game enough and aren't a natural talent, there's a risk that you might fall behind and actually become -EV in most poker games where money can be made.
You might be a great player making thousands of dollars, but what if the top minds at your country decide to legalize or even ban online poker? This has already happened in USA and several other countries have separated player pools and created a playing environment with very high rake. It's very hard to earn money playing in these games, even given that the games are soft themselves. Of course, you could always move abroad, but what if you already have a family? Leaving all your friends and relatives can be a real challenge.
It's alright if you have a degree and a wide experience at various jobs, but what if you have just finished high school or are even considering to quit school? Is poker really worth it? Of course, it always depends, but in general the answer is no. Unless you will be able to get a really solid job anytime if your poker adventure goes wrong, it isn't worth it. Being a professional poker player while maintaining a healthy lifestyle and fulfilling live is the hardest of all challenges.