To Be a Professional: The Oath
Published: November 7, 2019
Updated: February 4, 2020
What does it mean to be a professional poker player?
If I say I am a professional poker player, what does that mean to you? What would it take for you to consider yourself a professional poker player?
The word professional derives from “profession,” meaning a public declaration. Similarly, “to profess” means “to declare publicly” or “to take a vow.”
A professional is someone who has taken a vow or an oath.
Doctors must take the Hippocratic Oath. The oath has evolved since ancient Greece, but before you can practice medicine you must swear to:
- treat the sick as well as you can,
- respect your patients’ privacy, and most famously,
- do no harm.
Lawyers must take an oath in order to be admitted to the bar. The wording differs in different jurisdictions, but before you can practice law you must swear to:
- conduct yourself ethically,
- follow the law, and
- support the constitution.
There is no license to be a professional poker player. There is no official organization that will require you to take an oath. There is not even a standard oath to take.
You decide for yourself what vows / promises / oaths / commitments are required to make you a professional poker player.
For me, to be a professional I must vow to always have money to play poker. I cannot consider myself a professional poker player if I do not have money to play poker. I can make sure I always have money for poker because I know my bankroll requirements.
What else should be included in the oath of a professional poker player? Tell me what you think.