Bankroll to go pro
I am living prof that someone can profit in small stakes live, limit cash games with a rake. However, I have a very low overhead and living costs, thanks to my midwest location. I've also qualified for free meals at my local casino (lunch, dinner daily and brunch/dinner on weekends) via my poker play over the years. I have no children and very cheap rent. Most don't have these luxuries, so most would have to play higher limits (which requires more money in the form of a playing bankroll) in order to earn enough to keep up with their living expenses. If you work hard enough and are disciplined enough, you may be able to earn close to a big bet per hour in your live, limit holdem' cash games, but as far as the amount of $ you'll need to withstand the inevitable variance is far more than $50. I believe the standard if you ask most pros is at least 500 big bets. So if your local card room offers $3/$6 holdem like mine does, you'll want to have at least $3000 on hand and ready to use it for your "business". If you really wanted to be risky, 250 big bets is $1,500 in this example. Personally, I prefer to keep 1,000 big bets handy ($6,000 in this example). At the end of each month, If my bankroll has grown to $7,200, for example, then my "paycheck" for the month is $1,200. If my bankroll, heaven forbid at the end of the month is $5,600, I don't get paid and I resort to a separate stash of funds that I call "6 month living expense reserve" to pay bills and continue working (playing poker) until my balance is back to $6,000. As you can see, playing even the smallest raked poker games
takes a lot more money behind than just whats in your pocket. Playing just for fun? I say toss your $50 on the table and see what happens. Perhaps play during times of promotions and give aways (my card room pays $100 if you lose with pocket aces to the first 5 of the day). If you want to create and maintain a successful poker business though, you'll likely need to keep or get a job and save up at least a grand, start at the smallest limit cash games offered, be patient and not take shots, keep good stats with a program so that you know if and how much you are winning (I use cardplayer.com's poker stats tracker). Sorry to be a buzz kill, but playing for a living is a very difficult thing to do and takes a lot of time and work to build a safe, successful business out of it. Hope this helps. Good luck!