I supplement my salary to the tune of about $10,000 per annum for the last 3 years playing on Pacific Poker.
Poker is not the house, poker you play other, normally well adjusted, players. Skill is the predominate factor over years, though of course, anyone can get lucky in one tourney .. and often do.
My tips for not losing your wedge -
1. Play the right stakes game for you (you need about 50x to 100x the initial stake in your account to play that level. if you just have $20 in ... restrict yourself to a $0.20 game.
2. Learn basic odds - ie what beats what, whats the odds on drawing etc
3. Start tight, play looser as the tournament progresses
4. Avoid ring games, stick to tournaments. They are more fun, and less volatile. Sure you can do well, fast at a cash ring game, you can also loose your poke in a few hands.
5. Poker is much more mechanistic than you think, big stupid bluffs rarely have a place in the online game. Just play your cards.
6. Once you know how to play your own cards you can start to move on to playing other peoples, this is the difference between amateurs and professionals. This is not bluffing, but it can look like it.
7. Read up, Dan Harrington's books are probably the best, but please, read "The Bible" and play like that if you are of a mind. Your be fish food quick.
8. You can not go far wrong if you play to the blinds
(your stack)/(blinds + antes) = "M"
When your M is over 20, then you play tight, premium hands only
Between 10 and 20, loosen up slightly maybe raise A10s, small pairs etc
Between 5 and 10, looser still, suited connectors, any ace, maybe any K
Under 5 , any two cards, especially if you can get your stack in 1st
The biggest attributes for a poker player are patience and heart. Remember poker can be boring. Its accurately been described as "hours of boredom, moments of sheer terror"