Poker is a thrilling and rewarding game that comes with a hidden toll. Hidden toll doesn’t relate to a losing session or lowering bankroll, but it’s about the emotional impact of playing poker. Though you’ve sorted out a time table of playing a full tournament scheduled online for seven days straight, or gearing up for big live poker events in Las Vegas, but have you prepared for the test of mental strength to be +EV during such times. Let’s study how poker can affect you and empower you emotionally.
The Cost of Competition
Poker is a card game online that has immense popularity across the globe and rolls in wit cut throat competition. It’s a game where cumulative effects of playing hand after hand to improve your game play actually builds-up pressure in mind. Moreover, trying to knock out opponents in the game is more stressful as there is the release of victory or the tinge of defeat after the event. Poker is an intrusive game where as the next competition comes in the next hand, so the weigh heavier and heavier on our minds. At times, we may get angry, upset or frustrated at the poker table. So, it is important to take breaks, days off and time out from the game, especially mentally. To keep yourself emotionally balanced, just relax and revel in a period free from self-analysis
Tilt is a negative way of thinking that you indulge into when you lose a hand, fold a strong hand or get your own bluff called. It is better to keep a cool head and be emotionally fragile as tilt gets us all.
You should never let tilt take over or let it control your actions on the table.
Patience is the most primitive skill for a poker player. As a poker player, you not only need to keep patience while waiting for premium hands. Patience is required when allowing two opponents to take each other out to clash and when waiting for the right table to open. Thus, maintain patience and you shall be rewarded.
Know Your Foe
In the game of poker, it is elemental to be contend and survive, that is, you need to follow the same loose-aggressive approach while playing three-bet four hands in a row. Overcoming emotional swings in the game is pre-requisite because you cannot escape other players. So, it is advisable to study and understand your opponents on the table in order to shoot out potential emotionally-scarring friction.
Climb the Levels
Poker is a game of levels where you slowly and steadily move from playing low buy-in game to mid-stakes game. One start as a beginner who learn poker, play freerolls and low stake games, gain experience and required skill-set and reach intermediate level playing mid stake games. While climbing the game levels, you should never forget that you yourself started as an amateur. You should treat each opponent with the same respect, though following the different playing styles against them. This also helps you to keep a level head and your emotions in check. Suppose you are playing at a table where no-one knows the rules of the game and you know the basics of how to c-bet, bluff or barrel, then you should be aware of your own standing, and who you should be targeting in certain spots. And while playing the game, you should maintain same level of respect for novice and pros.
Hence, preserving confidence is crucial in poker, and you should never cross the limits so that your confidence doesn’t seem to be arrogance. Most importantly, you are a human who is emotionally fragile. So, spend time investing in the mental side of poker and build up the reserves to deal with all that poker has to offer.