The Difference Between Good and Great Poker Players
Many poker players may find that their profits at the tables simply aren’t enough relative to the amount of work they put in. They spend tons of time reading books, watching training videos, and discussing hands with other players, but STILL find themselves basically breaking even, or even losing.
Luck may be the reason (especially over a small sample size), but there’s a far greater problem which affects even very talented players who are masters of game theory – mental game issues.
Perhaps the biggest – and certainly most frequently overlooked – difference between good and great poker players is mastery of the mental game. The way you react to winning, losing, bad beats, annoying opponents, or lengthy sessions can all have a major impact on your bottom line.
Three issues which plague players with mental game issues are being overly emotional, making poor decisions related to when and where they play, and laziness.
Dealing with emotions is perhaps the toughest of these issues to combat. The biggest step towards dealing with losing is acknowledging that your emotional reactions are unnecessary. It’s a game with luck involved, and sometimes you’ll get unlucky. The key is to not allow bad luck to negatively impact your play. If you find that impossible, perhaps you can take breaks after unlucky hands to clear your head and not compound your losses.
When considering sitting at a table, some players consider game selection but very few consider how they themselves feel. Even if a game has a few bad players at the table, you still may not do well if you’re very tired or don’t feel well. On the flipside, you should make sure not to limit your sessions when you feel great and are thinking clearly.
Finally, don’t be lazy! Laziness can get in the way of putting in sessions on the felt, but it can also be as simple as not taking advantage of a promotion. If you’re playing, for example, at Titan Poker, make sure you sign up for a Titan Poker bonus and that you keep track of the promotions the site is offering to its players.
Simply being conscious about the mental game of poker and playing habits will likely cause you to begin thinking about poker in a different – and more profitable – way.