Confession # 17 - I usually forget planning and just jump right in, really the waters fine So, let's say we have the knowledge and skills in our poker repertoire to be able to play either on-line or in a brick and mortar. We already know the average donkey just jumps right into playing with no preparation, no thought, and no plan. But I think we would be also surprised at how many skilled players do the same thing. In order to be a winning poker player, I think it's important to be prepared and to have a plan. Step 7 - Pre-play preparation and strategy - My plan is to prepare myself before each playing session, regardless if it's on-line or in a casino, or even in a home game for that matter. It's important to get into a poker player frame of mind. This is what I plan to do. 1) Clear my mind - since I enjoy meditating this is the easy part (about 10 mins) 2) Listen to a self actualization CD (I will make my own) (about 10 mins) 3) Read a strategy article, or something to get yourself thinking 4) Make sure I'm not playing hungry, angry, drunk, on tilt, etc 5) Ensure there are no distractions 6) Make sure I have enough time to sit down, evaluate the table, and play my best 7) Prepare to take notes 8) Use table selection if possible - Having a pre planned strategy is also important and as I learn more, my strategy will evolve, but for now 1) Play hands by position 2) Look for reasons to fold 3) Follow preplanned strategy for set mining, playing suited cards, etcetera 4) Follow plan for betting 5) Take notes on players 6) Take notes on personal play 7) Stay if it's good, leave if it's bad This step is probably going to evolve and change as I become more experienced and learn what's truly needed for me. Note that I said "for me" because what works for my plan, might not work for yours. My goal when playing is to play correctly and to let my opponent be the one to make mistakes. Al Spath says that if you can get your money in good, then that's all you can really ask for. Till next time... Ric, AkA Punky159