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The Right Mindset

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  • The Right Mindset

    You need to have the "right" mindset when playing poker or your play will suffer.

    This may seem obvious for many, but how often do you actually refrain from playing because you are not in the right frame of mind? Moreover, how do you actually get into the right mindset and stay there?

    Ketchup143 posted a question about staying positive.. I thought my approach may be useful. I'm no pro, and I've never won a big MTT. In other words, I have plenty of experience losing and ending with "close but no cigar" finishes. I've played about 10 000 tourneys, and I have learned to have fun while playing.

    Before Logging in to Pokerstars
    Ask yourself these questions:
    • **What is my emotional state right now - tired, angry, sad or sick?
    • **Can I focus on playing poker right now - distracted by work, tv, the kids?
    • **What are my poker "beliefs" right now - convinced you are going to lose, get rivered on the bubble, poker is rigged, someone flipped the doom switch?


    If you are experiencing any of these points, then you don't have an optimal mindset. Your best line is to refrain from logging in and wait for a better situation. Every poker book I've read talks about the importance of being in the right frame of mind when you are playing.

    I've got the Proper Mindset, now what?
    OK, so you are feeling good and logg in to Pokerstars. What can go wrong now?
    • **Don't play with scared money! Bankroll management is always important. Don't reg for buyin levels outside your comfort zone. It will impact your play.
    • **If you suffer a few bad beats, don't reg for a higher buyin level in order to recoup your losses! You don't "deserve to win", you are on tilt!
    • **If you suffer a major cooler in a game, but are still alive, recognize that you may be on tilt!
    • **Don't get upset about a few bad results. Get determined to improve your game. Could those situations have been avoided, played differently?


    If you are suffering from short term tilt, take a break! Take a break and get back in the right mindset. This might mean sitting out for a hand or two. Stand up and get away from the computer screen. Smoke a cigarette, drink some water, go to the bathroom, whatever. Just change your environment, think about something else and take a time out. Once you have cooled off, get back to the table.

    If you are still tilting, play a freeroll or play money or turn off your computer.

    Dealing with Long Term Tilt
    Have you been on a long losing streak? Your good hands never hold up? You keep tightening up your game. Fold the first 50 hands of a tourney then finally shove it all in there with AK only to lose to a big stack holding pocket 2s? Yes, I have spent plenty of time in this zone. Here is how I climbed out and have stayed out.
    • **Be honest with yourself! We all have leaks in our game, some big and some small, but we all have room for improvement.
    • **Recognize that Losing with the Best Hand is an inherent part of poker. That is why it is gambling!
    • **Recognize that there are many other elements to a hand of poker than just your cards: stack sizes, positions, player styles etc etc.


    Shift your focus from Results oriented, to Improvement oriented.
    Once you realize that you can improve your game, start learning so that you can start improving! That is why I am here at PSO.This is no different than playing sports. I played college hockey (a million years ago). You have to practice and put in your time. Focus on the small details. Try to focus on and improve specific issues every time you practice or compete. By working on the small stuff, you will gain a positive feeling of achievement. This positive feeling is the key!

    **Firstly, it (re)builds confidence.
    **Secondly, it leads to satisfaction that you read the situation and made a smart play.
    **Thirdly, confidence and satisfaction lead to Having Fun While You Are Playing!

    Have Fun WHILE Playing
    We all dream of the big final table cash, winning a Sunday Million, or turning pro. We all want to make money playing poker. But why in the world would you want to play poker all day if you are not having fun WHILE you are playing? Frustration is not fun!

    Focus on your play. Get pleasure from improving. Get pleasure from making good reads and good plays. Stop dwelling on the results. Accept that the best hand doesn't always win, but that if you keep making the right moves, and are having fun, the results will eventually follow.

    I hope this helps!

    GL and HAVE FUN at the tables!


    Roland GTX

  • #2
    Great post Roland umbup: I hope a lot of players bookmark it and come back to it often to help them when their "game" or "game plan" isn't going to "plan".

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by annie_22at90 View Post
      Great post Roland umbup: I hope a lot of players bookmark it and come back to it often to help them when their "game" or "game plan" isn't going to "plan".
      Thanks annie! I hope people bookmark it too. I just regged from the member of the month promo and need all the views I can get GL and have fun! Roland GTX

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Roland GTX View Post
        I hope people bookmark it too.
        I bookmarked it anyway, I think it's a great post! Raiser umbup:

        Comment


        • #5
          thanks roland

          o'k that is the kinda stuff i need to heed alot of honesty in that post i defo need to improve i have the mindset that i'm better than most but the truth is i suck i think i know better and thus stint growing more because of it but there was plenty of meat in your post thanks for putting it up roland

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Roland GTX View Post
            You need to have the "right" mindset when playing poker or your play will suffer.

            This may seem obvious for many, but how often do you actually refrain from playing because you are not in the right frame of mind? Moreover, how do you actually get into the right mindset and stay there?

            Ketchup143 posted a question about staying positive.. I thought my approach may be useful. I'm no pro, and I've never won a big MTT. In other words, I have plenty of experience losing and ending with "close but no cigar" finishes. I've played about 10 000 tourneys, and I have learned to have fun while playing.

            Before Logging in to Pokerstars
            Ask yourself these questions:
            • **What is my emotional state right now - tired, angry, sad or sick?
            • **Can I focus on playing poker right now - distracted by work, tv, the kids?
            • **What are my poker "beliefs" right now - convinced you are going to lose, get rivered on the bubble, poker is rigged, someone flipped the doom switch?


            If you are experiencing any of these points, then you don't have an optimal mindset. Your best line is to refrain from logging in and wait for a better situation. Every poker book I've read talks about the importance of being in the right frame of mind when you are playing.

            I've got the Proper Mindset, now what?
            OK, so you are feeling good and logg in to Pokerstars. What can go wrong now?
            • **Don't play with scared money! Bankroll management is always important. Don't reg for buyin levels outside your comfort zone. It will impact your play.
            • **If you suffer a few bad beats, don't reg for a higher buyin level in order to recoup your losses! You don't "deserve to win", you are on tilt!
            • **If you suffer a major cooler in a game, but are still alive, recognize that you may be on tilt!
            • **Don't get upset about a few bad results. Get determined to improve your game. Could those situations have been avoided, played differently?


            If you are suffering from short term tilt, take a break! Take a break and get back in the right mindset. This might mean sitting out for a hand or two. Stand up and get away from the computer screen. Smoke a cigarette, drink some water, go to the bathroom, whatever. Just change your environment, think about something else and take a time out. Once you have cooled off, get back to the table.

            If you are still tilting, play a freeroll or play money or turn off your computer.

            Dealing with Long Term Tilt
            Have you been on a long losing streak? Your good hands never hold up? You keep tightening up your game. Fold the first 50 hands of a tourney then finally shove it all in there with AK only to lose to a big stack holding pocket 2s? Yes, I have spent plenty of time in this zone. Here is how I climbed out and have stayed out.
            • **Be honest with yourself! We all have leaks in our game, some big and some small, but we all have room for improvement.
            • **Recognize that Losing with the Best Hand is an inherent part of poker. That is why it is gambling!
            • **Recognize that there are many other elements to a hand of poker than just your cards: stack sizes, positions, player styles etc etc.


            Shift your focus from Results oriented, to Improvement oriented.
            Once you realize that you can improve your game, start learning so that you can start improving! That is why I am here at PSO.This is no different than playing sports. I played college hockey (a million years ago). You have to practice and put in your time. Focus on the small details. Try to focus on and improve specific issues every time you practice or compete. By working on the small stuff, you will gain a positive feeling of achievement. This positive feeling is the key!

            **Firstly, it (re)builds confidence.
            **Secondly, it leads to satisfaction that you read the situation and made a smart play.
            **Thirdly, confidence and satisfaction lead to Having Fun While You Are Playing!

            Have Fun WHILE Playing
            We all dream of the big final table cash, winning a Sunday Million, or turning pro. We all want to make money playing poker. But why in the world would you want to play poker all day if you are not having fun WHILE you are playing? Frustration is not fun!

            Focus on your play. Get pleasure from improving. Get pleasure from making good reads and good plays. Stop dwelling on the results. Accept that the best hand doesn't always win, but that if you keep making the right moves, and are having fun, the results will eventually follow.

            I hope this helps!

            GL and HAVE FUN at the tables!


            Roland GTX
            +1000 on this,

            Having The Right Mindset is all....... IMO

            cheers
            Poker Rule #1....Never listen to me...hiccup

            7 Time Bracelet Winner


            Comment


            • #7
              Nice post.
              Roland any credits or it's yours?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by akisno View Post
                Nice post.
                Roland any credits or it's yours?
                Thank you (I hope) !

                I have read plenty of poker books (Moshman being my favorite). The importance of being in the right frame of mind; not playing drunk, tired, etc is a recurring theme in most. Nothing is created in a vacuum; however, the content and the wording in the op is mine alone. I respect the creativity of others and wouldn't be caught dead plagerizing the hard work of another!

                You may have noticed by the length of my posts that I enjoy writing. Sometimes I get lucky and write something apparently worth reading

                GL and have fun at the tables!

                Roland GTX

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yes it's a great post.
                  I had read smt similar, but the subject is common and plays a huge factor on the game.
                  the content and the wording in the op is mine alone. I respect the creativity of others and wouldn't be caught dead plagerizing the hard work of another!
                  Thanks for the reply.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Shameless Bump

                    This is a really old post, but it still helps me out from time to time. It might be worth reading

                    GL and have fun at the tables!

                    Roland GTX

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Great post.

                      I actually think the "mental" side of poker is one of the main things that prevents players from moving up the stakes, and causes them to get stuck at one particular level. The biggest winners often don't have super soul reads or make super-sick bluffs. They just play their A-game more often than other regs.
                      Since tilting off your stack can mean you lose 100bb or more in one hand, it will often take 2000 hands (at 5bb/100) to recoup the losses. Players that don't tilt never have to recoup those losses, because they don't make the big mistake in the first place.
                      Bracelet Winner

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have to recoup losses from last night because i got rivered a load of times and i still never tilted sure i might make mistakes here and there but when you 3bet your AKs and villain calls and the flop comes AKK and you end up all in thinking your getting your money in good and the villains turns over aces when he should of 4 betted you pre at 5nl thats not my fault he just stacked me for $5 thats just bad luck.

                        In the same night i had pocket 8s i didnt even get raised when i opened but i flop top set on a dry board i bet 3 quarters of the pot villain goes all in he has pocket AA would you believe it im laughing well your aces are no good now you should of 3 betted pre and picked up the dead money but no he has 2 outs and what hits the river a ACE, i just cant believe it within the 1k hands i played at zoom i got rivered and my boats getting destroyed all in 1 night after i just made $12.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Mentally-tough poker players don't get upset about one bad session, Mike.

                          Poker is one long session, and past results have no bearing on future success. A solid pro often won't even check to see how much money he made or lost in a particular session. All he cares about is making correct decisions.
                          Bracelet Winner

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Nice post Roland.

                            I personal also have some sort of tilt someday. Bad sessions, auto pilot, over confidence etc. But I do read Jared Tendler his books "the mental game of poker" that also helps a lot. Finished book 1 and started with book 2. Actually from all the "poker" books I have those are the best
                            Bracelet Winner

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Its alright for pros though Arty there making a mint i could do without all the times i get rivered i need to build a roll and get off 2nl, i go upto 5nl every now and again and make money but i come back down because i know a couple of coolers will take my roll clean out i could sit at 5nl lose $2 waiting around for a monster to the blinds and weak hands then flop a set like i did ages ago and villain rivers a straight boom theres my stack, i lost $9 in a hand i got rivered on which is far to much for my roll so thats why im stuck at 2nl when i wouldnt be had i not got so many players getting so damn lucky everyday.

                              I can count on 1 hand how many times i suck out i dont even wanna add up my losses through coolers because i would feel sick haha, my game still needs work anyway so while im stuck making peanutz i can still learn.

                              Comment

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