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Poker Psychology

  Discipline and mind set are seriously one of the most important skills a poker player can have; it can make a not so stunning player into a consistent winner and brilliant player a loser. You must have heart to call tough bets and discipline to wait for premium cards. It is common for even the great players to have extremely ugly losing streaks, you got to learn to walk it off. You have to be aggressive, you cannot play scared. You either think you have the best hand and you are in there putting in raises or you don't and you fold without a second thought. There are definitely situations where you need to just calm down and call the person down to keep them honest but usually you will be sticking' it to people. Overtime if you go in with better cards you will end up with better cards. The main reason you lose money in poker is not that small amount you pay to see the flop but rather getting second best hand and having to call them down to find out. This is where the concept of dominated hands comes into play. Being out kicked is the most common way to have a second best hand.

  • Allmost 70% of the total money I've won has come from J/J - A/A and A/K / A/Q / A/J. That is just 7 hands in which I have made more than two-thirds of my profit from! This statistic really puts into perspective how important it is to play those hands well and how important it is to be conservative with all the lesser hands. Consider these weaker hands and take into account how easy it is to turn them into unprofitable by playing them a little too loosely or aggressively. Never take a hand personally; you must detach yourself from emotions. Be respectful and nice to the fish you play with, they are the ones paying you. Don't pay much regard to what happens after you have folded a hand. Chaos theory says that the full house you "flopped" wouldn't have happened had you called anyway. Physical activities can keep you disciplined and overall more content.

  • This is how I stay off of tilt: I play 4-12 tables at the same time like a robot, very mechanical and straight forward. I am hypothetically-oriented as opposed to results-oriented. If I played a hand perfect but some kid lucks out on I could care less. Even if I just won a big pot I will be mad at myself if I had a misread on someone and tried to pull a risky check-raise after hitting my flush but the guy checked it down. I trust mathematics, and that in the long run I know it will even out, maybe not in 1,000 hands or even 20,000 but after 100,000 hands your profit is a very straight line. Don't be mad when people chase you down and catch incredible outs; that is how you are making money, smile quietly to yourself because you know you will have it in the end. Every time they make a call without the correct odds you earn a tiny bit of money.

  • Focus all your skills on 1 specific type of poker. Lots of beginning players jump around to wherever there mood takes them that particular day. They might go from limit ring to multi-table tournaments, to no limit, and then randomly play some heads up when they think they've found a newbie player. Instead, stick to one thing and master it. This is similar to wanting to spread your skills between the different games like Omaha, hold' em, and stud. There always many games of whatever you want available online. You do not want to be a "jack of all trades", you want to be a Poker Master, hold' em specifically.

  • Almost anytime you are playing noticeably different something is wrong, you have not had any poker eye-opener, and you are on tilt. Real learning is gradual.

  • Unrealistic expectations and overestimation of our abilities increase frustrations because we expect to beat games that are too tough for us. Our selective memories reinforce both our overestimation of our abilities and our anger about being "so unlucky." Be sure to play the game and not play your emotion!

  • When you play at home, you can scream and swear at the computer because nobody can hear you. You can also make extreme insults and threats without being embarrassed or afraid, because nobody knows your real name. Some comments made in “chat” are almost unbelievably nasty. If people acted that way in poker rooms, fights would break out. Since many new players started online, and they have seen such outrageous antics on television, they naturally do in poker rooms what they have done at home and seen on TV.

  • Some Pro are getting frustrated. Every pro should know how to adjust to one or two very weak players, but some pros can't cope with a table full of them, much less a tournament with hundreds of them. Their frustration resulted in some very silly statements. My favorite was: "You'll need to get lucky to win this event." Poker is a blend of skill and luck, and expecting it to be anything else is unrealistic. It will never be the lottery that some amateurs want it to be, nor will it be a test of pure skill that some professionals seem to desire. There are now more new faces, new attitudes, and new playing styles. There will be larger tournament fields, more chasing, more silly bluffs, more terrible calls, and more horrible beats; or in other words, there will be much more gambling.

  • Recognize your own limitations. Poker is a game that self-confidence is essential for success. If you don't have confidence in your judgment, you can't win. Unfortunately, most players have too much confidence in their judgment; they don't read players or cards nearly as well as they think they do. You may have the same problem. You certainly don't have as much training in analyzing people as psychiatrists, but research has clearly proven that even they are misled by first impressions and other psychological factors. If pro should be cautious about relying on first impressions, so should you. Once you put someone on a hand or decide he is a certain kind of player, you will overemphasize supporting evidence and minimize or ignore conflicting data. Instead of jumping to conclusions, do not put undue emphasis on your opinion of your opponent's hand. I know many players who put someone on a certain hand and play the rest of the hand assuming he has that hand. This is taking the method of reading hands too far … Instead; you must put a player on a few different possible hands with varying degrees of probability for each of these hands.

  • Since nobody can see you, you have far more options when playing online. You can pretend to be someone who would be unbelievable when face-to-face. In fact, some men have gotten great results by using women's names and pictures. They say that other men underestimate their skills or make false assumptions about their styles. One of them wrote: "Many men will give you lots of action just to play in hands with you if you are willing to respond to their almost inevitable flirting. And the non-flirtatious men often go into a knight-in-shining-armor mode and stick up for you; frequently, one can end up having much of the table "on your side," and they seem to fall all over themselves to lose to you, help you, offer advice, provide info about themselves and their playing styles, and so on.

  • More than 2,000 years ago, Sun Tzu wrote in his classic, The Art of War, "All war is based on deception," and several writers have made the same point about poker. In fact, without deception, poker can't exist; if we played with our cards faceup, the game would fall apart. Because we don't know each other's hole cards, and we misunderstand how our opponents are playing, we all make countless mistakes, calling when we should fold, checking when we should bet, and so on. This series has shown that first impressions are one of the most important deceptive factors. They distort the way all later information is processed. First, we must understand how we are biased by first impressions and do whatever we can to decrease these biases. Second, we should generate first impressions that confuse our opponents, and then reinforce these false first impressions to maintain and increase our edge over them. It isn't easy to think or act this way. In reality, most players are long-term losers. If you want to be a winner, you have to do the unnatural things that winners do.

  • Seek out a poker room that suits your identity. Far be it from anyone to talk you out of heading straight for the place where the top poker players in the world hang out daily. However, if you're not looking for championship competition, you will have a much better chance of reaching your goal if you head for the small to medium sized rooms, where you get a mix of tourists and regulars, someplace in Las Vegas.

  • If you arrive at the poker room with $100 as your bankroll, you should probably start at the lowest limit possible, no matter how skilled you are. A hundred dollars can go fast even in a $1-$4 game but it will last a lot longer there than it will in a $5-$10 game. Many beginners have a certain amount of anxiety they bring to a game. This is only natural and it will go away in time. It's best to do some deep breathing and get yourself as relaxed as possible before you dig your spurs into the horse's side and take off across the landscape like a wild man.

  • If you lose a pot in the very beginning of your play, let it go and get back in action. Everyone loses a pot. Sometimes they lose a lot of pots. It's the nature of the game. Casino poker is the same poker you play at home. If you play well at the country club you should be okay in the casino. If a player consistently displays two or more of these signs then chances are that he is having negative thoughts about their position in the game and/or their current hand. Leaning back / Legs crossed ·/ Head bowed / Body turned/pointing away from table / Lowered left eye brow / Free arm placed across chest as a barrier, and Free hand resting on chin.