We love newbies. Even though that might seem a little obvious from the type of guides that we publish around here, it has to be said every once in a while. Especially on articles like this where we come and shake some more sense into our newbie poker playing friends. You see, if there’s one thing that newbies have to overcome, it’s fear. Fear is something that isn’t exclusive to newbies, but you don’t see too many veterans see a massive field in poker and freak out the way newbies will.
That’s actually the whole point of today’s lesson: don’t let the field size scare you in poker. Your first tournament is going to more than likely worry you and make you feel like you should be doing anything else in the world except playing poker. Yu can’t think this way. You can’t let fear get to you. You can’t stop and think that you’re not going to be able to get your goals done in the world of poker because there’s so much competition against you.
Want to know a secret? There are actually a lot of people that are playing poker right now that are afraid of you too. They think that if you’re going to playing, there’s no reason to play too — that’s just one more person that can take them out. That’s one more person that’s eying their bankroll. That’s one more person that could keep them from finishing in the money or qualifying for access to another tournament with even bigger money at stake.
How much can you make in the world of poker? A lot, apparently — but it all starts with you making the effort required to go get the money. If you don’t think about getting the money then you aren’t going to have what it takes to go out and compete against regular people.
The truth about field size is that newbies need to ignore the numbers and go back to strategy. The only numbers that you really need to think about are your basic strategy points — pot odds, card odds, average bets…you get the idea. If you start thinking about how many people are playing against you in the tables you aren’t going to last long. This type of emotional thinking will lead you to start doubting yourself and making mistakes. And we all know where mistakes end up taking us, right? Right!
We can’t allow mistakes to take away the bright sunny future that we have in the world of online poker. Not every player that joins a tournament is going to necessarily be as passionate about the poker world as you. This means that there are definitely big chances to shine at a tournament.
The biggest piece of advice that we can give for today is to make sure that you come in with your psychological armor set to its highest setting. There are going to be bluffers and other people that seem to be able to read your cards without even knowing who you are. You have to cut through all of those challenges and remember why you’re playing poker. It’s a challenge for your entire brain and you’re going to do a great job — even if you don’t happen to make it to the final table.
Now, you might be sitting there wondering how we can even say that you would be doing a good job if you don’t finish in the money, or you don’t get any props. That’s because every time you manage to sit down for a poker tournament, you’re gaining experience. You’re playing hundreds of hands over the course of the tournament, and those add up into thousands of hands. Over a lifetime, this adds up to millions of hands. The numbers in terms of percentages are going to eventually start swinging your way, but it does take persistence. It takes practice and it takes being willing to get up and learn from your mistakes.
Do you want to jump into the dog ring of poker and cry about the challenges awaiting you? Definitely not — there’s already too many people that do that. You need to overcome your psychological hang-ups and play the best poker you can. That will get you the most respect as well — everyone loves helping someone that’s determined to succeed, so never overlook that!