Are you a newbie that’s really trying to study the art and science of poker? You’re in for a wild, frustrating ride. It can be hard to be a newcomer in a game that’s been around for as long as poker has been around. Poker has its own world of heroes, challenges, victories and defeats. You have to make sure that you’re playing poker on your own terms, and that means reading up on how to actually play. Maybe you’re already sick of playing practice hands. Maybe you’re tired of those players that go all in and really in your chances at succeeding. The truth is that there are so many things to learn in the world of poker that you really can’t master it quickly. There is no overnight solution to becoming good at poker. You can read any poker player’s biography that’s actually made a lot of money. They will tell you that there are a lot of challenges. A lot of risks. A lot of times that they needed to step back. There’s nothing wrong with realizing that you have limits in everything that you do. There’s got to be a time that you step back and keep in mind a few key points.
First and foremost, you need to be aware of your emotional state. Trying to handle things when you’re obviously not in a state of mind that really will allow you to process anything is just a bad idea. You don’t want to find that you can’t get things done just because you’re so freaked out about each and everything that you do. Yes, you will make mistakes. Watch some old events of the WSOP — some top names made some pretty big blunders. It definitely happens. Poker is a game of skill, but it’s also a game of luck. You have to make sure that you don’t get so married to the game that you forget that luck isn’t always on your side. It’s a game of chance mixed with strategy and psychological warfare. The psych warfare part is why it’s easy to get burned out on poker. When you feel like people are trying to crack into your mind and see what’s inside, you start realizing that there’s a lot of people that really don’t want to see you succeed in poker. They want to take your money. They want to crush you because you’re a newbie.
A lot of sharks forget that there was once a time where they were new. They didn’t understand poker position. They didn’t grasp a lot of things that you probably get now. You just have to make sure that you’re doing the best that you can do.
Make sure that when you play poker, you need to watch your stakes. If you’re not getting the fun out of poker that you used to, chances are good that you moved in waters that are far warmer than you expected. You wanted to be able to make more money, but you have to realize that the higher the stakes, the more competitive players come out. Can you really handle that yet? If you can’t, that’s okay. You just need to make sure that you keep playing until you feel more comfortable within the space you’re already in. Then you can always stay put and just improve upon a few things, or you can move up one level. Take this slowly.
It’s time to smile. Poker is supposed to be fun. When it stops being fun, you’re going to have to make sure that you bailout. Do something else. Go for a walk. Try to eat something and savor your meal. Try to do anything that puts your mind away from poker being completely negative and toxic for you. Believe it or not, our mental state plays a heavy role into what we ultimately become. You need to make sure that you focus as much as possible. Sometimes it’s good to take a break from poker and come back refreshed. It makes you a sharper player.
Good luck and remember — poker is always played on your terms. Always!