Often while playing online, we come across those individuals that completely ‘lose’ it at the table – cursing, beraiding others for their ‘bad’ play, moaning about all the bad luck they have, etc. You know the type. We have a recommendation for them: either a: move down in limits so it isn’t so painful, or b: quit playing all together.
Neither choice is all that appealing to someone stuck a few hundred or a few thousand at a time, but it is a necessary choice. Playing successful poker requires a calm emotional state – to think clearly about the game – at a higher level than the ‘average’. Generally, playing successful poker will result in you getting ‘sucked out on’ more often than you do it to someone else. So don’t let that next unlucky hand set you off.
It all hinges on being able to put it all in perspective.
Poker is merely a game. A fun game, a battle of wits, a game of short term luck and long term skill. A game in which a few fortunate ones have made a nice living, and a large unspoken majority struggle to break even. Studying the game can make you a winning player, keeping your emotions in check will definitely help keep you a winner.
But the next time you feel yourself getting heated at the poker table, recognize you have a choice. You have the option of getting negative (and most likely playing worse as a result) or staying calm and positive (recognizing that poker is merely a game). If you can’t get calm or positive – think about ending the session, rather than chasing lost money, or think about moving down in limits, or taking a week off to come back to the game fresh.
We are fortunate just to be able to play poker – we live in safe places, have good food and water, clothes on our backs, fancy toys, and the freedom to decide how we feel about things. Be thankful for what you have, and just play the game for what it is – a game.
We think you’ll enjoy it a whole lot more – who knows it might even help you win from time to time. GL.