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 The Poker MINDSET Preparation to play / Think winning Poker - and references!!!

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PostSubject: The Poker MINDSET Preparation to play / Think winning Poker - and references!!!   Sat May 03, 2008 5:34 pm

There have been a MILLION articles on how to play poker. It ranges from the deafeningly boring card pictures, flop description and when this hits, this is what you do next, tells - how you know what someone has by physical manifestations of their hand to maddeningly deep mathematical permutations. algorithms and statistics.

One thing that is important, but seems to be in not so plentiful supply is a discussion of how a poker player should think. That is to say prepare yourself in a way that you can become a better player, think about what you're doing, survive "bad beats" boredom and things that sidetrack improving your play AND developing a plan to support that improvement. Of course tells are important but a tell alone is of little value. How can tell whether a quivering lip or playing fast is because their hand is imminently foldable or the nuts? It is through the experience of having played them. Math is important but its not the only thing, it is a part of the mechanics of the game but if you base your play on statistical calculations alone , you will miss other important, equally valuable elements of the game. I know a player who plays on stats only - he can't figure why he can't always win. Could it be that others who know what the math indicates find him so predictable and he can't adapt? How often, in real life, do the cards and the situation come like you see them in the book? Uhhh Almost never.. Well, here are a few things to consider while playing - they have helped me - hope they will do for you likewise....

1.) PAY ATTENTION TO PLAY. This forms the basis for developing an "eye" and a "feel" for what's going on. Vary your playing style, learn what conditions make playing tight or loose the right decision. Pay attention at how your play looks to others at the table this is a valuable tool of deception . Paying attention helps you decide what hand to put you opponents on and what hand your opposition puts you on . Paying attention helps you know when and with what hand it's right to call the maniac down or make a move. Calling the player who just went all in after two weak bets, three hands in a row with rag rag off suit is not a d*nkey move.

(2.) FORMULATE A REASON TO PLAY A HAND! Any pocket pair can be cracked. Visualize the play during the game, Visualize what hands can be made from the board, REASSESS at the flop, turn and the river. What do you think your opponents have? Where does your hand fit? If you can't come up with a reason to play your cards fold them. "PUTTING SOMEONE ON A HAND" is a function of knowing the player and the degree of skill you accurately recall and interpret that players actions and the board - BUT it's a guess! The better you are at accurately practicing this skill, the better your results. The answer you come up with makes you a "genius" or a "don*key". Of course neither is true. Did you see Kenny Tran proclaim himself a genius when he made a "good call" to win a big pot in the '07 WSOP only to go out a little later with a "bad call"? The process is what matters, sharpening your ability to base a call on something in addition to a "little voice in your head" makes you a better player. Think of the "player" who calls you a d***ey when you make the wrong decision as a child who thinks at such a low level beneath yours, that his childish "TVpokerese" exclamations are to be ignored (note also how many times they baselessly or inaccurately guess during the game, thinking they are "geniuses" [Railbird smilie] ). Don't fall so much in love with a hand that you can't fold it when you can see it's beat. How many times have you seen people bet and raise Ace rag to the river and bust out? FOLDING IS A VALID PLAY!

(3.) DON'T GET INTO "LOSERS MODE" thinking there's another tournament coming in a sec I'll jump in. TRY to win each game, TRY to make the best plays you can in each game. Practicing playing well gives you the experience of what if feels like and what the correct plays look like when YOU DO THEM not some knucklehead book writer. Don't fall into the it's just a free game, I'll play better tomorrow or this weekend or for "real money" - when tomorrow this weekend or a "real money game" comes, you will not have created a foundation for winning. How many times have you beat someone who then sat in the "losers lounge" challenging you to a "real money" game because they "can really play much better for cash" - LOL. Don't get in a "battle for supremacy" NO ONE'S MANHOOD, WOMANHOOD, INTELLIGENCE OR WORTH IS DECIDED BY A POKER GAME! IF YOU THINK IT IS YOU REALLY GOT PROBLEMS. Never make a play you know you shouldn't because someone says or does something to prompt you, that's just what they want. I used to love busting "know-it-alls", bullies and namecallers so bad I'd make bad plays trying bust them- now thats real smart. I still love to bust 'em I just make fewer bad plays doing it...

( 4.) DON'T BLAME ANYONE BUT YOURSELF. A central character trait of losers is to blame others,whine, namecall - "vent". So a "lesser" player draws out on you - thats poker. NEWSFLASH - a player who will not fold is MORE likely to draw out on you!. So what if there are a lot of "d**ks" around - that is true in life - so thats an excuse why YOU cant win. If there is such a think as a d*nk then one definition must be: "a person who loses because they really are not better than people they claim have less talent" - hmmmm maybe the namecaller has lesser talent. At every stage of my learning more about the game, I found that many times I thought people were "don*eys" or "luckboxes" were winning by doing things I didn't even know about. Like connectors, the statistical likelihood of a hand I thought good not being as good as I thought. (remember how easy it was for you to fall for your parents "magic" when you were a child only to find out the truth as you got older). Trust me, people don't fold because you think you have or do have a better hand. Remember this, only beginners play just what's in their hand to the exclusion of all other indications of what's transpiring in the game. I just had a player tell me "histrionics shows you're serious". What nonsense, maybe for some 2nd graders. In my view poker is a game where anyone with the buyin can play. Mommie or Daddie can pay the toll. This means that a lot of people play who have not had an opportunity to build up the type of "competitive character" or the knowledge it takes to comment intelligently or civilly if not professionally

( 5.) LEARN TO BE FEARLESS BUT NOT STUPID - (not equal to be stupid). Don't think the player who is yakkin the most, betting the most,pushing the action pr seems to be the best always has a better hand than you - they don't always. EVERYBODY EVENTUALLY GETS THE SAME HANDS! TIP: Try this exercise. Get a deck of cards. Deal ten pocket pair hands face up - do this repeatedly. I guarantee no one hand always has AA KK AK QQ. Remember this: "Rule one in poker is to be in the game when the good hands hit you" - (Socrates)

( 6.) THE PACE OF THE GAME IS NOT LIKE IT LOOKS ON TV-. They are showing exciting CLIPS from hours of play. I watched Gus Hansen play once, he is a LOT smarter than he appears on TV. HE DOES NOT GO ALL IN EVERY HAND. Set aside time for the game, relax, take your time and play. Don't let others intimidate you or force your hand. The zzzzz'er is trying to rush you. Play your way not theirs! TIP: most sites sponsor named pros (check Pokerstars they have a Team PoKerstars search feature) : use this feature to watch a game being played by a pro you respect. For example I've watched games by Joe Hachem, Greg Raymer and a few others. It's an eye-opening experience. Pros make some of the same plays (albeit not because of being a knucklehead) that you see in your games.

( 7.) POKER BOOKS ARE NOT THE BIBLE- THEY ARE REFERENCE TO SUPPORT INFORMATION ON WHICH YOU BUILD YOUR STYLE OF PLAY - A FOUNDATION. Check how the authors of the books you read play. Many don't follow their own advice! The main truth they all espouse is adapt (although many constantly whine about internet players and tournament size??). ALWAYS BE ADAPTING TO WHAT IS HAPPENING.

(8.) YOUR PERSONALITY- play at the speed, temperment and manner that is comfortable for you. You cannot play your best when someone is doing something that is disquieting, uncomfortable that changes what and how you normally play. NOTE: I am not saying you can change them! You can report them, I guess, when their conduct is contrary to site rules but you will have lost before it can be addressed. Becoming immune to obvious attempts to shake you is part of the game - it can be the difference between winning and losing. If you're not now you have to grow to a place where juvenile pranks don't upset your mental game. Practice ignoring fools, think "who's the idiot me or the shortstack, loudmouth losing hands and calling me names?" - easy answer not me.

(.9) USE WHAT YOU KNOW, THINK of WHAT YOU WANT TO DO AND WHY- How many times have you knew the "correct" play and did something else. You can't have a winning strategy and devise a tactics that improve your chances of winning unless you know what you're doing. You can't know what you're doing until you try it enough to know If it works or not and WHEN it works or not.Stick to your plan, thats how you know whether it works, when where and why it works or not and why. NOTHING works or fails all of the time. When you can blend these tips with the mechanics of play naturally and successfully you will find you will become a better poker player.

(10.) PLAY PLAY PLAY

Merlin333
reference: Much of these "skill patterns" I have learned as a result of being a certified First Level Leadership Management trainer. This is a management course offered by Achieve Global given to management in companies created for the purpose of creating an effective means of identifying and implementing opportunities for improvement and performance in the workplace by supporting skill development AND the environment where these skills can flourish. Amazingly, the key performance indicators of improvement are similar in many disciplines. I am relatively new playing poker, but this approach had greatly improved my results. I hope it has been helpful to whoever reads it-Jon
p.s. I purposely "bleeped" the word donkey. I have convinced myself so deeply thats it's a trash statement I feel stupid even saying (or writing) it. LOL
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