Tips that will take you to the poker highs
What we can learn from "Free Solo" Oscar-winning documentary, that will be also relevant for the poker game.
The documentary is about Alex Honnold. He has climbed El Capitan, the 3,000ft wall in California’s Yosemite National Park, using no safety equipment.
Together with Elliot Roe, a famous mindset coach, we’ll try to discover how the top sportsmen and poker players cope with anxiety or lack of confidence they might feel.
This can be also applied to your game: from how to increase your confidence to how to get along with ‘downswings’.
The main mental issues of poker players
Fear is as common, as is anxiety, lack of concentration and lack of skills. Poker, like free solo, suggests operating under high pressure. These are the major troubles, but still, this is not the complete list. That is why the correct state of mind is of such importance.
How to breed a Competitive State of Mind
This is how the game looked like some eight-nine years ago: there were many amateur-players who used to drink and smoke grass while playing, they didn’t care about improving their skills and were hardly studying or exercising.
A professional poker state of mind demands from you to build your week the way that will allow you to keep in shape and stay focused till the very end of the longest session. A real grinder stays focused no matter how tough his opponents is, what size the pot is and what hands he has.
You have to understand, that to become a pro, you need to see the game as something important enough to work for it and to improve. There's no some defined hours' quantity that will take you to the professional level.
If you plan to beat dozens of other players competing for millions of dollars, you must realize that studying is something worth your time and effort.
Practicing allows you to “experience” all kinds of possible situations: How will you feel after a bad beat at the final table? How will you cope with losing 75% of your stack? How do you manage tilt?
For those practicing rock climbing, conquering most dangerous peaks is a kind of day-to-day practice, it doesn't interrupt their ability to function normally. So, your target is to learn to reach a mindset providing the best performance even under pressure, as if it's your normal state.
How to gain confidence
You feel confident when you are 100% ready, when your home tasks are done, and when you are sure about what you are doing. Otherwise, you feel not at ease, and it definitely affects your game. To avoid psychological pressure, always get ready for the game, as your preparation level influences the quality of your performance.
Study your opponents and the situation
Being able to identify and understand the sources of your troubles is halfway to rule the situation. So, if you are the one having issues with your bankroll management, or with reading your opponents, or are not capable of making correct decisions at a final table, first of all, you have to understand what are the reasons for that and then start working over them right away.
How to cope with downswings
This is a matter of your personal attitude. You may consider yourself surviving a downswing after having lost just one single game yesterday. But today is another day and another game, which you may win or lose.
Two different days - two different games. It’s not that you keep losing for years, it's just about how you play your today's hands.
A "downswing" state of mind will definitely influence your game urging you to play other than you usually do. As a result, both your confidence and your profitability will drop, and your so-called bad luck will turn into a bad game.
It doesn't really matter if you are up or down, what really matters is managing your bankroll in a proper way.
How to regain strength and good mood after long-lasting sessions
Try some relaxation techniques, especially after long exhausting sessions. This way you won't take unwanted emotions and negative mood home. Leave them in the poker room and don't let them into your real life.
It is true that you must be prepared and focused during the game, especially a tense and long lasting one, but learn to make a switch as soon as the session ends.
On one hand, all the tips listed above are supposed to help you to get prepared to what- and whoever you may face at the poker table. On the other hand, these tips will remind you that poker game is important while at the poker table, but your real life - is outside the poker room.
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