Discipline in Poker. Winner's Guide
Your poker training is coming to an end. It assumes that you have already received a wealth of useful information. Yet, information, which is the cornerstone of knowledge, is useful when used correctly. You should always be looking over this guide to make sure your poker knowledge is applied in a proper way. This is what winning players do. Let’s look over the key points, starting with the most important one – DISCIPLINE.
Knowing how to play poker well and playing poker well is not the same. The difference between the two of them is discipline. You need to be really disciplined to use your knowledge of poker correctly. Even if you know quite a lot and keep learning, you still can be playing poorly just because you lack discipline. In fact, many poker players know how to win, but they don’t.
We’ve prepared for you some tips that might help you while playing. Imagine your coach is looking over your shoulder and evaluating your game. Or imagine that you are taking part in a TV-program that will be analyzed by experts, friends, and opponents. You'll feel pride or shame for the decisions made and not for whether you won or lost. This focus on discipline will help you handle the game even with a marginal hand. The quality of your decisions depends on your discipline, and this is what will bring you to a winning level.
How would you define concentration? Concentration refers to your ability to watch other players even when out of the game and paying attention to your rivals’ features. It’s constant tracking of things going on around when playing poker. Many players play well due to knowledge and experience acquired, but in this case, the point is to avoid putting the game on autopilot. You should always remember that knowing how to play poker is only halfway to the victory, as different players play a different game, and you should pay attention to each and every one of your rivals.
Make a Plan
Once you’ve started playing you should study your rivals, their tendencies and evaluate their game (loose, tight, experienced, etc.) in order to make your plan. There’s an aphorism related to planning – people don’t plan to fail, but many fail to plan. Always have a plan based on your observations. Figure out what your plan needs to be flexible and independent of changing factors.
Creating a plan is not too complicated. Here’s an example:
- this game seems to be a serious one so I need to take advantage of passive players;
- on the other hand, you can choose to watch the game from the side.
- determining your rivals’ level will help you develop an appropriate plan. Should you be playing simple poker or demonstrating an advanced game?
The key point here is to try to develop a plan, not just be thinking of a plan. These two things are very similar but should complement each other. You should demonstrate your best game, but first, you need to determine what game type is relevant for your environment. Making yourself to develop a plan is another step to becoming a good poker player. Each time you enter the game remember to look over this guide to make sure you made your best on the way to success. You might be surprised, but discipline, concentration, and planning will not only be useful at the poker table but also in everyday life.
Putting it all together
There are many different aspects of the game that can help you become a superior poker player. Here’s a short list that includes some of them:
- Understanding of poker starting hands value from various positions.
- Studying your opponents to better understand their features.
- Monitoring your table image and taking advantage of it.
- Knowledge of poker math and how it’s applied.
- Understanding poker psychology.
- Being careful with poker tells.
- Ability to read rivals’ cards.
This list is an example, yet, it includes the elements that are always to be taken into consideration. Even experienced poker players won’t give a clear answer to the question of which of the skills is more important. Why wouldn’t they agree? Because for each player there’s a certain skill that accounts for their success, so one will mention the ability to read hands, and the other – exercising discipline and so on.
If we asked you what in your opinion the most important aspect is – what would you choose? More importantly, why you would have chosen this particular aspect. Would it be because it contributed to your game? These reflections can lead you to the next level in your poker education. This next level is an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses or realizing what’s still missing. Even top poker players always work on improving their game. Be honest with yourself, set goals and achieve them by working hard. This will be your best experience.