The Right State of Mind in Poker

Do you ever have a few drinks while playing poker? If you have then you’ve probably noticed that you don’t play the same as you do sober. This is obvious, however you can take this theory one step further. What else affects your mental ability to play? I find that I can’t be tired, hungry, angry, or distracted in any way. The last thing you want to be doing when playing multiple tables of online poker is browsing web pages, reading emails, watching videos, or whatever else.

Your good judgment is the most important tool you have at the table and anything you do to impair this will take away from your game. Especially while playing no limit Texas hold’em where you can lose all your chips with one bad call or ill timed bluff. Although understanding the math and probability in poker are fundamental to any winning poker player’s arsenal, many of the best poker players prefer to give more weight to their “instincts” in a hand, which can only be developed when you have played a lot of poker.

When playing online poker you must make proper use of table selection to play in games where you likely have an edge and where you can try to get in the head of the other players.

One way that I find works well is at a tight table play looser with your bluffs and 3bet light with a higher frequency. This can frustrate the other players and make them lose their good judgment. They will fold to a lot of your 3bets but even the most level headed players will want to play back at eventually, and when they do, hopefully you wake up with pocket Aces.

If you are comfortable relaxed and have a good attitude you will be able to stay focused at the table and rude comments in the chat box and other stuff that is outside of your control will not affect your decisions.

If you are multi tabling cash games and happen to get a bad run of cards and bad beats it can sometimes be tough to keep your emotions in check. Many players start going on tilt and spew off a lot more chips because they no longer are playing there A game. If you can sense that your play is getting negatively impacted due to tilt, just leave the game, and return when you have a better mindset. The last thing you want to do is to make the final table of a freeroll tournament, lose an important pot on the river that would have given you a really good shot at taking down the tourney, then proceed to tilt off the rest of your stick, and any chance you have of winning the first place prize money.

Whether you prefer to play in tournaments or ring games, poker is a mental game you need to concentrate on the cards and the other players betting and game styles. Take care of yourself before you sit down at a table so you can be sharp and on the ball. Having a good attitude and being in the right state of mind will go a long way in poker.

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