C) Knowledge; This is the education factor. Good players...
1) learn the basics - without the basics, you’ll never leave donkeyville.
2) become students of their particular discipline - to be successful, you need to constantly build upon your knowledge. There are numerous books, videos, articles and computer programs out there that help you learn and improve, use them.
3) use poker forums - a good player will post ideas, strategies, hand histories, and more. All in the interest of furthering their knowledge.
4) read psychology based books - part of the education process has to do with understanding and using psychology. You can educate yourself about player types, tells, reverse tells, tilt, and so on.
5) learn how to - put players on a hand, read the texture of the board, understand betting patterns, etcetera.
6) take the time to learn - set aside time during the week for your studies
D) Psychology; Good players...
1) know player types and how to exploit them - there are numerous player types in the game of poker and each type can be exploited if you know what you are doing.
2) have the right attitude - making all the right moves, but still losing hurts. Acting superior to other players is also a major leak. Don’t let your ego get in the way and don’t get into the habit of thinking you deserve to win. Keep your wits about you and stay in control.
3) concentrate on aspects of poker they can control - you can't control luck, but you can control your attitude and demeanor. There are some observant players who are watching and will exploit what they see.
4) pay ATTENTION - poker is a game played against others, an observant player will be watching you, but you will also be watching them
- do everything you can to throw your opponents off track
- watch carefully, be aware of how they play and the cards they show….
- look out for reverse tells and then do the opposite of what you think they want you to do
- look for weak players; calling stations, crying callers, etcetera
5) don’t criticize - you want weak players to stay weak, DON’T criticize or chastise opponents…. You want them to make mistakes… their losses will outweigh the wins, and through proper observation and play, and “etiquette” your win’s will outweigh your losses.
6) recognize being on tilt - we all go on tilt, every one of us. Recognize being on tilt and if it’s a game you can leave, then leave. Also recognize when others are on tilt, and use the information to your advantage.
7) recognize other factors - being angry, upset, drunk, high, and tired are a few of the factors that a good player recognizes and strives to keep away from.
8) have a plan to counteract the psychological factors - having any plan to counteract the affects of being on tilt, or taking bad beats (to name a few factors) is an important part of a good players repertoire.
9) consider and research other methods to help with the psychology of the game - Howard Lederer meditates, Phil Helmuth has a Poker shrink, other players use hypnosis and Neuro-Linquistic Programming seems to be a part of yet other players mantra. I wouldn’t recommend voodoo, but if your mental game is lacking, you might take a cue from the pros here.
(to be continued)