JavaScript must be enabled for Sign In.
Please check your broswer settings.

Home \ Community \ Blogs \

What I did this summer


Where's your head at....part 2

By: xylophone68 @ 18:37 (EDT) / 300 / Comment ( 0 )

Why am I playing poker, right now?

That is the question I now ask myself.

If the answer is because I feel confident and want to play... game on.  If i am bored, tired, moody, too distracted.....I think twice about playing at those times.  Or at the very least, slow down/drop down several notches on the buy to see if I can warm up to the game.  Over the past 6 months I have come to realise just how much your mental state affects your game play.

Like many other players, I have struggles with my game.  Ups and downs....sometimes you feel like you have mostly bad luck.  But I would find myself thinking about winning players.,.. and how they do it.  They can't just be super lucky.....there has to be more to their success than that.  What can I do to get there?

I decided to work on my tilt, as a starting point.  I knew from personal experience that confidence can be very powerful in combatting doubts, fear, etc so I studied more.  I put this knowledge to work in my game and listened to advise from others.  This helped a lot - but, as I have learned, playing good poker is not enough to take you to the final table consistently.  I believe that if you rely just on playing good poker plus a little luck, you will have sporadic results, leading you to falsely over-value your ability (i.e.  I am TAG - the first major ft cash I made I thought I had finally figured it out....took me a long to reach another ft after that one). 

Someone wise (Em) once said at a home game table......if you are a good player, you will always get knocked out the tourny when holding a good hand.  This might be a repeat of someone else's quote.....not sure, but I like it - it was a bit of an eye opener for me.  When you realise this, and put things into perspective.....the bad beats really don't seem so bad.  And now that I have some of the basics ingrained they come more naturally to me while playing (i.e. pot odds) - frees up my mind to think about others picking my spot.  But mostly I am self-aware of what I am thinking or feeling while playing - I pay much more attention to this now.   And I try not to play too many tables, so I can focus on what is going on in my tourny.  Make notes -  every tourny, every table.  I find now that I don't often get angry or upset anymore if I lose a big hand/get 'donked'.  This has been particularly useful when recovering in a tourny to re-build a short stack.  My results in recent months have improved, particularly in tournys when I know I am 'in the game' mentally.

I won't stop learning the basics/poker theory, but I now understand that developing your mental game is just as important to your overall success.   Another step towards becoming a better player.   Thanks for reading and best of luck on your poker journey :)

In order to comment, you must login or register.
Take Quiz
New here? Take our Poker Assessment to start your education.
already a member? sign in here
JavaScript must be enabled for Sign In.
Please check your broswer settings.
Learn From basics to advanced strategy
Practice Improve your skills with our trainers
Win! Establish yourself as a winning player
/Featured Promotions/
Progressive Jackpot Progressive Jackpot Playing our new 'Scratch & Match' game is free and very easy. If you match 3 symbols you win a prize!!!! View details
Earn 10 Tournament Tickets Today! Earn 10 Tournament Tickets Today! Invite your friends to join Poker School and you could earn up to 10 tournament tickets as a reward! View details

Getting PokerStars is easy: download and install the PokerStars game software, create your free player account, and validate your email address. Clicking on the download poker button will lead to the installation of compatible poker software on your PC of 51.7 MB, which will enable you to register and play poker on the PokerStars platform. To uninstall PokerStars use the Windows uninstaller: click Start > Control Panel and then select Add or Remove programs > Select PokerStars and click Uninstall or Remove.

Copyright (c) All rights reserved, Rational Group, Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Road, Onchan, Isle of Man, IM3 1DZ. You can email us on