ALL ABOUT POKER:
PLAYING YOUR BEST GAME
by Bill Burton
Bill Burton is the Casino Gambling Guide and columnist for the Internet portal About.com located at:www.casinogambling.about.com. He is the author of "1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets" (available online at www.billburton.com) and "Get the Edge at Low Limit Texas Hold'em" (available at 10% discount from the BJI online store). Bill is also an instructor for Golden Touch Craps: www.thecrapsclub.com
Poker is more than just a card game. One professional player I know describes poker as a "people game played with cards" and whenever you are dealing with people, you are also dealing with many psychological factors including your own emotions.
Pop singer Pink wrote a song entitled Donít Let Me Get Me. The lyrics included the lines; "Donít let me get me. Iím a hazard to myself. Iím my own worst enemy."
For some players these words are extremely true when you play poker because the person who can beat you the most is sitting in YOUR chair. Your emotions can have an impact on your game and can contribute to your winning or losing. They say that winning poker can be simple. All you have to do is always play your best game.
This is easier said than done for many players because we are, after all, only human with other problems in our lives. However, if you bring these problems to the table, it can only interfere with playing your best game. To be a winning player, you have to be able to check your emotions at the door before you sit down at the table. Poker should be the only thing on your mind when you play. Here is a tip that is guaranteed to save you money.
If you are getting ready to drive to the poker room and you start to wonder whether you really feel like playing poker, STAY HOME! Don't even waste your time, or your gas. You will more than likely have a losing session because your head will not be in the game. You must want to play and if there is any doubt simply don't play.
There are other factors that contribute to your state of mind. Whenever you play, you should be well rested and alert. Playing your best game means that you are able to pay attention to every detail of the game, and the other players at all times. You canít give your full attention to the game if you are tired or distracted.
You should also be confident of your own abilities. You don't have to be the best player in the world to win at Texas Hold'em. You just have to be better than the other players at the table.
Some players, for example, can be easily intimidated by other players. This can happen if you find yourself in a game with a bunch of maniac players. You need to be aware of this. If, for any reason, you don't feel you can play your best game against the opponents at the table, or you think you are over matched, then you should get out and find a different game.
Your game can also be affected by the play at the table. Some nights you will sit for hours folding hand after hand, while other players are winning with garbage. You may be tempted to start loosening up your standards for starting hands. Don't do it! When you do, you are getting away from your best game.
Suffering several bad beats is probably the factor that contributes the most to players letting their emotions get the best of them. You play only solid starting hands all night long only to get beaten on the river by a player who had not right to be in the hand to begin with. This can cause even the best players to lose control.
Controlling Your Emotions
There are several things you can do when you feel you are on the verge of losing control. The first thing to do is take a deep breath. Breathing gets more oxygen to the brain and will help clear up your thinking.
If deep breathing does not help sooth you, get up and leave the table for a few minutes. After taking a break, if you find that you are still not in control of your emotions then you have no choice but to leave the game.
If you learn to control your emotions, you will become your own best friend instead of your own worst enemy.
Until Next time remember:
Luck comes and goes.....Knowledge Stays Forever.
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