Now despite poker being an extremely technical game, it’s often mindset that makes the difference between those who really excel and those who just get by.
In recent years many poker players have started to pay more attention to the mental side of the game, but for most, it’s still lagging miles behind their technical abilities and is the single biggest factor holding them back.
Today you will learn how to work on developing the key components of your mental edge.
#1: Gain Emotional Control
One of the most common areas that players struggle with, is their emotional control.
Now some players think that tilt is just when you fully lose your head and spew off buy-ins, but tilt comes in many shapes and sizes.
Mental game issues can come from simple reasons such as:
- Hating to make mistakes.
- Having high expectations.
- Having a poor work ethic.
As well as rating the quality of your play after each session, you should also comment on how well you handled your emotions. Emotions highlight flaws with how you mentally approach the game.
#2: Resolve Mental Flaws
The first step to resolving mental flaws is to increase your level of awareness both to your emotional responses and what triggers them.
The second step is to use that awareness to decrease the emotional response and inject logic statements that are counter to your irrational thinking.
This is no easy feat and if you have conditioned yourself to think and feel in a certain way, it can be hard to retrain the brain to react with less emotion.
But this is something that you have to do, you have to recondition your body to a new mind that uses logic to overcome emotions.
#3: Increase Your Focus
The next area you need to work on to gain your mental edge is your focus.
The reason it’s so difficult to focus for long periods in the modern world is because we have conditioned ourselves to be distracted.Luckily for you, focus is a skill that you can train.
Firstly, you need to eliminate all distractions – such as your phone, social media and website tabs.
Create a distraction free zone whilst you grind or study.
If you don’t take the steps to control your environment, you will always be distracted, which means your focus will be low and your poker performance will suffer.
Secondly, you need to increase your effort to focus solely on one task at a time. If you’re grinding, give each hand 100% of your attention.If you’re studying, make sure nothing else is on your mind.
Challenge yourself to concentrate fully on the one task you are doing for slightly longer than you are comfortable.
This strains and strengthens the focus muscles, in the same way that doing weights in the gym creates a stronger body.
Each day you are either training the the skill of focus or training yourself to be distracted.
#4: Stay Motivated