Poker and the Mind

Do you wonder why you can't win consistently in poker, despite reading every poker book and article you can find? Perhaps there's something wrong with your strategies. Or maybe there's something that these books and articles can't seem to teach you, something that cannot be learned and studied by reading and practice.

This is not to say that poker books and articles are useless. Poker strategy is the most important aspect of winning poker. However, strategy alone is not everything in poker. You also need experience, discipline, money management skills, and of course, the right mental attitude.

Poker is not only a battle against your opponents, but also against yourself. Before you conquer your opponents at the poker tables, you must conquer yourself first. This may sound like psychological mumbo-jumbo, but discipline, self-control, honesty, and positive thinking, are vital requisites to successful poker play.

The hard truth is that your mind is set to "Loser" by default, which is the reason why most poker players lose. It's up to you to turn the default setting to "Winner", by acquiring the correct mental attitude.

First, ask yourself about your motivation for playing. Are you playing for the sake of money? Or are you playing merely for fun and excitement? Or maybe you love the action and the ego boost you can get from beating your opponents.

You have to be perfectly honest with yourself on why you are playing poker, because maybe you are playing for the wrong reasons. You must ask yourself about the things that motivate you to continue playing the game.

Nothing, and no one, can help you become more honest with yourself. Honesty is a personal decision that you, alone, can apply. If you are sick and tired of losing, and you want to start winning in poker, you must be aware of the times when you are tempted to lie, and then fight off this temptation.

Being honest in your motivations for playing can help your poker play a lot more than all the poker strategy secrets combined. Your motivations for playing can affect all the decisions you make at the poker table. If you are an action-loving player, you are more likely to take big risks, like making calls, even if you're beat. If you are playing for money, you are inclined to play tight and conservatively, to avoid losing money.

To find out if you are totally honest with yourself, take a look at your previous plays. Most likely, you make decisions and plays that are not suited to your motivation for playing, because you are emotionally caught up in the heat of the moment. If you can control your emotions while playing poker, and think clearly and objectively, you will be able to make the correct decisions, and thus improve your chances of winning.

Poker is a mental game. The moment you have conditioned your mind to become a winner, you will start winning game after game of poker.