It takes work to stay positive and motivated when playing poker. After all, there are no guarantees that you will always come out on top. And even if you do, it can feel like there are times when you feel like you’re missing something. To help you stay happy in your poker journey, here are some steps you can take:
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Have a Long Hard About What You Want With the Game
It’s essential to ask yourself why you’re playing poker in the first place. Are you looking for a hobby? Do you want to make some extra money? Or are you hoping to become a professional? A clear idea of your goals and ambitions can help guide your decisions while playing the game.
When reflecting on what you want from the game, you must tune out possible distractions and think deeply about how you want to proceed. Doing so will help you create a personalized game plan, which can serve as your roadmap for success in your poker journey.
Set the Right Expectations
Before you can be satisfied with your live or online poker performance, setting the right expectations for yourself is crucial. Understand that poker is a game of skill and luck; don’t expect to win every time. Set realistic goals, such as reaching certain levels of play or improving skills in certain areas.
Once you have done this, you will have more realistic expectations, making it easier to be satisfied with your performance.
At the same time, you should remember that proper expectations don’t mean low expectations. Eventually, you will become a better player. When that time comes, what is considered the right expectations will change, requiring you to set higher goals for yourself.
Focus On Your Strengths
One way to be more satisfied with your performance at the poker table is to focus on improving your strengths rather than fixing all the wrong things. Everyone has unique playing styles and abilities, so identify your strengths and work on them. Doing so will help you become a better overall player, as your strengths can be used to your advantage in certain situations while playing.
That, however, doesn’t mean you’re just going to do nothing about the areas your poker game is weak at. Instead, it would help if you dedicated some time to working on those areas. At the same time, be mindful not to make them your primary focus.
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Analyze Your Play
After every session:
- Take time to analyze your play.
- Consider each decision and ask yourself if it was the best move in retrospect.
- Identify any errors you made and what could have been done differently.
Doing these things can help you understand why specific outcomes happened, allowing you to better prepare for the future.
Better yet, you can use poker apps. By doing so, you won’t have to rely on your own memory when analyzing your play. Some even provide advanced analysis tools like win/loss analysis or hand history review.
Lastly, record your games or get advice from more experienced players if possible. Doing so could help you discover new strategies, better understand the game and refine your decision-making skills.
Always Be Honest With Yourself as a Poker Player
Being honest lets you identify your weak spots and areas you can improve. If you find yourself making mistakes or taking bad beats, acknowledge it and try to do a better job in the next session. Don’t be too hard on yourself when things don’t work out as expected, but at the same time, don’t delude yourself into thinking that you’re doing better than you are.
Aside from your performance, being honest with yourself can help you stay within your limits. If you’ve had a bad session and find yourself losing more money than you’re comfortable with, take a break or end the session instead of continuing to play and digging an even bigger hole.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Other Players Too Much
It can be easy to compare yourself to the other players at the poker table and feel discouraged after a bad game. But rather than feel down, it would help if you remembered that everyone has unique playing styles, so there is no need to compare your play against theirs. Comparisons can lead to discouragement and dissatisfaction with your performance even when you may have done better than you think.
Focus on improving your play instead of comparing yourself to the other players. Doing so can help you remain objective about your performance and help you be more satisfied with your results. And remember, everyone loses from time to time. That, of course, includes the players that won against you.
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Try Out New Things From Time To Time
Lastly, don’t be afraid to try out new things. Trying something different can help you become a better player and make games more enjoyable and exciting. That could include playing different game types, changing your pre-flop strategy, or trying complex plays. Doing so can help you understand how different approaches work in various situations.
Even if you don’t do well, you can still learn something from the experience. That being said, if you’re on the road to going pro, try only new things when it doesn’t cost you too much money if it doesn’t work out. Remember, you shouldn’t take too much risk to protect your bankroll.
Change Your Attitude On Losing
Finally, if you’re serious about improving your poker game, you must change your outlook toward losing. It’s easy to become discouraged when you experience losses and tilt heavily. But instead of getting angry or upset about it, try to examine the hand and figure out what went wrong.
You can also use the opportunity to practice staying disciplined with your bankroll. Doing so will help you avoid suffering too much of a loss. Doing this can help you maintain your composure and become a more successful poker player in the long run.
Lastly, you also need to realize that there are losses wherein you couldn’t have done anything to win. That’s why it’s important to remember that sometimes, luck comes into play and affects the outcome of a hand. During those times, the only thing you can do is accept the result and move on.
Love the Player (You) And the Game
Applying these tips lets you play poker hands while being happy and content with your performance. So don’t forget to have fun while playing, even if things don’t work out as planned. After all, that’s what makes poker so enjoyable in the first place. So now that you know how to become a better poker player, it’s time to start putting in the work and having fun.