To build a reputable name in poker is not an easy task. A player has to go through a number of games, which is indeed a fusion of winning and losing. Sometimes due to nervousness, overconfidence and even bad luck, one can lose their bankroll. But there ain’t a great poker player who has not suffered any loss. You just need to pull yourself up and prepare for the game. Here are a few tips to help you deal with your losses:
1. Don’t be a jerk
Often when people lose, they try to vent their frustration and anger into some other places, including their loved ones, social media, etc. The important thing is not to let that emotional punch keep you from trying. Getting mad will not help you improve your game or get your money back. So, instead of just getting mad about it, focus on the game, assess your moves and try to improve your skills.
Bad bankroll management often results in long-term losses. One bad decision and poof! your money is gone. For every variant of the game, there is a recommended bankroll. Study these strategies. Read articles and watch videos that will help you understand the game better. Practice bankroll management.
Freerolls are offered in nearly every online poker room. These are free to play. It is time-consuming and challenging, but if you work up to the tops you will have enough money to try a beginner’s level in the main game. The offer can be as much as $20. More practice without any loss of money will soon make you ready to play with the bankrolls.
4. Long-term gain
While playing poker, it is important to look for the long-term gains. One bad night cannot affect your money in the long-term. The game of poker is not just a one-game session. It doesn’t matter if you lose one game, it is important to know how much you are winning at the poker over a long time. A positive attitude can help you gain success, profit, and pure bliss. Just be sure to think about the future, manage your bankroll accordingly and try to focus on the important part, not the small losses.
5. Figure out your breaking point
Every person has a breaking point. Not necessarily poker, but in every field, there is only so much a person can handle. Often, while playing poker, players are unable to figure out their breaking point and keep on playing even when the time is not right. If you think that you have reached your breaking point, it's time to back down for a while. Poker is a fun game and if everything you feel while playing is tension, anxiety, and fear, then maybe it’s time to quit for some time and then return better, stronger and smarter.
I have been trying to lose 5 kilos for the longest time. I know my life will be perfect once I lose those 5 kilos. I will win every Poker tournaments, crush all the cash games – and I will be doing these incredible things while wearing the clothes I have bought and stored for the past ten years in anticipation of the ultimate day I lose those stubborn 5 kilos.
It is with this goal in mind I joined Bikram Yoga and embarked upon an adventure that has been able to align my Weight goals with my Poker goals – albeit in unforeseen ways. But then, God works in mysterious ways.
When one makes an idiotic decision to start a Bikram Yoga class, it is exactly like making the idiotic decision to play professional Poker. The heat is on in more ways than one. Bikram Yoga is a one and a half hour intense yoga class held in a closed room with the temperature rising to 41 degrees coupled with 40% humidity. Each morning I wake up in a cold sweat with my first thought being, Holy Moly (actually, stronger curse words are my first thought each morning), I have to head to the torture chamber today. Not fun. So I gather my courage, look into the mirror and tell myself “You go girl, you can do it.”
Lesson Learned: As the saying goes, “Everything you want is on the other side of Fear”. In Poker, as in life and Bikram Yoga, you have to be brave. Don’t chicken out - make courageous moves even when you are seated at a live tournament table with the likes of those I am usually seated with. You know who you are – Imma coming for you next time. Just kidding. Really. I love you guys, please be kind.
So I am now in the Bikram Yoga class, talking to myself, pumping myself up in the hopes that I can make it through the one and a half hour of heat and sweat. I have decided to shake everything off, be Zen and as Nike says, just do it. I look up and there’s a hefty, hairy man who has taken his place in front of me. He is shirtless and nearly shortless, too, as the tiny spandex shorts he is wearing leaves little to the imagination. Now it’s a challenge of focus. I train myself to see only my own body in the mirror but since the mind is like a mischievous child, it keeps wandering to places where it should not. And definitely must not.
Lesson Learned: Focus is the foundation of everything in life. In Poker games, I tell myself to focus only on the players on the table, determine opponents’ ranges, and find the right spots. Instead of daydreaming about meeting Elon Musk and requesting him to invent a technology that allows you to reach through the computer screen and strangle the players who continuously shove their entire stacks of 100 BB to gain 90 chips from the pot in online poker tournaments.
Now, half an hour into the class it feels like I’m in an early stage of a tournament. I’m cruising; I’m feeling great about the work I’m putting in. Working with balance and skill and I’m in a good place. I make a slight misstep by losing focus and turn my head slightly to the right (mainly in a gloating manner, trying to show off my ability to contort myself 10% more than the previous day). The matronly seventy something lady to my right, wearing a thin cotton flowery salwar kurta, is now moving like a yogi samurai with such grace and flow, contorting herself into the best possible posture that she would undoubtedly be Bikram’s student of the year. And she is doing all this while smiling. I sheepishly turn back to look at myself in the mirror and vow that I must be more disciplined and not be swayed by my own ego, even if I am pretty good at yoga. Pretty good is not good enough.
Lesson Learned: Do not let your focus waiver – be disciplined so that every move you make involves focus and deep thought. Do whatever it takes to stay on the path to your goal, whatever it may be, without any distractions. Remember, that in today’s hyper competitive poker world as in life, being pretty good won’t help you reach the brass ring. You need to focus on being legendary.
One hour into the class and I’m in the zone, or being one with the flow - my mind is clear, the moves automatic. I am thinking only of the yoga postures and my mind, surprisingly, does not wander. I don’t see the hairy man with the curvaceous bottom nor am I worried about the little geriatric gymnast to my right. My moves are as good, if not better now than everyone in the class or so I choose to believe. It feels exactly right – like I’m 3-betting and stealing blinds at the right time as well as making amazing reads. I’m feeling fine – let’s do this.
Lesson Learned: If you can grind with the will to win and keep reminding yourself to be focused and disciplined, you will find yourself in the zone or in the sweet spot of the flow. Your hard work will pay off - just keep getting yourself in line in the early to middle stages of the tournament. All the study and hours of practice will make your moves automatic and you will find the light at the end of the tunnel.
It is nearly the end of class and I am dying now. No, really, I am literally dying. In the exact situation I find myself every time nearing the money or FT bubble in tournaments. I am sweating, I am fearful of absolute collapse, I am about to cry. But then I force myself to think of all the hard work I have put into this insane activity, the hours of practice through sickness and health, how good it feels to get to the other side. And then I also suddenly remember that I will be singled out and get lectured at by the instructor for being the ultimate wimp and all at once the cloud lifts. I am able to continue breathing through the heat, the sweat, the tears and I complete each posture with grace and aplomb.
Lesson Learned: To endure the long of hours of grueling poker sessions - all the while keeping your mind sharp enough to make creative plays, gut wrenching decisions, basic calculations that are tough for the mathematically challenged like myself – you have to keep yourself in peak physical condition. The mental strength required for these sessions should not be underestimated and it is important to focus on building up your physical and mental stamina.
So, to return to the title of this blog post, I’m not sure if Bikram Yoga helps me survive Poker or Poker helps me survive Bikram Yoga. All I know is that I believe that both have made me travel the path of self-improvement and that’s the point of our journey in life. I am nowhere close to having the level of discipline and focus that is shared by my superheroes, Aditya Sushant and Sharad Rao, but I am inspired by them and will now work harder to achieve my weight and poker goals. Thank you, Aditya and Sharad, for being amazing and showing all of us that with hard work, dedication, and discipline, you can make your dreams come true.
PokerBaazi Team PRO
Play on PokerBaazi.com, India's most trusted poker website.
New to Poker? If you are new to poker, you need to know that poker is a game of skill! Poker is a game, which does a lot more than taking away your boredom. Initially, poker gives you an opportunity to express yourself socially, to learn to read people and if you get skilled at it, you could also earn money online. To play the game right and to make sure that you do not pony up any money, you need to have a knowledge of the game and the rules associated with it. Thus, here are some basic beginners tips which won't really make you an expert in the game, but will set you on the right track to becoming a master poker player!
TIP #1 Start out playing for free
As soon as you begin playing poker, start online at free tables. It is not that you can't fall, it's just that the damage is going to be a little less severe. Start playing for free to gain basic knowledge of the game such as what hands beats what, the betting orders etc. Free table games usually have "free money" or "points" and allow you to learn the game without interrupting the flow of an actual poker cash game.
TIP #2 Gain a knowledge of Poker etiquettes
Poker is a social game. It gives you an opportunity to interact with more people and express yourself socially. Thus, like any other game, it is really important to learn the etiquettes and rules of poker to have a long poker career and lasting friendships. You can start with researching poker etiquettes. Don’t table talk, don't complaint to the dealer and not to forget "common sense" are some of the basic poker etiquettes which prevent you from looking like a novice in the game.
TIP #3 Be selective enough with your starting hands
A usual mistake that beginners make is not being selective enough with their starting hands. Most fall into the trap of believing that any hand can win. This is true, however, some hands have more chances to help you win than others. They will help you win more while others are likely to make you lose more. Thus, be very critical of which hands you play.
TIP#4 Avoid bluffing too much
One of the wrong ideas that amateur poker players have is that bluffing is vital to winning a game! Most people know of bluffing as a part of poker, however, they don't know how to use it. Try bluffing when you really know about "how" to do it, else, avoid it!
TIP #5 Don't hurry to higher limits
There are two major reasons why you shouldn't play for a lot of money as a beginner-
Firstly, the opponents that you will get at higher limits will be one step ahead of you as they are more experienced. The chance that you will beat them in the game is less. Also, the money you will put into the learning process will be a lot! Secondly, a player must only play at limits one can afford, If you go beyond it, you might end up dropping the money that you can't afford to lose.
Motivation is one of the key ingredients for becoming a successful poker player. However, motivation, at the same time, is something that most poker players lack and struggle with. Poker is fun and you want to keep playing it till everything is going your way! However, once things start moving in the opposite direction, it is the last thing you would want to indulge in. Feeling demotivated is natural, but if you keep moving ahead, regardless of the circumstances, then you are a true professional!
So how do you overcome your unmotivated self? How do you push yourself onwards and upwards? Here are some tips that can help you overcome this stage, and stay motivated to rock the poker table-
Surround yourself with highly motivated winners
If you are feeling unmotivated, look for poker players who have achieved great success and recognition in the game. On knowing about them you would understand how they must have consistently worked hard to get where they are. Most poker players these days have some sort of title book, blog, twitter etc. In order to stay motivated in the game, you must follow these players. You can also engage in conversation with the person and with other followers through the comments, and know what keeps them motivated. This may further boost your confidence.
Set Public Poker Goals
Though cliche, goal setting is one of the most crucial ways to keep yourself going with confidence in anything. One key way of doing this is by setting public goals, which usually relate to the number of hands that you will play over a period of time such as a month. The reason why publicly stated goals are so helpful in keeping you motivated because you hold yourself more accountable. Well, because what could be worse than saying you are going to something, that too in front of others and then failing miserably?
Opt for Meditation, Music or Inspirational Videos
Poker is not really considered a sport by most, however, the bottom line is that poker for many pays the bills. To do away with the stress of the game, professional athletes start preparing mentally hours before the game begins. They do this by listening to music or hearing the words of the wise (their coaches etc.). This is all done to keep the mind in the right place to stay motivated and give their best to the sport. The same can be done with poker as well.
Another way to keep the mind motivated is by watching some inspirational videos. There is a plethora of videos that can be found very easily. Meditation is also good to get rid of the stress and stay up for the game! Do some basic deep breathing before your next session of poker to get your mind right.
Believe in yourself
In order to achieve what you want in life, you first need to believe in yourself! If you keep believing you can't achieve anything, then that's just an exercise in futility. Losing self-confidence is common in poker as on some days you may keep losing, but it does not mean giving up! Thus, believe in yourself and stay motivated!
We’ve all come across someone who annoys us every single second while playing poker, haven’t we? So, today we bring you some of the most annoying habits at the poker table. Regardless of how small these habits may seem, these can be nerve-wracking for some. Are you guilty of any of these habits? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to stop:
• People who put on headphones on the table, and are thus unable to follow the action
Of course, there’s nothing wrong in listening to some music to avoid the distraction when you are at the table. However, bear in mind that it should not bother the flow of the game, nor should it disturb the other players at the table. Oh, and make sure that the game does not stall for you – either plug in your headphones only in one ear or keep the decibels down so that you clearly follow the game.
• Beginners, who have absolutely no idea
Aren’t these the most irritating lot of all? Sure, most of us enjoy having an amateur at the table. However, if only they could understand the structure of the game and grab it early on. Oh, and isn’t it so very annoying when they have to be told that it is their turn to play?
• People who act like dealers
For heaven’s sake, it is the dealer’s job to take rake, bring in the bets and split the pots. Why in the world do such people want to do the dealer’s job, right? A dealer follows a very specific procedure to do all the things that he does, and no, he does not appreciate your help. AT ALL!
• People who intervene even when they are not involved in the hand
Whenever some player at the table asks another for their count, let the person who the question was directed to, answer. Please understand that a lot of times, it is not the quantity of the chips, but the way the person answers is what the other player is looking for. Just do not meddle.
• Players with terrible personal hygiene
Sure, it is not very uncommon for the play to last say, 18 hours instead of 8. But for the good of humanity, please get up, wash your hands, your face and pop a mint every 4 hours at least. And don’t forget to wash your hands after you eat, because all the players at the table have to touch that chip or card that you just made messy while you were eating.
• Players who tap on the glass
Do all the players at the table a favor, and stop tapping on the glass. It is supremely annoying to have someone make that incessant noise when you want to focus all your attention on the game when suddenly you are distracted by that constant tapping.
• Overly dramatic players
A little drama in order to hoodwink your fellow players is fine every now and then. But do you really have to put on that huge show every time? Please remember that it is a total waste of everybody’s time as they can clearly see that you are raising with a hand of garbage cards. Just dump your cards, bow out!