Feb 26, 2018

Playing online poker games either online or live give major lessons for life. Learning how to play good poker gives you a true multimedia learning experience that can be applied in life as well. Unfortunately, in poker and in life, we don't get the option to choose the cards that are dealt, we simply have to play with the ones with the best of our ability. The below mentioned are some of the points that one can implement in our daily life as well.

Bankroll Management

Try not to blow your bankroll on stupid things. Bankroll management plays an important role in poker. In the event that you don't have cash then you can't play.

The initial step to bankroll management is that you have to monitor your cash. Try not to play poker games for more than you can bear to lose. Squandering the cash on silly things will only diminish your bankroll. Give your cash a chance to make more money.

One more tip is not to carry on with a way of life that you can't bear the cost of either. You have to note everyday costs. Put some portion of that into an investment account that you cannot touch.

Search for Your Poker Leaks

Poker games for a change teach you to look for leaks which could affect your own game. They can particularly be negative behavior patterns and which are gaps that can make the vessel sink extra time. Settling the holes expects you to dissect your own particular course of action. That is extraordinary, however how to apply this to our own lives? Whatever circumstance you're endeavoring to enhance in your life, search for leaks. That could help you excel in the game and in life.

Emotional, Mental, and Financial Discipline

A standout amongst essential thoughts to be a poker player winner is to hold your feelings and funds under wraps. Indeed, even the best poker players have lost fortunes by letting either or both run wild. The standards are straightforward: don't play when disappointed, and don't play outside your limits. However, poker gives motivation to you: stay disciplined, or lose your money.

In life, similarly as in poker, sharpened emotional control enables you to take things slowly. To keep your serenity while others explode with rage. A sharp mental personality slices through the slack, while financial discipline keeps you grounded for life. Emotional reactions are regularly pointless and unfavorable in any basic decision processes. Abstain from settling on essential choices when you feel your emotions are out of control. Stride back, inhale and rethink.

Be open-minded

Try not to cut off your brain to different methods for considering or other potential answers for a problem. Most of the time, in poker and in life, the appropriate response will be obvious and straightforward, however, in different circumstances, it won't. There isn't generally a set in stone approach to playing a hand of poker, and similar remains constant in your regular day to day existence, once in a while you'll see that there is more than one right answer, and on uncommon events there can frequently be no smart responses and you need to pick between the lesser of two disasters.

 

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.

Courage

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.

Focus

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.

Discipline

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.

Flow

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.

Endurance

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. 

 

Maria Kirloskar

PokerBaazi Team PRO

Play on PokerBaazi.com, India's most trusted poker website.

In the past year, I’ve received several messages from young players who recently completed their graduation and just started their first jobs. My assumption is that they are all around 22-25 years old.  They usually have three questions for me – the first one being “Do you have a boyfriend”, the second one is “What are you doing” and the third one is “I want to quit my job. How do I become a full-time Poker player”… 

This post aims to answer the last question since I’m pretty sure the first two questions, as entertaining as they may be, are not of much relevance to any discussion around Poker!

 Most of us who play Poker have been seduced by the siren song – play Poker all day long, make a lot of money and live the Poker lifestyle that the Pros enjoy. But the reality is not as fantastically uplifting - this siren lures you with a golden dream that leaves many players broken on the rocks of despair and consumed by the sea of disappointment.

 I’ve read a number of articles that keep reinforcing the idea that the 9 to 5 grind in a “regular” job is the death knell to any cool, hip young Poker player.  I mean, how could you be perceived as glamorous and sexy if you work as an IT analyst or a junior HR executive when you could be living the high life as a full-time Poker professional? ut like the saying goes: 

Poker is a hard way to make easy money.  In fact, there is no such thing as easy money.

 Let’s look at the statistics.  The average tournament player will get in the money 10% of the time while an expert player usually gets in the money 15% of the time.  That means as an average tournament player, one is losing 90% of the time!

 When it comes to cash game players, they have to deal with downswings that sometimes go on for more than a few weeks.

 It may seem like I’m being negative but I’m not here to discourage anyone from playing Poker - in fact, it’s the opposite.  

Instead of looking at becoming a full-time Poker player in the early years of your work life, wouldn’t it be amazing to have a second income from Poker? Working hard at your job will help you with discipline, playing Poker as a hobby in the evenings will help you with patience and focus, while playing without the pressure of having to make rent money will make you fall in love with the game even more! 

 My advice to all of you out there who feel like you want to make Poker your career, follow these simple steps and then decide whether it is the right path for you and at what point in your life can you afford to so. 

  1. Keep a separate bank account for your bankroll whether it is Rs. 5,000, Rs. 50,000 or Rs. 5 Lakhs.
  2. Read as much as you can on Bankroll Management, then make a plan and stick to it.
  3. Play on only trusted Poker sites or in legitimate Poker rooms.
  4. Keep track of every single tournament or cash game you play and review your profit or loss each week.
  5. Study hard and continually improve your game.
  6. If you are a consistent player, apply to a reputed stable to get staked and receive coaching.
  7. Give yourself a year or two to see whether you are making money – enough to live on or more than enough as a second income.

 I would also suggest that you look around the Poker circuit and talk to some of the most successful, profitable players.  You will soon realize that most of them have jobs or own businesses. 

 There are very few young players who play Poker for a living without a financial safety net. Those that do are consistently winning players who have been playing for a few years, who work very hard on their game and other aspects such as mental/physical strength. By all means, be inspired by them, but don’t jump into taking up Poker as a career by being ill-informed or because of your ego.

 And, the next time anyone asks me what I am doing at 11:30 on any given night, I will send you a picture of me – not twerking at the MTV Pool Party, or sipping champagne on Dan B’s yacht – but in my pajamas grinding The Big 1 Lakh tourney on Baazi.  Not glamorous or sexy in any way, I can assure you.  More like Animal from The Muppet Show. That’s the reality of the life of a full-time Poker Pro ;-)

 

Hey guys,

I have been playing poker on and off for 5-6 years now, but it wasn't until 2014 that I started playing seriously. Since then, played a bunch of live cash games in the many poker rooms of Bangalore with varying degrees of success. 2015 turned out to be a good year for me in live tournaments with a host of final tables and deep runs in IPC Goa.

However, juggling poker and a corporate job were taking a toll on me and I decided to take a break from the corporate grind in 2016 to become a full-time poker pro. Fortunately, I got the chance to join PokerBaazi around the same time. As a professional player, it has been an interesting journey with a lot of ups and downs.

2016 wasn't a good year for me poker-wise as I was on a prolonged downswing and had some health problems on top of that. I took to traveling to take my mind off the downswing and worked on improving my game away from the tables. I eventually managed to turn it around after the break, and this being my biggest downswing of my career helped me grow as player and person. Also, I can't stress enough on the importance of having a balanced lifestyle as a poker player. Poker players, in general, tend to live an unhealthy lifestyle and we let our results on the table dictate our mood. Having a good support network of poker players to discuss strategy/hands and the day-to-day swings of the poker-life also help.

For the last year or so I have been concentrating mainly on online PLO cash poker games on PokerBaazi.com. My Holdem’ background meant it was a long and expensive journey to switch to PLO. One of biggest mistakes I made was to jump to the same stakes as I was playing in Holdem. In hindsight, it would definitely have been better to start from scratch and gradually climb up the stakes.

The endless hours of playing poker and working on the game have been paying off lately and I wish I would have done the same earlier. Going forward I plan to play more live tournaments; you just can't beat the feeling of going deep in a live tournament.

On a final note, I am very excited about the upcoming PokerBaazi Premier League Season VI which begins tomorrow, 10th May. PPL Season VI, with its 1.5cr GTD prize pool, is the biggest Indian online tournament series ever and I am extremely proud to be part of the team behind it. Jasven (Saigal) and I have designed most of the structures and we are confident that this series will be one heck of a ride for every single player. I am especially excited about the 50 Lakhs GTD Main Event which has 10 Lakhs GTD to the winner.

So good luck to everyone. See you at the tables.

You are what you eat. No amount of denying or lying is going to help you get that out of the way. Poker is a game that requires your utmost concentration and attention. It is important to understand that the act of thinking and focusing is a biochemical procedure. The cells in your brain require neurotransmitter chemicals to duplicate pathways and facilitate efficient communication between the cells in your body. Acetylcholine, Dopamine, and Serotonin are the three most basic neurotransmitters that exist in your body. The nutritional consumption of the supposed ‘brain food’ that is going to be mentioned in this article promotes the production of these important neurotransmitters, and the outcome will be having increased focus, concentration, and amazing memory-related skills.

Fish: Fatty fish, in particular, is an amazing source of Omega 3. Omega 3 is a fatty acid that helps to promote the improvement of cellular building blocks. Consumption of this type of fatty fish can help produce all three of the necessary neurotransmitters, therefore increasing concentration, helping you focus better on the cards you have and help you take better, more accurate decisions whilst playing your hand at Poker.

Bananas: Bananas are some of the best brain foods available to you. This is because they are high in Vitamin B, particularly Vitamin B6! Vitamin B6 helps the body produce neurotransmitters like serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. A lack of this vital vitamin can cause confusion, irritability as well as depression. These are not qualities you want or require, especially whilst playing a tough game of poker, where the most amount of your focus is needed. Other than bananas, hazelnuts, spinach, potatoes, whole grains also provide a good source of Vitamin B6.

Whole Grains: Other than the fact that whole grains are filled with Vitamin B, magnesium and iron, they are also an amazing source of glucose – which is your body’s most significant source of energy for proper physical and mental functioning. Unlike other processed and refined foods, whole grains haven’t been refined to the part where important components like fiber and protein have been lost. They help regulate your blood sugar too. Carbohydrates are good for you, contrary to popular belief. You need a minimum of 50 grams of carbohydrates a day to support the proper functioning of your brain and other vital organs in your body.

Green Tea: Green tea has won multiple awards (especially amongst social circles) about being the healthiest hot drink around town. It contains antioxidants that help you detox and also helps you improve your memory and concentration levels!

Avocados: Avocados are the healthiest fruits you can consume! These green powerhouses are filled with mono-saturated fats or the ‘good’ kind of fats that keep your blood sugar in check and help your skin to glow! It contains great amounts of Vitamin K and folate, which helps prevent blood clots in the brain and help improve cognitive function, especially help in improving your memory and powers of concentration. Avocados have the highest protein and lowest sugar content as compared to any other fruit! Rejoice!

Blueberries: These are the fruits that contain the most amount of antioxidants known to man, including vitamin C and vitamin K as well as fiber. Blueberries also consist of Gallic acid and thus are capable of protecting your brain from degeneration or stress.

Broccoli: Why do our parents always force us to consume broccoli? It is because it is one of the best foods for your brain available. It has a great content of vitamin K and choline, which has proven to keep your memory sharp for longer duration's of time. Just one cup of broccoli has over 150% of your daily vitamin C requirement. It has dietary fiber as well, this is why it is so important for you, especially whilst you play poker, to keep your mood stable, and be able to focus. Vitamin C helps with all of that.

Dark Chocolate: How did this make it to the list? Dark chocolate is actually good for you because it is filled with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It can surprisingly help lower your blood pressure and improve blood flow to your brain and heart, two things important to be noted whilst playing poker.

 These healthy foods above that have been mentioned are vital for you as a poker player and more importantly to lead a truly healthy life!

 

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