It's every poker player's dream to take home that big prize at the end of a major tourney, triumphing after hours of sharp play to come out on top. Getting there isn't easy however, and along with technical skills one needs to also play with the right mental readiness to truly win big.
So what are some tips when it comes to the mental side of the game? Read on to find out.
Let Go of the Fear
Fear in poker is a good thing because it helps you survive. However, being too scared to make plays because you've bought in with a hefty amount is a mistake you'll eventually regret. At the end of the day, poker is a game with an element of risk. Being too attached to the money you invested will prevent you from playing aggressively and taking calculated risks, things which are essential to success when on the felts. So stop worrying about whether you're going to hit a bad beat and focus on playing your top-quality game.
Believe That You Can Win
Playing poker requires confidence, which you are sure to have. However, many times players who make it past the bubble get caught up in the fact that they are now 'in the money'. Relaxing too much when the playing field has narrowed to only the best can have lethal consequences to the rest of your time in the tournament.
Players who make it close to the top also think they have done 'good enough' and are probably not able win at the final table. While the chances of coming first are always slim, you only make it worse by believing you can't do it.
So don’t doubt that you can beat the pro in front of you. You may not always win, but you'll give yourself the chance and eventually come good.
Stay Patient When Losing
It may just happen that you play the perfect game and still lose a big pot due to variance. You're now sitting with just a handful of Big Blinds with an extremely small stack. Most beginner players are unable to control their emotions at this stage and just push all-in with the first half-decent hand they get. More often than not, their hands don’t hold up to other good player calls.
Even when short-stacked, the possibilities to steal blinds and bluff opponents by value-betting at the right time do exist. You will also get more opportunities to use your threat of going all-in more subtly and effectively, thereby getting people to fold more often when you want them to.
So don’t just look to shove pre-flop when you're short-stacked. Tighten up and play aggressive when the chance presents itself, even if it takes time.
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