Poker may be regarded by many as a game of chance, but the truth is that it’s a game of skill. In this way, playing poker online is very similar to playing the game of life – there are certain things you have to deal with, certain things that are out of your control (such as the cards you are dealt), but there are certainly things you can control (such as how you play those cards). The truth is, when asked what really makes them successful, most professional poker players say that self-confidence is the most important aspect of being a winner. So how do you become more self-confident? What should you work on? Here are some important hints.
Self-confidence is not the same as positive thinking
Don’t get the wrong idea – self-confidence is not the same as positive thinking. Positive thinking might not be a desired trait when playing poker – realistic thinking is a more preferred personality trait. Self-confidence means you are sure that, whatever happens, you will be able to make the right decision at the right time. It doesn’t mean that you are hopeful or have a rainbow view about your prospects. It means you know you will be able to recognise the hand you have been dealt for what it is, and will be able to act appropriately.
Have a training programme
Even the best players aren’t too confident and realise they need to keep in shape and mentally sharp. In fact, the best players are probably the players that practise the most. Beginners tend to play according to their mental abilities and their cognitive perception of what the cards are, but experts soon develop a sixth sense – a sort of intuition that guides them. Train. Spend time practising.
Training is good practice and is sure to help you along, but it’s useless unless you set goals. Take notes when you train. List down your weak moments – when do you get emotional? When did you make mistakes? Based on your notes, set goals and try to reach them in those training sessions. As you reach those goals, your self-confidence is sure to grow.
At the end of the day, the cards you are dealt are beyond your control – how you deal with those cards (how you play the game) is entirely up to you. It’s all a matter of self-confidence. A confident person is not intimidated by the winnings of another player; they know they may lose them soon. The game is not about winning today; the game is about winning in the long term. So whether you yourself host poker night events or are just playing by yourself in front of your computer – make sure you have the right attitude.