Playing your best poker will require you to be in the best mental state you can be in. Any sport or pastime that you wish to become proficient at will require you being able to focus your mind on the task at hand. Sportsmen who excel at sports like golf and tennis know that part of their success is down to mental preparation, their “inner game“.
Part of poker psychology involves how your opponents see you and how they react when you make a play at the table. How your opponents percieve your table image is down to you, if you want your opponents to see that you are a tight, solid player, the way you play will influence your image at the table.
But there is another side of poker psychology, and that involves being aware of your own mental state as you are playing. It will govern your decision making, how you react when the cards don’t go your way,whether you can stop yourself going on tilt, and if your game is going well, how you can maintain your winning play.
In poker, if you are playing online for any length of time, you will play your best game if you are in the correct frame of mind. You need to be able to fully concentrate on what is going on at the table, this will not be easy to do if you are not in the right frame of mind.
You Should Never
Play when you are tired
Under the influence of drink
Angry or emotional
Play above your bankroll
Play for a quick fix
If you are playing poker under any of the above conditions your game and chances are you will at some stage go on tilt, and bankroll is going to suffer.
Play when you are in a good state of mind
Play with no other distractions, such as watching TV
Play within your bankroll
Be feeling in good health, nothing worse than a bad head cold to cloud your judgment
Play at tables where you think you will be the best player
Have enough time set aside to play
Know when to quit
If you can mentally prepare yourself before you sit down to play, especially if you have entered a big tournament you will play that much better. If you don’t want any outside distractions, put on a MP3 player and listen to some music. Having a strategy planned out in your mind will help, what starting hands you will play, how you will bet in various situations, and how you will play against different types of players. If you can focus only on your game and keep your mind clear from any other clutter, you will be able to out think your opponents and keep building your bankroll.