Controlling Your Emotions in Poker
Controlling your emotions is the most important part of playing poker. If you have the ability to do so in big and long poker tournaments it can make the difference between winning a lot of money and not winning a lot of money. Every poker player plays the game for the money and the thrill of winning that one big hand that changes your life indefinitely. This one big hand may not come along ever if you don’t learn how to keep your cool throughout poker tournaments. In every tournament you will most certainly get sucked out on numerous times, but most importantly you have to not lose your mind because there are still chips in front of you. If you can keep your cool when losing a big pot, this will make the difference between a poker player who will be successful and who will not be successful. There are tons of chip and a chair stories throughout the poker world, and almost every successful tournament poker player has probably come back and won a poker tournament after being down to almost no chips.
Managing a chip stack is tough to do in tournament poker if you don’t keep your head on straight. You can easily burn tons of chips and bust out of a tournament if you play too aggressively. Playing an aggressive style is always good, but it does differ from playing a reckless and tilted aggressive style. The only way to come off of reckless aggressive tilt is to put a bad beat on someone. If you don’t do that then you will most certainly bust your stack.
One way to control your emotions at a poker table is to keep yourself well hydrated. If you can stay hydrated, you will have a clear mind. Players who have been drinking coffee or energy drinks will more time’s then not fade out at the end of a long day of poker. Also, players who smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol are prone to lose their chips at the end of a long day of poker. Long days of poker are good days of poker for tournament poker players. If you have a long day, you should be well prepared to maintain a level of focus throughout the tournament.
When you take a bad beat, or lose a pot, or get out played by another player at the table. If you get showed a bluff for a big pot, this is a time when going on tilt is certainly prevalent. To avoid going on tilt, you should take a breather, re-access what your situation is and how you are doing in the tournament besides the previous hand and then move on. Losing one big pot isn’t going to make or break a tournament if you play well enough. One good thing to always have with you is a list of goals you want to achieve, and steps you want to take throughout a poker tournament. If you can set a handful of goals whether they are short term goals or long term goals this will always help you out in the long run. One or two days of great poker play can sometimes be the difference in making a big profit or no profit at all. Poker tournaments in general are very risky because of the high percentage of players who walk away with no money at all. Most times 10% of the field cashes in tournament poker and if you look to be in that 10% you have to play well, and always get your money in with the best hand.
If you want to get down to the end of poker tournaments you have to control your emotions, it is plain and simple. To do so, you should remain comfortable and do your best to be calm and have your brain nourished. You don’t want to eat greasy food or anything like that. Poker tournaments take a lot of time and you have to eat foods that will allow your brain to function at a high level. The best food to eat is something like grilled chicken, or power bars, along with other drinks like water or Gatorade. It is a test of endurance and to get to the end you have to be well prepared.