High Roller Radio
Mental Traits of a Successful Poker Player
Successful poker players need to know the mathematics and strategy behind the game, and then apply it consistently well to turn a profit. As well as having the knowledge and experience, poker players require certain mental traits to do well. Let’s explore.
Emotional stability is perhaps the most important of these. A study has shown that experienced players had low levels of the psychological trait “emotionality.” That is they have a low emotional reaction to stimulus, pointing to their ability to handle all the bad beats and near misses involved in poker.
Low emotionality was most strongly associated with the stake being played, showing that those playing at higher levels were in control of their emotions enough to tolerate the pressure of making decisions for large amounts of money. Yes, being successful requires that you can keep your cool no matter what the situation like Usain Bolt in this ice-bucket challenge.
Do You Have the Mindset of a Winning Poker Player?
Why Players Need to Know the Math AND Maintain Emotional Stability!
(Usain Bolt in Ice Bucket Challenge)
Intelligence is also a key trait of successful poker players. Without it, how can a person learn all the solid math and strategy associated with the game? Poker players not only need to be able to gain the knowledge, but they also need to be able to use their intelligence to apply the knowledge at the table. This involves “leveling opponents” with higher-level plays, reading betting patterns and gaining value with well-gauged betting.
A willingness to learn is crucial, and successful poker players develop a continual process of study and development by drawing on the many resources available, including training videos, blogs, mentoring and analyzing their own play.
Poker players also need to apply their skills for long hours at a time, especially if they are playing live tournaments or online sessions. Focus without getting distracted or allowing decisions to deteriorate is key to playing a consistently strong game. This focus also needs to extend into the long term for players who are making a living and are at the tables daily.
Patience and discipline are essential pre-requisites for a decent poker player as well. Hand ranges are tight, and at a low-blind level, players may bet with only a very small percentage of their hands. Instead, a lot of time is spent waiting for good situations to get involved with and having the discipline to fold hands that are not worth playing. Successful poker players stay true to making profitable plays, no matter how many times in a row they have had to fold out the trash!
Again, this discipline must extend not only throughout single sessions but also throughout the daily grind of a poker player’s life so that the mathematically correct plays are still being made even after several losing sessions.
Finally, even the best poker players in the world wouldn’t last very long without financial control. Bankroll management is essential to combat the statistical variance involved in poker. Even those who are making profitable plays can go for weeks or months without large payoffs. So, players must make sure they have the bankroll to ensure success at the stakes that they are playing.
Good Luck at the Tables!
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