Gambling Frame of Mind for SquaresMay 11, 2018
I got into a funk this past week and couldn’t make any good decisions. That’s obviously bad when you are gambling, so I put off any play until tonight when I’ll be back in Vegas. After all this time I have learned that stress is a killer. A bankroll killer. So don’t think I’m a square for believing that my mood and frame of mind is directly related to my success at the tables.
I can’t remember a single time that I headed out to the casino in a bad mood and booked a winner. It’s not a psychic thing or a Karma thing, it’s a psychological thing. If I can’t concentrate on my gambling task at hand (taking down every pot I possibly can), then I shouldn’t be playing. I know that I’ve got to reduce my stress before I start playing or I’ll just build up more stress from losing!
A friend of mine got his stack squashed by an action-player in a hold’em game the other day. The other player called a raise preflop and good-size bets on the flop and river before catching runner-runner and making a straight. The proverbial bad beat is always stressful, but my friend didn’t flip-out. He played one more hand, took a little walk, decompressed, got a few more chips, and enjoyed the rest of the evening, especially when he got into another hand with the same action-player.
This time the end result was different and his pocket pair held-up against A-Q for an all-in bet, but he only got the call after staying calm earlier and doing what you have to do to be successful: wait and pick your spots. On this hand my friend reraised all-in and the action-player, still happy because he was winning and there had been no altercation earlier, asked “Do you want action” and my buddy said “Sure.”
Obviously the long and short of it is to remain calm and focused; stay in the moment during the current hand, learn from it, and move on. Do that and you’ll always do well at poker. I’m going to keep that in mind tonight!