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Maintaining focus, discipline, and keeping a positive outlook when things don't go your way on the felt.

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This is going to be a completely different blog then I have done so far but I'm all about changing it up.

As the title states focus, discipline, and keeping a positive outlook are crucial elements in being a winning poker player. An individuals mentality plays a big part in the battle of separating many players from being a winner or loser over a decent period of time. If your head isn't in the right frame of mind to play then you shouldn't. One of my favorite TV shows over the past 5 years is Shark Tank. Their is a quote by Kevin O'Leary where he says "Don't cry about money, it never cries for you". That is simple enough yet when I think about this statement it certainly can relate to poker.

If your too emotional about losses your head isn't in the right place. It can be difficult going through bad downswings which I'm currently battling a wild one myself but it's important to not be overly emotional when it comes to bad beats and bad runs. Your goal is to play the best poker possible which for a winning poker player is sticking to a lot of what you have done so far and perhaps plugging some leaks you may have. The most important thing is you must always be honest with yourself in regards to how you are playing and what you can improve on in a game that has variable change. If you aren't able to admit to yourself you are making too many mistakes which everyone is human after all then your struggles will continue on longer then they should.

A few days ago I played a live poker roller coaster session where I was stuck a few buyins and pulled ahead at the end. In this session I took a few bad beats and got coolered a couple times which in my head I definitely was thinking "FML" a few times but I refuse to go on tilt from it. Those players who tilt afterward trying to immediately get even will spew off so much money over time if they always get put into that frame of mind after some brutal hands. For these players who never get this under control they will most likely be losers over a big sample size. It's important to realize in poker just making a few minor mistakes can be very costly especially in no limit holdem.

A few times in the past I remember really hating life after spewing off money being in the wrong frame of mind. Some sessions are like quicksand where you just keep on sinking and the worst continues to happen. These are painful for any poker player but it's part of the game and even worse for someone who plays for a living. I wouldn't call myself someone who plays for a living at the moment but I was in that place before and remember it all too well.

Someone can be a great poker player but if they have poor bankroll management and can't control their emotions then they are likely going to struggle to exceed in the game long term. Bankroll management is practically more important then overall skill because without any your going to screw yourself and you have to be able to stay in the game, right? That is a whole different topic I may write about in the future.

Quiet confidence is a great approach to have. Take a look at a guy like Phil Ivey who many pros and poker enthusiasts feel is the best all around poker player in the world. He may intimidate many of his opponents to a point where they fear him but one thing I will say is he never comes off cocky in interviews bragging about his skill set and level of success but instead gives off that quiet confidence type of approach.

Phil Ivey has made several mistakes like most other people especially early on when coming up in poker which he admitted to having poor bankroll management. These days despite all the degen stories written about him, Ivey still continues on playing in big games so he has to have at least some bankroll management I would say.

It's been a rough year for me mostly on a break evenish / slightly ahead type of thing where if some of these bad beats and coolers I've taken would have gone my way then I'd feel much better but what is most important is being able to clear past results from my mind not letting them bother me in future sessions. That can be easier said then done for most of us including me but I've improved so much on that over the years of playing poker with all the upswings and downswings that have occurred to a point where I'm somewhat immune to it by now.

This blog was just some thoughts I have regarding poker so I figured I'd change the blog up a bit. I wish everyone the best in life and run good at the tables!