The Mindset Required for Success in Online Poker

Poker players come from a variety of backgrounds, but they share a few things in common. First, poker players are extremely competitive. Players who are not competitive may have trouble understanding why they often lose at poker. It is simple: a poker player must be willing to bust his own grandmother. There is no room for picking favorites at a table or playing soft against someone because they are a friend, a female, or seem nice. Players who are sitting at a table have one purpose: acquire every chip on the table by bluffing, outplaying, and charging your opponents when they have a second best hand.

Other personality traits that many expect to be necessary for success in poker are not actually necessary. Many successful poker players are natural risk takers, but others are not. Playing poker seriously does not require players to take risks like a risk taking personality would seek out. These people enjoy danger, like skydiving, but playing poker successfully is often monotonous and rarely involves any real danger. Even the thought of losing a pot becomes common with experience, and players begin to see a daily poker game almost as a job. In fact, this thrill seeking behavior can be counterproductive to a player’s success. If the games are not exciting enough, a thrill seeker might move up in stakes in order to play tougher opponents for more money. These experiences sometime result in large wins, but just as often, the players will go broke.

Players must also be capable of controlling tilt to be successful at online poker. Good players see bad players at their table and get excited about the prospect of easy money. They are not concerned with the fact that the fish will beat them sometimes, nor are they upset that they cannot bluff players who seem to never fold. Instead, players must focus on the fact that the fish will be making enough mistakes that every player at the table has an equal shot of taking advantage and beating him out of his bankroll.

The mindset required for online poker is one of self-reliance, self-control, hard work, and determination. Many players would be successful at poker if they were willing to put in hours off the table studying, reviewing their play, and discussing hands with friends or coaches. Success comes to players who spend their hours thinking about poker and how to improve, talking about poker, reading poker forums, and above all, playing poker.

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