Poker is probably one of the most interesting and fun games you can ever play. The cheer joy of sitting there waiting for your cards and trying to outsmart the other guy in front of you is just priceless. Many people think poker is a game of luck, because if you have a good hand then you’ll likely win, and if not, you’ll fold or call and lose. The reality is, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
While poker does have the element of chance, it’s a game of skill and mental prowess before anything else. You need to be able to create your own luck, and keep your emotions under control for the entire duration of the game. That last part is probably the hardest of all, because it’s not easy to bluff when you have nothing, or to contain your excitement when you have killer cards. At the end of the day, you play the person in front of you not the cards. And the person who does that best wins. Yet, poker is also a learning game, and if you don’t learn from your mistakes and past experiences, you’ll keep losing money. This is why you’re losing money in poker by not learning.
You’re misplacing the blame
Poker is a betting game, and that means real money and real stakes. Nobody likes to lose their hard earned money, and when that happens, you can easily get caught up in your emotions and misplace the blame. While bad luck is a thing at poker, you can’t really blame lady luck for all your misfortunes. Poker is, after all, mostly a game of skill. This is why you can’t keep blaming your losses on bad cards. Instead, you should try to identify patterns of your loss and work out why you keep losing. Doing so, you’d be learning from your mistakes and putting together a plan to better your game plan so that you’d stop losing games, and money in the process. But blaming luck stops you from doing that, and it keeps you living in denial and without a chance to really learn something.
Losing control over your emotions
Poker is extremely fun to play and quite the experience to learn from, but it can also be harsh and quite frustrating. We’re humans after all. This means that it’s quite easy to let your emotions get the better of you and get frustrated by a series of losses. In poker terms, it’s called being on a tilt, and it’s one of the worst things a poker player can suffer from. True, this pain is much less in online poker games. Many people in Asia that play on IDN Poker feel less pressure and as a result have a lot more confidence whilst playing. So, if you’re playing online poker, it’s a little bit less frustrating to lose games and money, because the absence of the human element plays into it.
People don’t like to feel like they’re being outplayed by a smarter person across the table. This is why it’s important to learn from your past experiences by having control over your emotions. Don’t let losses get to you because everyone, even the best of players, can lose at the end of the day. The only thing you can do is master your emotions and keep playing till you start winning again. There are several techniques you can learn to control your emotions, like emotional numbing and mental tricks to keep your concentration. Whatever you do, the most important thing you can do is staying focused and determined.
One of the worst traits a poker player can have, and one of the most guaranteed ways to lose money, is being stubborn. Let’s say you’ve got your mental game spot on and luck isn’t exactly against you. Yet, you’re still losing. Why? The answer is probably your strategy. Poker is kind of like chess; it requires strategy and planning, and you need to have an attack plan. The problem several players suffer from is not being diverse and flexible enough to change their plans. If you keep losing, then maybe your strategy isn’t good enough? Maybe you need a new plan or a new tactic. The worst thing you can do is sticking to your strategy out of pride and stubbornness. You need to be able to learn from your mistakes and adapt your gameplay. This is the only way you can stop losing money and start winning games.
You’re not studying
The problem might be worse than sticking to one game plan, no matter how poor. You could only know that plan and no other! Poker is like anything else in life; it needs practice and hard work. In order to become a better player, you need to study and watch the big players doing their thing. If you’re really committed to becoming a better poker player, it’s not going to come easy. You’ll need to watch videos of the big players in high stakes tournaments and learn from their tactics, and you should read articles and expert advice on how to better your poker game. Study every aspect you can of the game, and study your opponents too. And you need to learn from every mistake you made and every game you lost. This is how you become a better poker player.
A poker game is no place to overthink. This is why you should have preset strategies and game plans that work for different tables with different players. You need to think ahead and create the perfect plan for each game, and that won’t leave any room for overthinking at the actual game. Overthinking means you’ll probably make the wrong move. Learn from your previous games and create a plan that will save you time and money during the next game.
Take calculated risks
You may find that you’ve played a dozen games, and you’re still not winning any considerable money. Maybe you’re not taking any meaningful risks? There are times that a poker player must play aggressively and go for the kill. You can’t just keep raising and playing it safe till you find a window of opportunity, because it probably won’t come. You have to create your own. But be very careful and don’t fall into the trap of trying to get even or avenge a loss; that’s the worst way to play aggressively. You need to take risks, but they have to be calculated ones coming from a good place, not a place of anger and stubbornness.