Confidence in your abilities as a poker player promotes your continued
success. It should not matter if your poker bankroll is in a shrinking
or growing phase; if your game is solid, the variance that a poker
bankroll goes through will have an overall upward trend.
Having confidence means you understand that you cannot win every poker
tournament you begin; neither will you end every cash table session in
profit. If you played your ‘A’ game and enjoyed the company of like
minded people, then it has been time well spent.
An attitude towards risk and your personal comfort level for
investment also affects your confidence. If you play within your poker
bankroll then one or several minor losses should not affect your
confidence. Consider losses as part of the variances of poker, just
the same as wins.
Some people will risk a greater portion of their poker bankroll in a
single game and in doing so should be comfortable with the potential
higher loss for higher gain. It is a matter of personal choice.
You should not generally play beyond your comfort zone. If you do play
many levels above your buy-in comfort zone, while a win may be
rewarding, the mental state upon completion of the game will be one of
relief mixed with a little pleasure. The mental state if you do not
cash may be various including depression, sadness and anger; none of
those are good for you personally or for your confidence as a poker
It is good to recognize your mental state before sitting down at a
poker table; generally it should be neutral and at all times you
should begin with these three ideas.
If I get the cards I will cash in this tournament. If the luck comes
with them, I will cash big and enjoy the game.
If I do not get the cards I will get close to the money. If I get the
luck, I will cash and enjoy the game.
If I get no cards and no luck, then I will make the most of what I get
and enjoy the game.
It is the same for cash table play; make the most of what you are
dealt and enjoy the game.
Be wary of adopting an overly happy state of mind. This may lead to a
looser play style which may or may not benefit your game. If you go into a
game artificially ‘full of the joys of spring’ and take a hit, your
mood may quickly plummet from false happiness to depression which will
adversely affect your play.
Bad beat and card dry confidence
If you end the game from a bad beat remind yourself, 'that’s poker.' No one
likes it, except perhaps your victor, but bad beats are part of the fun.
The truth of the matter is, when you entered the pot with a good hand
you were wanting a call from a lesser hand. In short suck it up and
move on; do not brood over another’s mistake or good fortune, stick to
your ‘A’ game.
It is the same if you end the game to a better hand or total lack of
hands coming your way. The next game will be better.
Confidence from your own mistakes
We all get it wrong from time to time; the occasions that work out
okay are quickly forgotten and so should the ones that go against you.
If you play a hand badly, it does not mean you are a bad player;
recognizing the mistake will help you to get it right next time.
The most you can hope for in the situation is to learn from the error
in both the play and your mind state when making it.
The play mistake may be dealt with in other places about this site and
is not the most important factor in this piece.
If the wrong play you made was encouraged by another players deceptive
skills in the hand, then it is hardly a mistake. We can all get drawn
into a hand and should congratulate the opponent on teasing the bet
from us. Additionally we may be able to learn something from that play
and have an opportunity to add that knowledge to our own game.
If you made a mistake because your emotions affected your decision making,
then be honest with yourself in admitting this. If you are still active
in a tournament, collect your thoughts, take a reasonable view of your
prospects and play your 'A' game accordingly. If playing a cash table,
consider sitting out for a while and return with a level head.
Play style confidence
Of the four basic game styles;
Loose aggressive, Tight aggressive,
Loose passive and Tight passive, each have the potential to be successful.
Tight aggressive play is said to be the optimum style; this does not mean
the other three styles are wrong.
None of the four styles are a ticket to riches and no single style
is correct for all occasions. Understand your natural style, play it
with confidence and enjoy the success it brings.
Learn to identify the play style of others at the table; this will give
you confidence to make the correct decision when in a hand against them.
Confidence in the play style that you naturally gravitate to,
is often dependent upon seeing your poker bankroll maintained or growing.
Have a long term view of your poker bankroll and your game style before
making sweeping changes, as we all go through periods of feast and famine.
Bankroll expectation confidence
Take stock of your poker bankroll and avoid putting wild expectations
on it. If you regularly play $2.20, ten seat sit and go tournaments,
your poker bankroll will not double after one or two games.
An upward trend is the overall aim but a flat line is okay too. Take
things in bite sized chunks. If you have deposited $200 at one site
your initial goal is to maintain that, because in doing so you are
getting the enjoyment of playing poker. A reasonable aim would be
increasing it to $225.
When you have a good win in a large multi-table tournament and your
previous $200 deposit now stands at $250, again think about
maintaining that amount when aiming for $275.
If your poker bankroll is constantly shrinking, do your homework. Find
out where and when your losses occur and adapt your game accordingly.
Some players thrive on cash tables and bomb in large tournaments;
others make their regular gains in sit and go's. Find what works
for you and take confidence in your abilities.
Similarly, Texas Hold’em is just one of a number of poker games played
online and in casinos. Your preferred choice of game should be one
that you enjoy playing and are successful at.
Poker is a game of skill, luck and fun. The most capable players will
make the largest gains, although if you are not yet one of them, you
should still find pleasure in the game while
Sit down at the table with a positive expectation, play your ‘A’ game
and enjoy your time.