You Need To Be Able To Stand The Heat
There is definitely a real disconnect at times between what we are trying to do at the poker table and the short term results that we can see. Even the best laid plans can easily go astray if we do not have the conviction to see them through.
This all seems simple enough, but many players underestimate the challenge of sticking with their plan in the face of pressure and frustration at the poker table, which can be pretty intense at times, especially when things aren’t really going our way. As anyone who has played poker for any real length of time will attest, this happens pretty frequently.
We certainly do not want to get to the point where we are ignoring the results our plan is producing, but at the same time we need to ensure that we are focusing on the proper things when we make such evaluations. For the most part, we will be using projections of value when we construct these strategies, and our calculations or understanding of the way such things work can always stand to be improved, but it must be that viewpoint that we consistently apply and not matters of shorter term variance that are only there to impede and interfere with our understanding of the game.
What Can Go Wrong Here
While there are different forms of wavering that can result when we lose our longer term focus, one of the biggest ones is the lack of courage that can result. It actually takes a fair bit of courage to execute poker plans properly, and this plays a bigger role than most players realize in fact.
A football quarterback requires a certain amount of time to deliver effective passes, and sometimes the defense can break down and the player ends up being sacked. If you worry about being sacked too much, you will play too scared, and end up bailing out of the pocket too early.
This can greatly affect your passing efficiency of course, and you need to have the resolve to hang in there under the intense pressure that is going around you, and have enough confidence in the process to realize that more often than not, if you do this, you will succeed.
There will be plenty of times where you are thrown to the turf, but that’s simply part of the game, and you cannot be afraid of this happening if you want to play well. Poker players in fact can get tackled far more often than this, so it is especially important that we play with the kind of courage that is necessary to put ourselves in the best position we can to do well.
This Really Is All About Mental Fortitude
One of the big reasons why players tend to miss the significance of all of this is that it can happen gradually, and we seldom go from playing with a lot of conviction to getting way off our game and bailing out on our plans.
These influences tend to happen a lot more over time, where they chip away at our confidence little by little, and as we lose control of it, before we realize it we may be playing well away from our original intentions.
So if we are to do well at overcoming these obstacles, we need to be constantly on guard to make sure we don’t slip into this mode, and once again, the changes will tend to be pretty incremental and may even be a little difficult to notice.
However, at the same time we will usually feel a certain degree of apprehensiveness with our plan and will feel that we need to adjust our game to some degree, and this is the real tell tale sign that we may be getting off track.
So we really need to be able to tell the difference between getting sacked when we are playing well, and getting sacked because we are doing something wrong. Then, once we are able to make these distinctions properly, the most important thing is to then execute our play accordingly, and be able to stand in there and look to deliver the ball even when things seem to be going wrong, as long as the cause is not by way of inferior play on our part.
Heads Up Poker Can Really Help This Training
I’ve recommended heads up poker as a great training ground for many things, but there may be nothing that it may help us with more than developing the courage of our convictions. The potential level of frustration and wavering in heads up poker is a lot higher than in a normal ring game, and this is truly a test of your being able to hang in there and execute.
When things go against us in heads up, it can be very frustrating indeed, especially when it looks like we’re getting kicked around like a dog by an opponent, and it may really appear that it is because we are getting outplayed even when we aren’t. This is where emotions can really get the best of us and we really may need to dig deep to keep our heads and stay on the right path to ultimately end up on top.
There will be plenty of times where we don’t, in spite of our best efforts, but that’s the nature of poker. As long as we have the courage to stick with our best efforts though, luck will always be kind to us in the end.