How To Keep A Mental Edge

Rather than worrying about what my competitors are doing as I play the game of poker, I find that the single greatest determinant of my success is how well I recognize and manage my internal reactions as I play the game.

Smart, Cautious, but Scared…

In Poker, players who play with a tight style most resemble what we tend to see from psychotherapist types (me included). They tend to patiently wait for cards that give them a statistical advantage and usually only make a wager when this is the case. This type of player is generally able to stay calm and not get triggered into impulsive play as they wait for good opportunities. In doing so, they tend to avoid making big mistakes playing statistically inferior cards or entering situations where they are not clear that they have the upper hand. This type of player tends to stick around for a longer time in tournaments and/or make small profits in cash games. Frequently, however, they fall short of big wins because they fail to take advantage of the riskier and more unpredictable opportunities that separate the good from the great.