Hey, tiger. Remember that post where we told you that if you’re really feeling burned out and stressed from playing too much poker that you should go ahead and step back? We remember that post too. However, if you’re ready to finally go out there and do some big things with your poker game, the time is right to get back in the game. We’ve made a few posts like this before but since we’re going into Spring hardcore, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Just in case you’re new to the game, we’ll explain a few things here and there, but we also expect you to do your homework. Poker ain’t for lightweights, you know.
So, let’s get into it.
The first thing has to be mindset. If you’re groaning as a newbie, worrying that we’re going to get into some New Age stuff, the truth is that you aren’t going to have to worry about that at all. We’re just trying to tell you about the power of your own mind. When you sit down at any modern poker table, they’re going to be trying to get you to freak out. If you’re emotional, you’ll play emotionally. That means extra chips in the hands of your opponents. If you’re stressed out about something, you need to make sure that you get over it. If you can’t, then you shouldn’t be playing.
Strategy will be one of your biggest areas to improve before you can truly make a good poker comeback. You might think that it’s going to be all fun and games, but why should it be? Shouldn’t it be about getting the biggest outcome possible for your poker game? You are playing competitively for real money. Act like it. Don’t freak out just because things aren’t going your way. Study the competition. Look at how they’re playing.
Far too many poker players get into situations where they just assume everything should work a certain way, all of the time. You could play by the book and still get a bad beat. It’s perfectly fine.
Practice is the name of the game. A few people always write in, trying to get us to help them with strategy. They don’t seem to realize that they aren’t going to be able to just adjust strategy based on a few plays here and there. You’re going to have to play tens of thousands of hands before you can make big decisions. Moving up to higher stakes would be a decision best made after you have more information. Otherwise, it just looks like you’re trying to play far out of your league. Move up slowly and protect your bankroll.
The final piece of advice we’d give you is to remember that poker is about community. You need to make sure that you’re going to have a lot of people that have different opinions. Instead of thinking you have to be an island, why not reach out and embrace the thoughts of other people? You can take the things that served you and leave the rest behind. You will gain more out of poker if you treat it like a social exchange than if you assume you have to always be on your guard. Good luck!