Ultimately the game of poker is about bluffing and self-deprecation. It’s about making your ranks as weak or as strong as you feel while keeping your opponents on the defensive. Everyone has experienced a time when they were entirely convinced that they were the greatest, or at least got to the top of the tournament table. Before all this began, was when I was a poker player in college, and I was determined to become a great poker player.
One of the ways to accomplish your goal of becoming a great poker player is to constantly put yourself in a position to improve. Most people, as they get older, lose their personality and sense of fun. But, I love being among the youngsters, especially when I’m sporting a big, fat bankroll. It’s a misuracy to refer to an addicted poker player as a grumpy old man, or a fifty-year-old boarding schoolteacher as a clueless old man. It’s much more fun and less painful to refer to the seasoned poker professional as an old dog (which is also a good apposite nickname for a poker player).
As crazy as it sounds, people get a really good feel for the game when they feel it. Experiences are the building blocks to progress, and the more you play, the more you build up an aggression and a mean streak. Try to always find a six-team freeroll, or an MTT with a prize pool of more than $50,000. Be aggressive, and don’t be afraid to put in a big raise pre-flop to steal the blinds.
The poker pro becomes a paranoiac, really, if you will. He looks at his hole cards and notes that he probably isn’t getting a breather from the competent professionals. He knows he’s probably going to lose, but he plays anyway. This is basically the perfect poker player, because he knows there will be pressure later on to either live up to his potential, or get knocked out. He has conveniently, or accidentally, or maybe caller his naysayers to a better hand later on.
In the beginning, the domino88 pro is just kind of playing. He’s playing for the challenge. He’s playing not to win, but to stay in. And, eventually, with practice and experience, he’ll get a lucky run where the stars align. He’ll be purple-colored, with everyone impressed with his calm, cool, and collected demeanor. Then, he’ll lose. He’ll lose really big. “How could he possibly win again? I was right all along. I knew my cards. My read was the right one. Goodbye, internet poker.”
That’s the way it is. Start small. Small enough to learn. Then, big. Big to fear. Try it at home. Play in your underwear. Play in the car. Don’t, don’t, don’t.
Now, if you’re in the casino, before you ever leave, scan the craps tables. Watch a table for a few hands. Then, if you’re still there, whether you win or lose, walk away. Take a few hands off the table. Think about what you’re doing. Then, when you get back, it might serve you well to re-evaluate your actions.