10. Poker develops your patience:
Sitting in a live game only getting 20-30 hands per hour can be very boring if you aren’t getting good cards. Developing a strong poker mindset can make you a very patient person.
Being impatient at the tables leads to mistakes and mistakes cost money. There will be times where I click the fold button 100 times in a row and there will be times where I am playing AA KK AK and QQ on 4 different tables.
Focus on staying patient then capitalizing on big hands when they eventually come. The best players in the world and the worst players in the world get dealt the same amount of good and bad hands. The winning players separate themselves from the losers by staying patient and waiting for good hands and spots to take pots away from opponents.
9.Poker develops your discipline:
Folding top pair is something very mediocre players have trouble doing. Building your discipline to fold top pair when faced with a re-re-raise by a tight aggressive player is something you need to develop to be successful.
I see too many players lose their entire stack with top pair because they cant get away from it. It can be difficult when you haven’t had many hands in the last few hours and now have a hand that seems very good but may be second best.
In order to succeed and profit nicely from this game, you have to be disciplined enough to get away from a hand when you know you are beat.
8.Poker develops your creativity:
An important aspect of winning at the tables is out-thinking smart opponents. At times, very tricky and creative plays are going to be a necessity to win money.
If your not creative, you are predictable, and even more vulnerable to having your chips taken because other players will know what you have and adjust accordingly.
You have to realize how other players are playing against you and develop a constantly adjusting strategy to counter their every move. You simply cannot play a robotic style without adjusting your game if you want to profit from this game.
7. Poker develops your math skills:
Most people suck at math and they know it.
In order to become good at poker, you need to do basic math on the fly almost automatically. When I am 24 tabling, the math I do in my head is automatic and I can calculate odds without even thinking about it consciously.
I have seen so many situations over and over again that I already instinctively know what the odds are that my hand will hold up.
Math is everywhere, its not going anywhere, and there is no reason to not develop math based logic.
6. Poker develops your power of observation:
There is so much that goes on in a single hand for such a simple game it can get very mind boggling.
Even when not currently in a hand, keen observation skills are a must to play at an extremely high level. Recognizing tells and opponents tendencies are essential for making proper decisions at the tables. I once observed in a live game the players hole cards to my left 135 different times.
On the 135th time I let him bluff himself into a $1000 pot with Ace high while I was sitting with Aces and his hand completely face up. I didn’t even bother to tell him at the end of the session, and I also cant wait to see him back at a table of mine.
5. Poker develops your intuition:
After playing poker seriously for about two full years now I begin to pick up on things a lot more frequently than I used to. I think I am more receptive to what is going on around me at all times, a feeling of having eyes and ears everywhere almost.
At the tables I begin to pick up on betting patterns and after playing with someone for a long period of time over a lot of hand samples I can begin to almost narrow their holdings down to exact cards. Intuition develops through constant focus and concentration almost at an obsessive level, an obsession to keep developing and improving your game.
4. Poker teaches you how to handle deceptive people:
Poker is a game of trying to conceal your holdings while simultaneously trying to figure out the other players holdings.
Players try to be deceptive as to not reveal their holdings to you. Learning to read people at the table is an essential skill, even the smallest of tells can cost people a lot of money.
In real life, there will be many situations where people will try to deceive you into buying something, doing something you wouldn’t normally do, etc.
I think after playing thousands and thousands of hands of poker I understand how a lot of people think and try to deceive me at the tables. Knowing when someone is deceiving you in real life can be difficult, but noticing patterns in deceptive behavior can help at the tables, and in your development throughout life.
3.Poker forces you to manage and respect money:
For a serious poker player, proper bankroll management is a requirement to have any long term success. Poker is influenced by so much short term luck that not having proper bankroll management will result in going broke.
I like to be extremely aggressive at the tables and I counter that by being extremely conservative with my bankroll.
I wont sit in a cash game if I don’t have 50 max buy ins for the stakes. Losing 5-6 buy-ins in a day is not that uncommon, and with my bankroll I am able to withstand the swings and fight off variance that can last hundreds and thousands of hands.
I respect money but I have built up a sickening disdain for money which I feel is necessary to play at a serious level. I can lose all my chips on 2 tables at the same time but I don’t even have enough time to care because I have 22 other tables to attend to.
I don’t care about the money at all, I feel the same way if I win $1,000 in an hour or lose $1,000 in an hour.
I focus on making good decisions and sometimes good decisions result in losing pots due to unlucky cards.
I have built up so much mental discipline I could talk to you like I just won the lottery after losing the last 7 sessions.
Poker is played with chips, not money. The chips have a monetary value but if you are exercising proper bankroll management, the value shouldn’t matter.
2. Poker teaches you to think long term:
Many players rate each session on whether or not they won money or lost money. This is a terrible way to evaluate your play because you can make mistakes, still win money, and feel as if you played good. On the contrary, you could play flawlessly and still lose a few buy ins.
For this reason, I don’t judge my play by just one session, my poker career is its own giant session. In fact, each hand of poker is a new session and if you can understand this concept, you can forget about every hand you have played in the past and focus on the present hand and how you need to play it effectively.
Downswings aren’t really downswings and upswings aren’t upswings if you view poker this way, if every hand is its own session, there is no such thing as a “swing.
” Too many players get caught up in results of past hands that their current play is adversely affected by what happened in the past. If you are able to look past short term results and make decisions based on long term expected profits, you can play with an even leveled mind and focus on the hands you have dealt to you right now.
Long term winners all have losing sessions but statistically most of these players will win in the long term once variance is factored out. Treat each hand as its own new session and you will stop getting caught up in past results and focus completely on the task at hand.
1. Poker teaches you how to deal with losing:
Many people get upset and angry when they lose a big pot with an unlucky river card. This emotional state usually leads to even more losses as players try to “chase” their losings and end up losing more in the process.
In order to beat the game, you have to understand that even the best players in the world have losing days, losing weeks and even losing months. Losing one big pot is not the end of the world when you have a deep bankroll lifeline behind you.
If you let your emotions tie in to how you play poker, your game will be negatively affected. When I get unlucky and get sucked out on for a big pot, I don’t even flinch anymore, I have learned to detach from emotions at the table and play every hand the best way possible regardless of the monetary outcome.
If no one got lucky in poker sometimes, no one would play as all the highly skilled players would have all the money. Luck is one factor that keeps the games running and once you begin to realize that you are going to have to lose sometimes, you can begin to deal with and keep your emotions in check and move onto the next hand.
More Poker Strategy:
The Poker Trance
Developing a LAG (Loose-Aggressive) Strategy for Maximum Profit
My Multi-Table Tournament Strategy
Booking the Win at Final Tables
How to Play AA For Maximum Value
Top 5 Reasons You Lose at Poker
How to Overbet For Massive Value
Additional Strategy, Sports Betting:
The Three Tenets of Profitable Sports Betting