Article on What it takes to be a successful poker player
Thought you all may enjoy this article:
The 5 traits of a winning poker player
Article by Steven Ruddock
Boston Poker Examiner
Over the years I’ve often pondered what separates winning players from losing ones. After all, anyone with $15 can purchase a book that outlines all the basic strategies of the game. Even easier, they can simply go online, and frequent poker forums
or peruse archived articles on sites such as cardplayer.com. There is no lack of information on poker these days!
So, why is it that over 90% of players lose money playing poker? Well, I am of the opinion that just like athletics or academics, certain people have natural talents that help them succeed in poker.
After a lot of thought, and discussion with other players, I’ve come up with 5 traits that a poker player must possess in order to be a winner. They are:
• A strong work ethic
• Mental toughness
• Honest with themselves
Discipline - The word discipline has very wide ranging definitions, so let me be clear; discipline in poker is when you know what the right play is, and you have the discipline to follow through and make it. It’s one thing to know to fold the nut flush draw when the pot odds
are not there, it’s a whole different world to actually make that play. A disciplined poker player not only has the knowledge, but is able to apply that knowledge.
Focus - A winning poker player is focused on the task at hand: the game and the players in it. Poker is an exercise in information collection, and the best way to gather that information is to pay attention. Forget about the game on TV, browsing the net, or any other distraction that can be found near a poker table.
A losing poker player is so amped up to see what he has, he ignores his opponents, and their reactions to their cards. You know that expression ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’, well you never get a second chance to see your opponent’s initial reaction to their cards. Don’t worry about your cards, or seeing the flop, they are always there for you to look at; your opponents reaction to their cards and the flop are not.
A strong work ethic - Players with strong work ethics do the little things: review questionable hands, read and re-read books, take notes on players, and so on. Losing players just can’t be bothered with these ‘small’ edges. What they don’t understand is, a small leak can sink a great ship.
Mental toughness - Winning players have the ability to depersonalize the game, this allows them to shrug off bad beats and stave off the elation of big wins for longer periods of time than most people. Losing players look for ‘revenge’ against the players that gave them the beat, and end up on tilt quite easily.
Honest with themselves - You can learn very quickly if a player is a winner or whiner loser, see who the blame for their losses. Winning players look within: Could I have done something differently to affect the outcome of that hand, or was it simply a bad beat. Losing players blame their opponents, the dealers, even the cards for their losses. Just because you are knowledgeable doesn’t mean you are infallible.