This is a discussion on Improving Confidence at the Table within the online poker forums, in the Learning Poker section; This is something I hadn't even considered before deciding to take a more serious approach to the game. I guess that'd be because I was
This is something I hadn't even considered before deciding to take a more serious approach to the game. I guess that'd be because I was so used to just crushing my guppy friends. So here's the thing. I'm learning a lot. This community is helping a lot. I feel like I'm getting better at reads, bet sizing, equity. Obviously there's tons of room for improvement. But now, when I sit at a table, it's like I'm not even sure if I can play with the people at the table. My play suffers because of that, but eventually, after a few (sometimes a lot) orbits I settle in. How the hell do I, or do you guys, deal with that initial anxiety and uncertainty? Is this normal and something that'll decrease with more hands?
See as many hands as you can. Play a lot of freerolls(cheap experience). Read a lot. When you are not in hands try to figure out what each player has by how they bet and see if you are right.
Have confidence, a gameplan on what you want to do, have goals, and track your stats. If you have been dealt enough hands you can see some dtrengths and weaknesses. Use your strengths and fix your weaknesses.
Depending on how comfortable the stakes are you are playing at and how you have been running effects confidence. Just try to stay true to yourself, relax, and realize playing online it is hard to sit at a random table and know who is the good and bad players until you see them play(even than someone may be having an abnormally good or bad day).
I've been playing for 20 years. The first half hour at a live game still makes me uncomfortable. There is definitely a warm up period for me.
My advice is keep it pretty basic for a few trips around the table. Not every play you make has to be a super exotic power move. If you spend 30 minutes playing ABC poker until you're ready to play "your game" at least the table will have already started to form an incorrect table image.
Also, if you play in well staffed secure casinos then let the yappers just keep on yapping. If they are truly out of line the security will kick them out and if they are threatening you have the cops called. Your basic rights (assuming you're an American) don't change because of a table bully.
But playing anything other than your best game because someone is bothering you is your fault not theirs. Be a zen master and ignore them.
I think some anxiety is good, it keeps you from shoving when the betting starts getting quick but it will go down as you play more. Just keep studying and practicing what you learned on freerolls online and those type of environments and the confidence will come. The first time you win money I think is kinda like a jumping off point and you'll make a huge leap in confidence and overall play. When I started I was the same way and I would always do poorly because I wouldn't feel confident in any cards even the good ones until I've lost a considerable amount of chips through the blinds and antes but now after playing a bit and winning I feel like I'm as good as anyone else playing. You'll get better at that as you play more and more but good luck to you and hopefully you start winning it big!