Math and calculations are not enough to make a good poker player.
Although these skills are very important and have a great influence on your chance of getting what you are after, there’s something else that is more influential when it comes to defining you as a professional poker player indeed.
This ability is your ability of reading your opponents, of sketching their psychological profile, finding out everything you can about them and using that to your advantage.
Another important psychological aspect that defines a very good poker player is the ability of self-control. If you are engaged in a poker tournament and you play for hours without stopping, it is crucial for you to have a great capacity of keeping your strengths together, not losing your calm and concentrating on your game in order to avoid making mistakes. You already know that committing errors when playing poker means losing a lot of money. Also essential for defining a professional is the capacity of holding on to pressure, keeping oneself in the game, while making all the possible attempts to eliminate the opponents: tighten the competition.
Most importantly, you must be careful about your own mental state for it affects the way you are playing. How you manage to keep your calm and stay relaxed has a deep influence over the way you place your bets, make your moves and especially on the way you present yourself in front of your opponents. What kind of image about you do they get from your game? This is something you have to be particularly vigilant about. Make sure that you let them see how confident you are about your hands, how determined and real your moves are. Even if you lose – and if this happens at the beginning, it can really affect you’re your emotional state – avoid being caught on tilt. It is not going to help, on the contrary. Learn from that defeat where you went wrong and don’t repeat it!
Important as poker playing skills might be, you must always remember that the essential thing is to keep your mind clear: always keep your mind clear and don’t allow anyone and anything disturb your game! Your skills won’t be of any help if you can’t make cool, rational decisions. At all times measure your hands before rushing into one decision or another: do you want to raise? Does your hand back this decision up? If you’re bluffing, do you really stand a real chance to get the pot?
These are really important things that must be taken into consideration during a poker game, and they necessitate a great deal of meditation.