C8C #13 – Poker Mindsets

Happy Friday. Welcome to the Cre8ive Coaching Newsletter. Here is your weekly serving of poker related knowledge regarding on or off the table topics.

In this edition, I explore the gamut of poker mindsets and how they should approach the game, along with other challenges in life.

Tristan’s Topic Today:

Why do you play poker? Is it as a hobby, for fun, over drinks with your friends on the weekends? Maybe you want to make supplementary income and test your skills at a complex thinking game? Or do you study tournament nuances because you have a goal to win an event? Whenever you play, remember why you are playing. This should help shape your mindset for the session and overall.

Firstly, poker should be a fun game. Sure, there can be a competitive and financial aspect, but we usually play because we enjoy it. When it comes to the mindset of a poker player, the spectrum ranges from engaged amateur to realistic professional, and a multitude of areas in-between.

The former (amateur) should approach the game with an eagerness to learn, enjoy the social/playing environment, and not take the results too seriously. Even though they might get unlucky, they enter the experience knowing that they are gambling and gaining familiarity with the game. If they can have a good time doing so, then everything else is an added bonus.

The latter (professional) should consider everything listed above, but also remember other elements that uplift their perspective. If playing poker is something they take very seriously (and to make money), realize getting unlucky is part of the game. They should understand and accept this. Handling yourself during the tough times says a lot about a person’s character. Being able to graciously win AND lose is important. This is a non-stop cycle. One session doesn’t make or break a player. This should inspire us to study more, detach from the results and focus on the process, plus get ready for the next session to do it all over again. If we fixate on the bad beats, coolers, losing money, or get too excited when we are crushing… it sets a bad emotional precedent for every session, every hand, every street, and every decision.

A “professional” mindset is able to focus on the process, decision making, getting better, the complete journey, and not the results. Amateurs are there for fun, to learn a little bit, and enjoy the experience. Enclosed in these bookends are the rest of the player pool. The common denominator is that everyone should have fun and enjoy what they are doing.

Whatever reason you play poker, enjoy the experience and continue to learn. Always embrace the journey and don’t try to rush success. This perspective applies to life as well. We set goals, we run into roadblocks, we fail, we push forward, we keep at it until we’re satisfied… then we do it all again. Things don’t always work out the way we expect them to, but if we give it our all and stay diligent, we can enjoy the ride and land close to our objective. Life is a never ending game, until it’s over!

“It’s sort of a mental attitude about critical thinking and curiosity. It’s about mindset of looking at the world in a playful and curious and creative way.” – Adam Savage