How to Balance Your Focus – When you’re playing at your best, poker can be a taxing game, so how do you strike a balance between the need to be at your best and the physical and mental demands that it places on any player? We’ve discovered a few techniques to keep everything on a level keel.
To win at poker, it is commonly claimed that you must bring your ‘A-Game.’ To the uneducated eye, however, this appears to be difficult to achieve in every hand. Major names win big tournaments in live poker, but the reality is that poker is a difficult game that no one can perfect.
We have no idea what your particular poker ‘A-Game’ is, but if you want to play lengthy days and multi-table tournaments in 2022, you’ll need to strike a balance.
We’ve broken down a few strategies to shift your focus when playing poker to play your best. It’s critical to educate oneself on how to do so in the healthiest way possible. This aids not just the development of your game, but also the long-term viability of your top-level.
How to Balance Your Focus; Hard Focus and Soft Focus
When you’re completely concentrated on a hand of poker, you’re likely to perform at a high level and complete a variety of mental activities. You’ll be analyzing your opponent, estimating the chances of your hand winning and the relative odds of the cards on display, and deciding whether to stay in the game for a while. During ‘hard focus,’ a variety of different thoughts will be racing through your mind.
However, it’s impossible to play this way for every hand. Everyone is still playing poker when you aren’t in a hand, but should you examine everyone’s behavior with the same zeal as when your own chips are on the line? Not. Drifting out of intense focus to allow your mind to rest is essential for the kind of endurance required to withstand long days at the live or online felt. Poker is a balancing act, and there are various methods to thrive at the game, as we explored with some of the top names in poker in 2021.
If you’re not involved with the hand, there are a few things to keep an eye on that shouldn’t put too much strain on you. It’s critical to keep an eye on what players have at showdown, and you should never ignore this kind of information. It aids in the formation of a picture of each of your opponents, including how far they like to go with various holdings. Looking for betting sizes, watching which betting streets players favor, and who plays the most (or least) hands are all good ideas.
Training Your Mind for Peaks and Troughs
How many times have you seen poker players of various levels describe the conclusion of their tournament as being “card dead”? When you’re card dead, you keep getting low-ranking hole cards like three-deuce, seven-deuce, or five-four. Players frequently mention being card-dead and then tell a story about how they were eliminated as a result. Frustration is a common source of bust-outs in poker, and it may be just as devastating as boiling tilt.
Training your brain to overcome frustration is difficult, whether you’re playing at home or in the World Series of Poker. Many activities, such as physical exercise or meditation, as well as creating behavioral goals for yourself, can assist.
Every player in a poker tournament psychologically prepares for the big hand that will most certainly determine their outcome, but few put in the effort to prepare for the hours of boredom that are just as important. Because events can extend for days at a time, you can expect periods of passive observation rather than active engagement.
Prepare for hours of play where you don’t get the kind of premium hands that can help you profit or low cards that you can swiftly discard into the muck before you start a protracted poker tournament. Instead, focus on marginal places where you’re not sure you’ll be able to play the hand flawlessly.
When it comes to throwing around awful cards or even excellent cards in bad positions, if you can enhance your ability to ride out marginal spots with confidence that you’re making the right option, you’ll be less frustrated.
Balancing Mental and Physical Tolls
The game of poker is primarily played in the mental space between two or three players in any particular hand, but it is also a physically taxing endeavor. Long, cognitively draining days sitting in chairs, whether in a casino or in front of a computer screen, can take a toll, so how can you mitigate the effects?
Maintaining a regular workout routine is an excellent method to keep your body in good shape, especially if you plan to increase your poker volume in 2022. Spending more time sitting requires a balance of physical activity on days off or in between online sessions.
Mental health is a zeitgeist topic if ever there was one, so make use of the incredible resources available in your mind is struggling. Learning how to deal with poor moods, poker losses, and even rage management could mean the difference between competing and not competing.
Making sure you’re able to bring your ‘A-Game’ to the felt isn’t just about performing at your peak all of the time. It also has to do with preventing your mind and body from performing at their best. Stay fit and in the appropriate frame of mind to play poker at superitc and enjoy it whenever you are able. / Dy