Any time a PTO Poker student has a specific win rate goal in mind, especially in the short-term, I applaud their enthusiasm but recognize the need to provide perspective. Poker can be a highly profitable game for those that master core skills, but it still comes with massive short-term variance which can skew perceptions. I would be negligent as a coach if I did not prepare students to deal with this adversity and help them improve their mindsets. Students that are able to find fulfillment in the game, even in the tough times, are the ones that are likelier to overcome short-term variance and ultimately reach their goals. Here are some sample clips and tips from coaching sessions that help create a long-term winning mentality:
1. Have Some Purpose for Poker That is Independent From Results
If you develop a purpose through playing poker that is deeper than making money, it will help you persist through and even enjoy the tough times. Ironically, this will help you make much more money in the long-run.
2. It Doesn't Have to Be Today: Have a Long-Term Poker Mentality
Recognize that there will be days where the cards just won't be profitable. It is important to take a long-term view and not force plays that aren't there on slow days. Just make the best decisions possible for the time you are there.
3. Always Be Prepared for the Worst-Case Scenario, Especially When Moving up in Stakes
If your data suggests you are ready to move up in stakes, it is essential to be financially and emotionally prepared for the worst-case scenario. If you can handle this, you will be less likely to play with fear which will make success more likely.
4. Have a Meditation Practice And Accept Where You Are in Your Journey
Meditation helps poker players with self-care, tilt, and personal growth. A common pitfall is to have unrealistic expectations for your practice. It is more helpful to allow yourself to be where you are and to come to peace with the moment exactly as it is.
5. Celebrate Poker Variance: It is the Gatekeeper That Keeps Others Out
Coolers, bad beats, and other forms of negative variance can feel like the enemy in poker. But the reality is that they are just the gatekeeper that keeps other people out if they aren't truly committed to long-term poker poker success. Anything that is worth doing is never easy, and poker is no exception. The ability to persist through the tough times is a true separator.
To Summarize, Don't Ignore the Mental Game of Poker
The poker players that do work on their games away from the table are typically preoccupied with technical strategy, which is the thing that most poker content focuses on in 2023. But if you are serious about your long-term poker goals, you will hopefully realize that mastering technical strategy is important but only half the battle. It is just as important to build a strong mindset using the mental game frameworks I have laid out in this article. By managing your money and emotions properly and having an underlying, intrinsic purpose for playing poker, you'll be in great position to weather the inevitable storms and find fulfillment through the game.
These topics are just the tip of the iceberg. To go deeper and become the player you know you can be, contact Joel Wald today at email@example.com or book a free 30-minute Zoom call to discuss how PTO Poker can help you achieve your poker goals!