Staying calm at a poker game

Poker is a game of luck, skill and strategy, but above all of calmness. To succeed, a poker player needs to remain ice cold in the face of adversity, unfazed and not letting any situation unbalance his thought process. Any minute distraction can mean the loss of a hand and subsequently the end of the game. It is therefore important to be able to put aside any irritations and move on beyond any setbacks, bad plays or runs of bad luck in order to achieve that much-desired win.

Why is it important to remain calm I hear you ask? Well, any lapse in judgment, a poor bluff or a fluffed hand is an instant indicator to all the other players at the table that your head is no longer in the game. A lack of discipline at the table is a sign of weakness, which will be pounced on in an instant and something you will instantly come to regret. Loss of focus is the difference between a win and a loss.

So how to keep that focus and move beyond any problematic periods. In some cases, if you feel yourself tilting i.e. losing focus, it can be best to simply fold and walk away from the game. There are some things your brain can never come back from. Anger does not help in poker and will cloud any judgments you might make in later plays. For most players the ideal is to avoid this emotional state entirely. When you realize you are in a tilt simply revert back to tried and tested poker strategies and hopefully this will see your game improve and likewise your mood.

Poker is a stressful game particularly at the higher levels, so it can be important to train yourself in such situations prior to a big game. This will help you acclimatize yourself to any potential problems.