Stay focused on what’s important.

Seems like it is a always lurking around the corner, the badbeat monster is close by ready to start an avalanche of suckouts,
coolers, tilt frenzy and broken mouses.

How do we keep a positive mindset when we are in the throes of agony and an imploding bankroll? I’ve noticed that the default
to this is to tell others the badbeat dramas, as if by doing so we can heal some of the wounds that have been ripped open.

What tends to happen is the exact opposite. The more we harp, cry and moan about the sickness of the beats, the more the negativity of it stays and manifest itself deeper into that person and onto others that are hearing about it. People start to gravitate away from that because honestly, who wants to be constantly reminded of negative things on a consistent basis?

So, how to deal? Well, keeping a positive mindset is not that difficult nor is it like a light switch that you can just flip on. The idea is that to understand why the negative things happen and to rationalize it as what it is. It’s just a bad beat, or it’s just somebody calling me out on the poker tables as a donk or fish. Don’t dwell on it. Chalk it up to what it is and move on.

Tell me this, should you instantly feel like a donk or a fish because somebody at the poker table said so? Should you feel that the “Poker Gods” are against you after receiving repeating suckouts, beats or coolers in a given day, week, month, year? The
answer here is obvious. As Jay Z said in one of his rap songs, “Brush that dirt off your shoulders”. Don’t allow the things that are holding you down emotionally, keep you down.

If somebody calls me a losing player, I don’t get upset. I simply view it as someone’s opinion and just concentrate on improving my game. If a beat happens, well, it’s all right, I know that beats will happen today, tomorrow, and for the rest of my poker playing days.

Stay positive and good things will happen. I guarantee this, keep having a positive mentality and the negative stuff will bother you less and less over time.


The above article is an older post written by my buddy FocusedMotion and I’ve had a few students recently who I think continually fall into this prison of focusing on negatives in poker.  Some of these students have very little proven results, and some have great results, but the truth still remains that they struggle with the emotional aspect of poker.  I actually wrote an article on “emotional vs logical” and you can feel free to scroll thru the archives and read that as well if you’d like.

So once you feel like you have grasped the concept of keeping your emotions away from the table, then now let me shine some light on something that is really important… Staying focused on what matters in poker…………….. The ProcessNOT the results.

I was listening to Drake the other day and a line really resonated with me and it went something like “I was just playing, I didn’t even notice I was winning”.  It’s a very simple statement, but holds massive value.  If you can focus on your processes in poker, then you should expect that the results will come on their own.  This is easier said than done, but if you have already removed your emotion from the table, then all there really is to focus on is the process.  Here are a few things you can focus on besides results, bad beats, trash talk at the table, your significant other nagging in your ear, bills yelling at you, and whatever else…:

-The Process of studying the game – This is a process that will yield $0 in direct profit, but can yield ++$$$$$$$ in the indirect long run. The best coaches in the game today, are also the best students.

-The Process of being  in the right state of mind before playing – Are you actually ready and focused to play?  Or are you still thinking about that argument with your counterpart you just had 5 minutes ago?  Are you drunk right now?  If you can’t think str8, you can’t play profitably…end of story.

-The Process of making educated decisions in real time – Are you thinking thru all your decisions?  If you’ve studied the game like you should be, then you should have already worked on your thinking process a bit and internalized some things, so make sure you are always thinking about what you are doing and not just clicking buttons.

-The Process of making a schedule and not feeling any time restraints – Ok yeah poker is a game you can pretty much play whenever you want (especially online), but that doesn’t mean you should.  We should always be focused on playing to win, and we can never be 100% sure how long a tourney will take, or how long a big fish will stay at our cash table.  We need to have a clear mind and not be worried about picking up someone in an hour with 50 people left in this tourney… get me?  That’s going to turn your logical thought process into “Well I’ll gamble and try to get a stack, or just bust”.  That’s not good, but I’ve been guilty of this before too…

There is probably more I could add to this, but the point is that we have A TON of other things we can focus on vs negatives.  We really should be focused on finding ways to keep out the negatives and invite in more positives.  Yes, this is a process… all of it.  Being a poker professional is a process, but if you can continue to focus on the processes involved with it then the fact that you aren’t at the FT of the Main Event and in the lights of cameras of Poker News, then one day that will all fall in place on its own.



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