The Most Important Poker Skill

How difficult is it to become a fairly good poker player? For some it's pretty difficult, for other it's downright impossible. It isn't easy for anybody.
Despite the huge amount of useful information available on the game, it takes a long time and a lot of grinding for people who have the potential to become good players to achieve their goals. Even when one knows he/she is a good poker player, the learning never stops. A good poker player learns from mistakes, and continuously improves his/her play.

For most poker players however, the status of "good" or even "reasonable" is quite impossible to attain. Why is that? Simply because they fail to recognize and master the single most important poker-skill: self control.

Online poker rooms are full of newbie player wannabe's, people who will never manage to control their emotions, and exercise the right level of self control.
What's the use of reading 100 strategy books and articles, and knowing the game perfectly if one repeatedly fails to do what he/she knows he/she should do? Not much.
Unfortunately the vast majority of online poker players will never get past this problem.

The game of poker is especially good in making people do what they know is wrong. There are so many little temptations coming up time and again, that one truly needs to be a master of his/her emotions to repeatedly make the correct decision. Making the correct decision over and over is essentially what winning poker comes down to.

If you keep a cool head all the time and do your homework right, you will end up winning. There's no question about that, however, poker is riddled with all the factors that make decision-making extremely difficult.

Another result of not being able to exercise self control, is tilting. When you go on a tilt you usually do it while chasing after losses. At times like this, you pay up like a broken fruit machine and you're the dream opponent of every online poker player. The longer you play in this state the more you end up losing.

The very first step in learning how to control your emotions is learning to deal with the luck factor. A good poker player and a bad one will react completely differently at the sight of an opponent showing down quads when they themselves have shoved everything into the pot on trips. A bad player will go berserk and will immediately start to suspect a whole bunch of different things, from player collusion to cheating poker software. It is beyond his comprehension how somebody could have his A trips beat, while all night long pots were being won on little more than a high card...

A good player will know that such events are as much part of the game as the posting of the blinds is. Sure the chances are thin, but they're still there and it can happen. A bad player will go on a tilt after a hand like this and will try to force luck into doing things his way. Luck, however, seldom favors the reckless, and all he'll achieve is lose more money. More importantly he'll fail to see the lesson in it.

A good player will swallow the whole deal and draw conclusions. He'll make notes on how the player who beat him acted, and he'll make use of those notes in future hands. Dealing with the luck factor is not easy and this is where most mediocre players get it wrong from the get-go. They try to control luck instead of attempting to control their own emotions. Controlling your emotions may be difficult, but controlling luck is plain impossible.

Next time you turn your computer on with the intention of playing some online poker try to focus on always doing what you know is right. Whenever you feel like you're losing control stop. Take a walk, or a nap even, come back later and play the right way.

Part of being a winning poker player ( besides details like receiving poker rakeback , and playing aggressively from the blinds) is the ability to minimize exposure to the game when you're not doing well, and to maximize it whenever you're on your A-game.

Flush Fever

Important Poker Skill