In this article I want to share 7 truths about poker that I’m sure you’ll find helpful. But for starters, here’s one: “Poker is a hard way to make an easy living.” (Doyle Brunson)
Poker is hard because it requires that you live a life dedicated to growth. As a poker player you’re basically an entrepreneur, a risk-taker, and a rider of uncertainty… but perhaps above all, you’re a smart worker and a life-long learner.
Poker can be so difficult that it’s easy to lose your enthusiasm. However, if you really love the game you will go the extra mile to study and to improve yourself. True passion is a solid foundation for your poker career.
Here are the 7 truths about poker that every player needs to hear! Enjoy!
1. Poker is a business
To be successful you must treat poker like a business. As a poker player, you are essentially a small business owner and you must manage it well to maximize your business’s potential.
If you run your poker business without a plan, without goals, without strict rules, without good money and time management, you might have some profit here and there, but you will not make it in the long run.
But if you plan and manage your poker business the right way, you essentially have the keys to freedom and financial independence in your hands.
2. Losses are an inevitable part of this business
The difference between being a successful poker player and a failure is that successful players know how to deal with losses. They don’t get too emotional and think the world is coming to an end. They don’t freak out and start chasing losses. They accept that every now and then everyone makes mistakes and they are determined to learn from their mistakes, because these players understand that failures and losses make them wiser and better.
Understand, that poker is not about those big fat winning sessions. It’s about the hundreds and thousands of inevitable losing ones that you have to deal with, at the same time keeping faith and confidence in your strategy. The thing that separates the best players from the rest is the ability to remain mentally strong during the inevitable challenging times.
If you don’t know how to handle losses, you’re in the wrong business.
3. There Are No Shortcuts To Success
There is no secret trick, no magic formula that the elite players know and you don’t. Becoming a solid winning player at poker can take months or even years.
The greatest poker players were once beginners. Don’t look for shortcuts. You won’t magically turn into an overnight success. You must focus on doing a lot of little things right – continuous learning, good bankroll management, working on your mindset, performance tracking, etc. – and eventually success will show up.
Become a student of the game!
Think of it as continuing education. Poker players need to remain focused on improving every day. It is important to remember that the key to poker success is the commitment to continuous improvement.
4. Information is power
If you don’t play at Partypoker or GG, it’s likely that more than half the players on every table have artificial intelligence tracking your every move. Poker Tracker 4 and Holdem Manager 3 are the most common. This may sound daunting if you’ve never played with trackers. I don’t mean to discourage your poker dream, but I thought you should know a few things about the reality of online poker.
Beneath is a list of reasons why having a tracker will make you more money:
- Without a tracker you risk losing vs players who know your playing style through data tracked on you aka a Heads Up Display (HUD).
- Players have access to over 50 different areas of our game tracked.
- You can mark hands for later review. One of the best ways to improve our game.
- We become less exploitable by interpreting our own data and we get to interpret other players, which gives us opportunity for solid counter strategies.
Click here to read what beginners and recreationals don’t know about tracking software!
5. Variance is a beast
Overcoming a massive downswing is without a doubt a poker player’s biggest challenge. Sometimes it will seem unreal how bad you run, you will lose your confidence in your ability to win, you will tilt, complain, curse the poker gods, but remember: If it wasn’t for variance, poker would not be profitable. We need bad players to win in order for us to make money over the long term.
The only way to overcome variance is to focus on the process, to keep making the right plays over and over again. No matter how bad and painful it may look and feel, it is very important to remind yourself that the numbers will eventually work themselves out. No storm lasts forever.
6. The freedom poker grants you comes with a price
The freedom poker grants you comes with a price: huge responsibility. Nobody else is going to set your goals, manage your time, and hold you accountable. Being self-disciplined is one of the most important traits of a great poker player. Understand that not putting in the work will make you fall behind!
Poker is an individual activity where no boss is there to tell you what to do or to take responsibility for your actions. Many try to blame luck or other players for their failures, but the sooner you take full responsibility for your outcomes the better.
Work as hard as you can to become a great poker player; accept the lessons in whatever form they come and complain as little as possible. Take responsibility for yourself and understand that nothing is owed to you and nothing will be handed to you.
7. Poker is the greatest game ever created
Why I love poker? Because it’s the perfect combination of everything that I love: math, psychology, competition and money. Here are some of my favorite quotes about passion for poker:
“I love poker. I will always have a drive and passion for poker that far surpasses any feeling or emotion I’ve ever felt. I will get better. I will be the best.” (Linus “LLinuslove” Loelinger)
“I am one of the lucky people who has been able to make a living playing a game which was always my passion.” (Phil Ivey)
“I think it’s really important to listen to yourself. If you have true motivation and you’re playing the game for the right reasons – because you love it – you’ll naturally be motivated to play and naturally be motivated to work on your game.” (Jason Koon)
“I believe it is the most important thing in life to do what you love and for me, I love poker.” (Jeff Gross)
Note: Do you need a quick poker mindset boost? Click here to get my free eBook called 25 Poker Mindset Tips Every Player Should Know.