Remember these 4 questions immediately following your hand:
- What cards do other players hold?
- What cards do I have?
- What cards do other players think I have?
- What does my opponent suspect I think he has?
You should constantly ask yourself the 4 questions AND know the answers to them. Why? Because NOT asking the preceding 4 questions leads to one of the more expensive blunders a poker player makes; which is participating in a session for too much time. When a player begins to get worn out, they start to shed attention. At this point, they are unable to concentrate as much, and therefore begin to coerce their play. One wrong bet following another bad call, and so on, then your bankroll disappears.
Use the force, feel the force.
The most important thing an online poker player can do is to play their very best game anytime they play cards. You must recognize yourself sufficiently to know what it feels like when you start playing fatigued poker. This is not as simple as setting a time-limit on the game, but you need to be alert of how you are playing now in contrast to when you began the session.
Your actions at the table are like a river…
Next you need to dive into the game with great focus, with superior ability to analyze your opponents, and also the desire to make strong plays. In addition to these skills, you need patience when it comes to which opening cards to utilize. Furthermore, be conscious of your position and do not hesitate to raise and put your opponent in the sweat box. As the game advances and you accumulate wins (or experience unlucky defeats), your actions should flow like a meandering river. This means you need to adapt into a different poker player just as a river can be both calm or rapid.
Know your limits, then set a timer.
Be aware of your passiveness in order to protect any money you have made. On the contrary, avoid recklessness when trying to get back lost chips. Another example would be acting overconfident thinking you can’t lose. Do NOT become eager for any type win just to see your cash move up. Lucky for you these handicaps can be fixed when you discover them. YOU stop observing how you play after ___ hours. Fill in this blank and set a timer on your smart phone. Otherwise you might as well just give up your capability to manipulate your play and finally win online poker.
Online poker has a faster, ever-changing table. Keep up!
You want to be aware of which type of table you are participating in, especially in an online poker room where player’s change constantly. Therefore, you must anticipate that any new player who joins your table will also change the structure of it. So if you are not gambling at your peak self 100% of the time, then you will most likely lose more random hands. Consequently, a drifting mind will kill any gains that were produced, rather than growing when you were vigilant. At that point, you intimately need to be considering how you are playing. You also need to figure out WHAT made you lose concentration to help prevent it. But, if you are spent then you definitely will not be thinking properly to adapt to the table’s new characteristics.
Stick to the game-plan.
Another problem that players experience is when they are drained and then lose some large bets. An exhausted player might overcompensate and then adjusts by playing tighter poker. However, there is an absence of the unyielding focus that was existing at the start of the game. Therefore it is because of the lack of concentration that changes to your playing style are too little, too late. You will also not be vigilant enough to visualize, comprehend and respond to all possible outcomes when your hand arrives at the showdown. Any players who recently join are vibrant and typically will outplay you at this stage. They are not necessarily better poker players than you other than the sole reason of being new. This means, in other words, that new players will run through more scenarios about their hand, in their head faster than you. In turn, that fresh player and will always outplay you. So why play poker with a self-inflicted handicap? Leave, take a nap, or drink some coffee!
Never give up, never surrender to your opponents.
Another final bad scenario would be when you become too passive. Your flame flickers, get shoved around, and end up hoping for one more substantial hand. The problem compounds when you finally decide to stand up, but you do it at the incorrect time and lose even more. Most losing situations can be avoided by acting like a surgeon. Just as a surgeon will never lose focus on every measurement of their patient, you must never lose focus of every aspect of your table.
In conclusion, stay alert to how you are feeling. Notice your level of concentration and if you are still playing patient, tight, and aggressive poker. Just in case, some warning signals may be:
- Not being able to follow the hands as fast, your mind drifts away, or you stop looking at opponent’s opening hands after the showdowns.
- You start playing looser opening hands for no reason other than getting bored.
- You stop seeing when players leave your table and new ones join. Remember this changes the character of the table.