Poker Coaching plus Mindset equals Winning Poker

Recently, during a meet and greet at church, a man hugged me and whispered in my ear. "Hey coach, next week, I'm playing in a tournament to win my entry into the World Series of Poker® main event. Do you think I can do it?"
My internal reaction was, "It doesn't matter what I think, what matters is what you think."
What came out was, "Good for you! Go for it!"
Later during a break, he asked again, "Do you think I can."
When I hesitated, he was more insistent, "Do you think I can?"
I smiled and softly said, "It all depends."
When his face fell, I said, "I know you have what it takes. You are smart and physically fit, but it is just like any other sport, it depends on your feedback system, guidance, and direction. It depends on how determined you are to learning all the aspects of poker. It depends on where the holes are in your game and your commitment to being honest with yourself. "
Poker is like an iceberg, what you see is only a tiny part of the game.
There are three distinct parts of playing winning poker: the physical game, the mind game, and the deeper inner game.
The physical game is apparent and what most training programs teach. How to play this hand or that hand in what position. How to figure your raises to increase the likelihood of your opponents giving up their hand. How and when to bluff. When it makes sense to move all in. How to determine your pot odds.
The physical game has many layers, but it is definable. It is necessary but relatively clear-cut. It is left-brain information with boxes where you tidy up your poker strategy.
Please understand me clearly. I am not underestimating the value of the physical game. It is a critical part of winning poker. It is necessary and a must do. It is one of the areas of winning poker and a vital part of my method of poker coaching. However, it is just the beginning.
Donna Blevins
Poker Coach
"I focus on helping you learn winning poker while improving your life."

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4 Responses to Poker Coaching plus Mindset equals Winning Poker

  1. Sophie ZollmannNo Gravatar November 18, 2009 at 1:48 am #

    This is so true. I play every now and again. It takes all three. I played 2 tourneys last night after taking a long break from tournament play. I did well but didn’t qualify for the next level in the first one. I tried a second time and made it to the next level. I definitely had to incorporate all 3 parts of the game to get to the end and win. I couldn’t have done it without the entire package. :-)

  2. Donna BlevinsNo Gravatar November 18, 2009 at 1:35 pm #

    Hi Soz! Great to see you here! I’m thrilled to hear that you have stepped back into tournament play. You may discover you are more focused and productive at work after playing poker. For me, it is much like meditation… my mind has tunnel vision and becomes still.

  3. Paula HarveyNo Gravatar November 24, 2009 at 4:39 am #

    Playing poker isn’t that different than following your passions and I’m sure people who play poker are passionate about it. It is all about taking action, the inner and outer game. Great points.

  4. Donna BlevinsNo Gravatar December 2, 2009 at 3:01 pm #

    You’re right on, Paula! It is about following your passion. How we handle the five actions of poker directly mirror our life – we either check, call, bet, raise, or fold WITH gusto or we noodle the decisions until we have no idea of our initial intentions. For my money, make a decision and adjust while you are on the journey. Mistakes are the human way of learning.

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