One of the new members of my Poker Pure & Simple™ 8-week live, poker training program is playing in a major poker championship this weekend. In preparation for the tournament, last night I asked her to answer one question instantly with whatever came to mind:
My greatest challenge during the tournament will be staying disciplined and only playing premium hands. Then, if I lose with a premium hand, not getting on tilt. That can leave me feeling defeated, especially if I lose a big pot.
What you're telling me is that your biggest challenge is mindset.
You told me that I'm sitting on your shoulder whispering, "When you can't raise, you can't call!"
Here is your second whisper:
"Stay in the Moment."
Regardless of where you are in the poker tournament, focus on making the correct decisions… not just some of the time, not just part of the time, but all the time.
You already know how to make correct decisions. You have proven that. You have earned your way into this poker championship by making correct decisions.
The key is that correct decisions come for staying in the moment.
Tilting is simply a case of staying in the past and being judgmental about how you acted. Even if that action took place only a split second ago, it is still The Past. It is not The Now.
It's the "Should'uvs" and "If only's" that will defeat you, not the cards.
You already know what and how to play. When you stay in the moment, it is easy to trust your instincts and your read on the situation.
Ask yourself over, and over again, "Why do I always make the correct action at the poker table?"
Your subconscious then searches for answers that reinforce the fact that you always make the correct action, rather than searching for reasons why you do not. That strengthens you and serves to raise your confidence in your decision-making abilities.
When you ask empowering Why Questions, your subconscious mind will do the rest.
Until next time, just as she has, remember my motto:
If you can't raise, don't call!
PS: I am dedicating this post to my poker coaching clients, who honored me by allowing me to share their journey with them.
When you are ready to take your poker game to the next level in, it's time for 8-weeks of live poker coaching.