Poker Mental Game & Planning

Improving Self Critique in Poker

6,546 Views 0 Comments on 20/2/14

It is often hard to be critical to yourself, but the simple truth is that when something is wrong with your game, it is frequently caused by you doing something wrong. Improving on your self-critique will help you get a better outlook on your game and rectify different mistakes that you will often discard if you are not critical enough to yourself.

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"Poker can take a day to learn but a lifetime to master". At times you will find yourself thinking this game is unbeatable and wanting to quit. You may also find yourself blaming the cards or other players. Most of the time the only real truth is that you're doing something wrong.


Get in the habit of looking at yourself first, not other players or the cards. Are you making the correct plays? Making sure you fix your poker leaks rather than just huffing and puffing at your screen or throwing your mouse at your monitor is the key to winning at poker.

Some methods to improve your self critique in poker:

How did you the play the hand?

A very simple look at how the action went will show you how you played the hand.

Why is this important? As you play a lot of volume in poker, other players will begin to pick up on certain habits and tendencies you have. Have a look at how you played AA this time and see if you mirror this play every time. Then you can start to play bluffs in the same way to represent AA. This is called being balanced.

Why did you play the hand this way?


What was the reason for playing your hand in this manner? Was it just because of your hand strength? The way the board ran out? How the villain played his hand? Any previous history or reason to do this?

All of this is important in showing you how you think as a player and if it actually made any real sense.

How would you react if another player played this way?

This is something no one really thinks about. We find ourselves berating other players for making certain plays. so what would we have done if the shoe was on the other foot? Is this a play we would have admired or thought a donk had played it?

Do you think if you play the hand that same way every time it will be profitable?

Poker is a life long game so if we repeated this same play every time would it make us money?

By chasing flushes going into the river getting 2/1 the answer will be no. But charging the player the same price will mean profit...even if we get sucked out on here and there, over the long term we will be printing money!

Why did you lose the hand?

The most important question to ask.

What was the simple reason you lost the hand? Was it because you bet wrong, you should have folded, villain got lucky or it was a hand you just could not fold?

All of these basics forms of thinking will lead to a nice overall decision on your hand and your play. Be critical about yourself is step one!!! Its easier to blame something other than yourself.



Jon PokerVIP

10 years and over 10 million hands of cash game poker Jon-PokerVIP brings a wealth of experience to team VIP. If he isn't winning 150k a month prop hands challenges  then he will be probably posting in our forum, streaming on twitch or making coaching con ... Read More


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