Reaching your potential as a poker player is a difficult task. It requires many hours of dedicated study and practice to the point where many are put off from even taking the job on.
Bear in mind that we are not talking about shooting for the stars here and aiming at becoming a member of the world’s elite poker players. This is a discussion on getting the best out of yourself whatever your potential is.
Not everybody can become one of the best poker players in the world, but with hard work mid stakes is definitely on the table as far as online poker is concerned. If you can play enough tables with a healthy win rate here you are in the region of pushing for close to $100 per hour.
This is a realistic goal to shoot for if you have the commitment. Unfortunately, most of us are self-sabotaged by the way we go about working on poker.
Beating Procrastination With a ScheduleAnybody taking on a long-term goal such as becoming an accomplished poker player is always going to be vulnerable to the pitfalls of procrastination. Put it this way, if you don’t actually sit down and get on with the work then you’re not going to see any kind of improvement.
This basic premise, as obvious as it is, is roundly ignored by many hopeful poker professionals.
Luckily, there are a few techniques and ideas that we can use to get the ball rolling. Firstly, setting up a schedule is crucial when it comes to time management. Taking on each of your tasks in a haphazard way is setting yourself up for failure.
You don’t even need to be ambitious to begin with. Just plan out your day and stick to the plan. You will feel much more satisfaction this way, and much less stress about having too much to do and too little time.
It is also important to set time throughout the week for relaxation and time with your friends and family. Wasting the first half of the week watching TV and random clips on YouTube followed by trying to cram your study time and playing volume into a few days will leave you hating life.
Conversely, sticking to a schedule that isn’t too taxing will leave you looking forward to your free time at the weekends.
If you still have problems getting everything done, even with a schedule, then you should try a technique that builds momentum.
For example, if you find it tough to start playing or studying, then set yourself a micro task, such as 15 minutes of a theory video, or play 100 hands.
Good Habits For Study and PlayEven with a schedule, you must still focus on studying and playing in the right frame of mind and under the right conditions.
Your study plan should be mapped out at least one week in advance. This will help to keep clear goals in your head and prevent feelings of frustration when your results are not going the way you hoped for.
You should have a list of areas that you need to work on, each with a priority. Priorities are usually set with frequency in mind, such as continuation betting on the flop in position being one of the most common spots you will ever find yourself in.
It doesn’t take much work to plan out what your most pressing needs for study are. Once everything is listed and scheduled you will really start to feel you are making headway. No more randomly looking at some material whenever you feel like it and feeling like you’re spinning your wheels.
For playing, distractions are the most harmful to your results and progress. It cannot be stressed highly enough that you must take a zero tolerance approach when it comes to playing.
This means no web browsers open while you grind, the phone is off or set to silent, and definitely no TV.
Bankroll ManagementNo discussion on becoming a professional is complete without a reminder of the importance of bankroll management. It is an exceedingly simple concept to understand and yet so many budding pros fail to take it seriously.
Variance is underestimated by most of us. We get drawn into a feeling of comfort when things are going well, but all this does is set us up for a fall when things eventually turn around, which they always do.