As we all know, poker mirrors life in more ways than one. You will become a wining poker player if you can develop a few of the following: adaptability, confidence in your skills (without being arrogant), knowledge of your weaknesses, good timing, the ability to read other players, plus … and I’ve left the best until last … the ability to actually learn from your mistakes.
I’m not suggesting that you should start playing like a donk in order to gain ‘life skills’ where life mirrors poker, that’s just foolish and you’ll get what you deserve in the end. No matter how much you read or how much you are told about all the mistakes that you shouldn’t make in the real world, we still make these mistakes time and time again. As children we are guided by our parents who tell us ‘stay away from that road’ and we only really take heed when there’s a close call. As adults we are guided by waiters in restaurants who tell us ‘careful, the plates are hot!’ …but are they really though? Armed with an attitude of ‘well there’s only one way to find out’ … a burnt finger later, we turn to the table and ask ‘why the hell did I do that!?’ – Who knows, but unless that plate really IS hot you’ll continue to do it (or is that just me?).
So why not keep a notebook and pen next to your computer and each time you find yourself shouting at the screen wondering why you did something, why did you make that raise, why did you just flat call in that position, why didn’t you look that player up? … note it down. You’ll create the best self help guide around and you can refer to these notes before every game. Should you find yourself repeating a recurring mistake, add a tick …. You’ll find yourself actually learning from it in no time.
It is the poker player who can gradually learn what not to do, as well as utilising the other tools in their skill set, who will prevail in the end.
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