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Poker Psychology

The Inner Game of Poker





The poker world has a lot writers who focus on the tactical side of poker. A few more focus on poker strategy. But few write about the psychology of poker -- the mental side of the game. Poker players are their own greatest allies at the table, but too often they end up their own greatest enemy for a variety of personal, "inner" reasons. While the entire playwinningpoker.com site focuses on poker strategy, which always involves thought, linked below are three dozen articles that focus more on the "inner game": attitude, discipline, personal demons, comprehensive thinking, game planning, preparation, financial responsibility, etc.

Winning poker is all about the long run. Despite this there is an endless amount of lazy play in the game, where players squander occasional bets hour after hour. Those squandered bets represent a fortune. Every bet is important, as is every action, as is every reason for an action. Conventional "wisdom" is usually wrong. Most players lose, so if you want to win, you often want to do things differently than most players!

While poker does have instances of immediate gratification (winning a pot usually isn't that hard, even if it seems that way sometimes), consistent winning poker is a lot of work. Everybody is trying to beat you, a rake has to be overcome, your own fragile psyche has to be kept under control... There are endless enemies arrayed against you. Over the long run, you have to fight hard for your rewards. You have to earn them. If you want an immediate reward, watch television. If you want to pay your dues and earn your way into the winner's circle, read on.

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Poker Discipline
The most fundamental, most important poker skill of all

Poker Tells
The body language of poker
Online Poker Tells
The language of online poker
Reading Players
Hiding Poker Tells
Poker Psychology
Manipulate
Manipulate your opponents, don't confuse them

Risk
To win, you must risk loss

Ego
Play for money, not ego points

Preparation
The art of poker

Greed
Greedy poker players end up busted poker players

Envy
Profiting from the envy of opponents

Empathy
Walk a mile in your opponent's shoes

Enthusiasm
Seize the day by playing with purpose

Stereotypes
When all else fails

Bullies
Facing down bullies of all sorts

Luck
Poker is a game of skill, but luck, and handling it, does play a large role

Stubbornness
Pigheaded poker

Talent Delusions
Live in the real world, not in an inflated fantasy

Goofballs
Being a short-sighted clown is a very limited strategy

Open Minds
Open your mind so you can open your pocket and insert your profits

Self-Centered and Self-absorbed
Your Mama lied, the world doesn't revolve around you

Left Brain Right Brain
Success requires using both sides of the brain

The Trinity of Poker
Playing with your head, heart and groin

Playing Away from the Ball
Much of the game takes place away from the table

Mental Poker
90% of the game is half mental

Proper Poker Pace
Fast enough to win, slow enough to finish

Man at the Top
Everyone wants to be the player at the top of the heap

Know Your Opponents
More on the art of poker

Self-Control
Another look at discipline

The Long Run
A focus on the big picture, also see Poker Strategy and Reality TV

Losing Poker
Losing without being a loser

Probe Betting
Betting to gain reactions

Why Play Poker?
Play for the real bottom line, to win money

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