The Poker State-of-Mind

poker

Poker has earned itself a reputation as one of the most “cerebral” games ever invented in the history of mankind, at par with mind games like chess or backgammon. But the thing is, poker, at its very core, is not that complex. It’s one of the games that is easy to pick up and play, but is frustratingly hard to master.

 

How is this so? Well, poker is all about basic math and statistics. Once you’ve managed to get a good grasp of the basic probabilities, you can already stand your ground on a poker table, and even win a few rounds against good players while you’re at it. While it’s important to know your chances during the different stages of the game, there’s not a lot of ways you can possibly win with a particular hand.
The simplicity of poker is one of the reasons why the game is so insanely popular. It’s not about the rules or the reputation; the  is all about playing against other players and their skills, and not just playing against luck alone. You read other people’s minds, anticipate future moves, intimidate weaker players, bluff your way out of tight spots- it’s war strategy and psychology all rolled into one.

Poker: for Fun or for Money?

 

There are two varieties of poker players: those who play for fun and those who play for money. Though they are not mutually exclusive (one can play both for fun and money), it’s important to recognize the defining characteristics of these two. Those who play for fun treat poker as a hobby, a recreational activity that they do to take their mind off things. Those who play for money, on the other hand, are more vicious on the poker table, and are often more calculating and patient while playing.

 

If you want to be a great poker player, then it’s important to keep a healthy balance between the “for fun” and “for money” aspects of poker-playing. Here are a couple of extreme examples: A “for fun” player finds joy in playing poker at his local casino during the weekends. Though he is enjoying the game, he is almost always losing money, and is a standing target for cardsharks. But that doesn’t matter, as long as he’s enjoying himself. On the other end of the spectrum are some of the people of who rely on poker for their bread and butter. Playing poker is almost like a chore for them, since not playing means not having any income with which to live on. Poker is a full-time job, something which they have to do, even though they might not feel like it.

 

Great poker players are those who enjoy playing, studying, and making money off the game. While poker is sometimes considered as a highly competitive sport, it’s not a good enough reason for you to be stressed out too much over it. If you find yourself getting a whole lot of tilt over a poker game, then take a step back, relax, and make sure to return to the table with a cool head.

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