Managing expectations in a poker game

Everyone who goes playing poker has one ultimate goal and this is his or her motivation, to win and win. Some will spend to the tune of $1000 to earn back some good cash. However, those wishes do not always come true and often, they end up losing, a situation that leads to frustrations and if not checked could build up to a tilt.

Reading this article would help you know how to manage the expectations and come out strong no matter the outcome.

Put the damaging statements down

As a professional poker, you should know that the outcome will sometimes not favor you and thus it’s important to balance expectations. Yes, you need to be confident with your winning ability, and again, as you choose to enter a game, you must have the understanding that there is always a winner and a loser and the latter could be you. To turn this knowledge into action, the negative thoughts, which are mere cognitive distortions, need to be identified.  To do this, you must turn the limiting and damaging rhetorical statements into positive ones. The perfect way to deal with that is to list such down and see the truth in them in reality.

When you are done with a poker game, sit down and list some of the negative thoughts you had during the game as statements. Then, you need to identify the cognitive distortions in the statement and try creating positive statements from the negative.

A negative statement could be like;

 ‘I don’t seem to ever win’ – the cognitive distortion here is; overgeneralization, blame, and personalization.  The positive statement here could be something like; ‘As much as I don’t seem to win often, I sometimes win and if I get serious I could be a perpetual winner’

Detach from the outcome

If you develop a more realistic approach to the poker game, this would allow you to detach from the outcome.  When you get into the game with a mindset that ‘I must win’ because you probably need to clear some pressing bills, then you’re doomed for a tilt. However, you can choose to detach yourself from the outcome and this would keep the tension away.

Every poker player must strive to achieve a state of Equanimity, a state of a balanced and centered mind where you allow positive thoughts in your mind and resist the temptation of being pushed by the negatives.

There are poker players, who are not upset by the outcomes while others do, but the most exciting thing is when we begin to master our reactions then we gain the power to change everything.