WSOP preparation: the Mind is the key for winning

It is an event that comes ones a year, a time to shed tears of joy, show frustration, and for the wise players a time for learn vital lessons on what it takes to win big. It goes without saying that Poker is a mental game as it takes more than skills to take home the grand-prize. Big players have over the years perfected the art of mastering their mental state. It is what differentiates pretenders to the throne, and the gurus of the game. But, how does one avoid mental mistakes that result in a player saying bye on day one?

To answer this question, we look at some of the mental mistakes players commit before and during the main event. These poker mental mistakes have been identified by Jared Tendler, an accomplished mental coach, and the author of the book “The Mental game of Poker.”

• Preparing badly

There is a cliché in poker; “you will never win it on day one, but you can be kicked out on day one”. Mentally, you can lose the game before the event starts. As a poker player, never assume that what you do long before the main event will have no bearing on your performance. The contrary is true.

The gist of the matter is that the main events is very long and cause the mind to tire without even a player realizing, and hence committing unnecessary mistakes. If you have not prepared adequately for long playing hours, you simply cannot win. The bottom line is that if you want to achieve success playing poker, you need to have the right mental endurance that can cope with the long playing hours in addition to the pressure associated with the game of poker.

• Getting over excited

As a rule of thumb, excitement should only be preserved when you have accomplished your goals. Many players, especially the first timers, get too excited, but it should never get into how you play your poker. Getting over excited includes behaviors such as partying too hard, drinking heavily, or not getting enough sleep before the main event commences. Part of the excitement can and have led many players into making stupid mistakes such as giving away their chips when they are on the table. The reality is that this is one of the competitive events in the world, and nobody will be there to guide you, such mistakes will only result in you being kicked out and by extension losing your money. If you fall into this category, as part of your preparation make it a point to remind yourself to always stay calm even when you are on the lead.

• Dreaming too much

Whereas, it is perfectly normal to have dreams, dreaming too much in some cases results in nightmares. Each year, over 7,000 players walk into that hall all hoping that lady luck will finally smile at them, but only one player get to walk home with the bracelet. Dreaming too much on victory can heavily impact on your ability of making concrete decisions. This is because when you are focused only in the end result of winning; your ability to make game changing decisions takes a hit.

• Inadequate rest

There is nothing that beats a good solid sleep. It nourishes the brain, and enhances the thinking ability. Playing a game of poker straight for ten to sixteen hours and then later pondering on what you could have done better is of not beneficial use. If you are thinking too much on your game, make it a point to write your thoughts on paper, this way you will relax you mind. Also in between the game, do something that is not related to poker such as going to the gym, watching a movie, or making new friends.


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