There are times when a poker player needs to summon all their courage at the table. Many people confront different fears. You might be afraid to make a big all-in bluff on the river, or you might be scared of looking bad or stupid. Whatever it is, the only way you can become a great poker player is if you face your fears.
Courage means you can do something that frightens you. In this article, we’re going to talk about a couple different fears that you might face during a poker game and how to overcome them. This one is all about the mental game.
Fear of Losing
This is the most basic poker fear. We’re afraid of losing our chips, busting out of the tournament, or even just losing a pot. This can cause us to make bad plays.
Bluffing can be scary, especially if you’re risking a majority of your stack. You know that if your opponent calls, then they definitely win the pot—so what do you do?
The best thing that you can do in this situation is rely on your poker knowledge. If you’ve studied enough, then you should be able to think through the situation and figure out what the right play is. From that point on, you just need to pull the trigger.
That means making the big bluff if it’s the right play. Or it could be making a hero fold even though you have a good hand that you don’t want to give up, but you’re pretty sure that you still need to fold.
Always try to make the right play. If you know the right play, then why wouldn’t you make it? Don’t give away your chips for free. Execute your strategy.
The other main fear that we face is social pressure. We don’t want to look bad in front of
our peers, especially if we’re playing against people we respect. A lot of times, people will play in a certain way because they want to try to impress other people.
This can mean fearing that you’ll get laughed at if you make a fold, or it could be running a “sick bluff” to show off how good you are.
Either way, if these decisions aren’t grounded in solid strategy, then it’s going to be a losing play. Instead, you should remind yourself that you came here to play poker—that you came here to win—and do your best to ignore everything else. Follow your goal and you’ll be much better off.
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