Poker is a game where a lot of things are out of your control. What cards you get, who sits at your tournament table (and where), and how the cards fall are left up to the poker gods. What is under your control are your diet, study habits, and state of mind. Studies have shown that having a pre-game routine can greatly increase performance. So what constitutes a pre-game routine and why should you have one?
Although certain forms of coaching have gained popularity in recent years, coaching has really been around as long as humans have been educating one another. The word “coach” actually comes from the 1830s slang word for “tutor.” Just like the old stage coaches carried passengers to their destinations, a tutor carried students towards understanding.
Consider the following scenario: You’re a new poker player who is invested in a strategy coach to get you on the track to making steady income at the tables. You end up in a hand with Kh2h on a board of AsTh9h4c and your opponent accidentally flashes you his hand of Ac6d.
It’s that time of year again. People are gearing up for the WSOP and WPT, which means a lot of MTT pros will have to put on pants to play poker and enter the lights of a brick-and-mortar casino. I was discussing the upcoming WPT tournament in Florida with Alex Assassinato Fitzgerald and, with his permission, wanted to share with you some thoughts.
Don Quixote was a middle-aged madman who believed the world was not chivalrous enough. So, he took a broken nag that he deemed his mighty steed and proclaimed himself a knight and ventured off into the world on a quest for adventure. To be a poker player, you have to be a little bit mad. You have to eschew the conventional and choose the riskier (and more exciting) path. Poker is a game that can reward bad decisions and penalize you even if you make the right one. Like Don Quixote, you have to embrace your vision and play optimistically despite overwhelming odds or you will fail. For the vast majority of players, the key to success is learning how to study.