It is of course, extremely foolish to assume that you can simply digest a few tricks and become a poker sensation. Assuming that you really want to be a professional player you’re going to need to dedicate yourself to multiple aspects of the game itself. This may or many not include contemplating the psychological aspects of your adversaries as well as perhaps even delving deeply into the mathematical side of things. Nevertheless, if you’re just looking for some tips which can point you in the general direction of poker professionalism, please consider the following…
It might sound rather ironic or even self-defeating to say that one needs to “become more disciplined” to improve their poker abilities, especially given that many are probably looking toward the game because they don’t want a regular job. The truth however cannot be overlooked – if you want to really become a formidable poker player, you’re going to have to dedicate yourself to the game in many different ways. As previously mentioned, perhaps the most sensible thing to do is to soak up as much technical knowledge as possible. For many, this means reading tons of books on poker strategy which have been penned by well-respected masters of the game (many of which tend to be mathematicians; hint, hint).
There are even easier and more obvious things which must also be done as well, like learning to properly manage one’s bankroll. More often than not, gamblers get into trouble because they don’t know how to effectively handle their funds over the long-term. It’s not enough to have a few good wins under your belt; you must also keep a meticulous record of each and every loss and gain. Without this critical track record in place you can’t really be sure that you’re turning a profit or even breaking even. In other words, before you attempt to do anything with poker in a professional capacity, become a master at managing your own bankroll.
When the game becomes repetitive and all the various personal strategies are more or less known factors, it is the player who does the unexpected who usually takes home the gold. At a certain level of poker it’s simply not enough to be able to do what’s expected of you, instead it becomes a question of just how random you are. For a lot of players, this means finding new ways to bluff their opponents, but it’s important to remember that one can also simply implement new strategies which they’ve been studying. You can’t really force the cards to turn up fortune in your favor (unless you’re cheating, that is), but you can learn to react to what you receive in different ways. Sometimes the smallest changes to one’s game lead to the greatest rewards.
Learn how to size up other players
Arguably, this is the most important thing on this list which the aspiring pro poker player can take to heart. At the end of the day, you can spend all of your time working on learning to play a perfect game with the cards you’re dealt, but this still means that you’re subject to the whims of lady luck. Once you’re able to psychologically assess your opponents however, everything changes. At that point you’re essentially making your own luck, in a way, with their “tells” and strategies becoming crystal clear to you. This allows you to preemptively guess what their reactions are going to be and in turn, make adjustments accordingly.