Improve Your Online Poker Game By Refining Your Focus
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Improve Your Online Poker Game By Refining Your Focus

Playing online poker well requires a great amount of focus. Here are some ideas on how to improve your focus by avoiding worry, distraction, and burn out. Learn about how to control the elements in your game that pertain to your profit. A few book suggestions are also included, as well as some general poker advice.

Playing online poker well requires a great amount of focus. To acheive this focus you must simplify your process and avoid many common pitfalls, such as:


Whenever you are working online there is always a temptation to dilute your attention span by opening up a new web browser tab or application. Many online poker players struggle to give their play sufficient attention because they are simultaneusly surfing the web, answering email, facebooking, or watching videos. If you are aiming to be successful at online poker you must treat your poker as a business and treat your attention span as your number one commodity. If you aren't in the mood to focus seriously on the task at hand then your results will suffer. [For more on this check out Dusty Schmidt's book Treat Your Poker Like a Business]

Worrying About Results

Playing poker online offers the player the chance to focus on all sorts of statistics and results. While it is important to understand what these statistics mean, and to use them to refine your game, it can also be a huge burden to be thinking about the wrong statistics while you are actually sitting in and playing.

Profit comes from making the best decisions possible. Making good decisions comes from contemplating in real time the most relevant information available to you as efficiently as possible. The goal of the online player should be to play the maximum amount of hands possible while maintaining this razor sharp focus on calculating only the elements that are most relevant to profit. If you can't stop fixating on how much money you are winning or losing in the game (or on any other less than significant statistic), then you shouldn't play poker. Your mind really isn't in the right place to make crucial strategic decisions.

Burning Out

Many players assume they can get in more hours of profitable play then they really can. It is easy to play poker on auto-pilot and put in a lot of hours, but this modus operandi doesn't get the money. Automating some aspects of your decision making process can be a huge asset, but you must always be focused, and always be reaching for deeper intuition and scanning for the little bits of extra information that will help you make the best decisions you can.

The human brain is like a bunch of muscles. If you play poker for more hours than you are used to, then you might find that the poker playing muscle of your brain becomes too tired to perform, and that your game is detiriorating. Just because that particular part of your brain needs rest doesn't mean you can't engage other parts of your brain in the meantime. Why not work to improve your game in other ways, like reading about poker or interacting in online forums and training sites is a good way to keep improving while combatting burnout. Or why not go to the gym? The real winners are the poker players who best balance mind and body and personal lives. [For more ideas read Jared Tendlers The Mental Game of Poker]

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