The importance of discipline in poker
In recent years, books that deal with poker less emphasis on the strategic aspect that there are 7, 8 or 10 years. Probably because the video strategy take good care of this area. Current books are more interested in the mental aspect of poker that has been our opinion long neglected in strategy books. A healthy mind in a healthy body also applies to poker. It is not a coincidence that many poker players are training physically for several years. To take a familiar example, Isildur has already said in an interview at his peak (when he had made himself known and destroyed Tom Dwan heads-up) he was in great physical shape and was training on a regular basis. Shortly after this period, he continued to lead the way as regular, which had two negative consequences on his poker: more tilt and significant losses on poker tables. In short, Isildur is one of the first to recognize that to perform well in poker, you have to be in great physical shape.
Poker is a frustrating game
Anyone who has played long hours of poker knows this game (even if you are passionate about) is a game that can be extremely frustrating. To manage this frustration, it is important to be prepared mentally. And must be in great physical shape to collect stress and to control its tilt. Even the best player in the world will be lost if a player does not control its tilt or if it plays its best game 50% of the time.
Many players are now players break even or lose because they do not always play their best poker players.
In a previous article , I had already identified the important points to play his A game. The headlines were:
- All players tiltent (to recognize that all poker players without exception tiltent).
- The A game through self-knowledge (know yourself is the first step towards managing emotions).
- Do you always the right decisions? (A good state of mind allows us to make good decisions and most importantly, recognize the mistakes we make.)
- We are often irrational (despite appearances, we are sometimes irrational).
- Emotions poker (to win, we must be rational and unemotional).
- Know how to analyze (admit mistakes is the first step to correction).
- Healthy Living (mental balance through a healthy lifestyle).
What you eat affects your poker
Like any athlete, what you eat and drink will affect your performance. In the extreme, we can say that drinking a bottle of vodka before a session will affect your results, it goes without saying, but other more subtle products could negatively influence you without you noticing. For example, if you are the type to play poker in the morning, do you play after drinking coffee? What is the effect of caffeine on your game? Does it makes you more alert or if it annoys you and increases your VPIP 5%? If you play more hands on coffee and that is not your style of play "loose", you'll obviously in uncomfortable situations where you lose money. Eating too much sugar could have the same effect. Eating too much could backfire falling asleep. Delaying a meal to continue grinder is also harmful. You intended to play from 14:00 to 17:00 for dinner afterwards. But you keep playing for a reason X. Maybe the tables are good, but if you have a headache because you're hungry, is that it is a good idea to keep playing? You should also add that it's been 3 hours you play. Are you able to play more than 3 hours without a break? Is that your game is as profitable? Does your B game with 4 fishs on the table is more profitable for you that your A game with only 2 fishs on the table?
The lifestyle is important in poker. Highstakes poker players are often seen as degenerates who make the party every night making prop bets 10k on racing frogs and other events unimportant. But it is impossible to compete at a high level without having a healthy lifestyle. The making of the sport is really important (or exercise). If you are too sedentary, you may have an energy and aggression that result in cravings tilt (for some players) surplus. And if to do sport and exercise decreases your tilt? And if it would make you more zen? It is trying to play a poker session the day after a big brush to realize how our lifestyles affect our game! In short, a healthy mind in a healthy body.
A clear mind and the straight edge movement
Earlier, I was just talking about these topics with Laurence "LadyLuck" Grondin, pro player Espacejeux. Those who know her know that she has a very strict hygiene life that certainly helps in his career as a poker player. Part of its success is certainly related to this discipline, his sanity, his management of the tilt, etc..
Laurence is "straight edge". According to Wikipedia, "Straight edge is a subculture and a sub-genre of hardcore punk in which its members do not consume alcohol, tobacco or recreational drugs."
But I think it's broader than that. Impose strict rules of life to keep his lucidity of mind could be considered part of the straight edge.
But not talking about a subject that I do not master completely, I'll just leave you with the words of LadyLuck who will speak quickly straight edge movement of the positive effects that his lifestyle had on his playing career poker.
Some words from LadyLuck
I rarely addresses the subject of my own accord, but when people talk about me, it makes me happy to share my philosophy of life. I knew the straight edge movement in my early teens, about 14 years. I listened to punk and hardcore at the time and I was a bit rebellious. I was not delinquent at all, but I did not like the proposed by the company and I do not want to be a sheep that follows people images.
At that time, I was training tennis at a high level and I took it very seriously. I knew I was not the best, but I probably worked harder than average. Waste my time going to party and get drunk or take drugs really was not my intention, but everyone did. It was then that I knew straight edge people who were friends, with whom I really had fun and we adonnions to more positive activities.
I always continued in this way (and they are still my friends). Personally, I do not want to waste time being poisoned by harmful substances. I do not judge people who do, it is a personal choice that suits me very well. But I am always surprised that people do not understand that I do not drink. It is as if this was abnormal, but I do not really see what is abnormal.
I never thought that this philosophy of life serve me as much in the future. It had a major influence in my life. I was at university and completed a bach and a certificate, while working in my field and engaged me in poker at the same time. I do not think it would have been possible if I had not been in complete control of myself, emotions, stress and health.
Some find it intense and strict, but for me it is not. If it was a deprivation, I would not do it. I am there. Still being lucid, we quickly realize that alcohol and drugs affect the lives negatively. Those who use since adolescence also begin to deal with the physical problems.
Lately I have a friend who asked me many questions about my lifestyle. He then decided, after reflection, to stop drinking for 1 year, it has been relatively easy. He told me that it was very beneficial for him and he realizes that it is no necessary for everyday life.
Anyway, I could talk for hours. The only thing I can tell you is that life can seem futile at times when in fact nothing. But taking control of her life, one is able to have a positive influence, little things that change and that lead to happiness. Maybe it seems like big statement, but instead, it's really simple.
In poker, you will understand that it helps to keep a cool head and focus most of the time because my concentration / health are always at their best. It helped me to have a discipline that has brought me where I am. We all have stories of players who have lost much of their bankroll under the influence of alcohol, or stolen players in connection with drug problems and knows life.
This is even more important to have a healthy lifestyle when playing live poker, or that participates in a tournament series. If you're messed up, I do not think it's possible to be at its full potential. Also, when the stakes are bigger, poker is a business, and we must think of those we stake. If my foal returned at 4 am the night before a tournament and difficulty dragged his body to the poker table, my investment loses a lot of value. It's so easy going overboard when you are successful at poker (especially at first). It really takes a head on his shoulders and a good insight to succeed in the long term. And of course, personally, if I had a reputation as party girl or if I put myself in embarrassing situations, I never got my sponsorship of Loto-Québec.
Discuss this article on the forums PokerCollectif: Mental Game A game and straight edge; a reflection Kidam and LadyLuck