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When Do I Know I’m Awesome?

    • Bierbaer
      Dabei seit: 27.05.2005 Beiträge: 7.989
      This question is quite a tough one for most of us.

      “How many hands do I have to play before I know I’m a winner?” That’s the most standard form of the question. “If I’ve won 3BB/100 for the last 10,000 hands, does that mean I can move up?” A little more aggressive.

      Some people are coming from the other end of the spectrum. “How big a downswing can I have?” Or, “Does it mean I’m a loser if I haven’t won the last five times I’ve played?”

      Others come from a slightly different direction. “How big a bankroll do I need to play game X?” Or the results-free, “When will I know I’m a good player?”

      It’s a tough question to answer, and it’s one that haunts new and experienced players alike. I have an answer that has worked well for me… and for many other successful players I know. It may not be what you’d expect.

      Most people want an easy answer. “If you win at least X dollars for Y hands, then you’re gold. Move to the higher limit, play 16 tables of $5-$10 at once, and start counting your money in the millions.” That’s just not the way it works.

      I mean, that’s really not the way it works. I’d say that most aspiring players struggle with the psychology of the game more than anything else. Everyone can learn more or less what hands to raise preflop with. Everyone can figure out that this hand is good and that hand isn’t. And most people seem to be able to learn at least a fair bit of hand reading. But some people can never, ever get the torment of variance out of their heads.

      As social a game as poker is, it’s also an extremely lonely one. You enjoy your wins and suffer your losses alone. No one knows how much you’ve won or lost today, this week, or this month. Even worse, no one cares. And I mean no one. Even your mum doesn’t care. When I play poker, my folks don’t care how I did. My friends don’t care. No one cares.(All simply bo chap one la…hahaha)

      From my understanding, it’s very hard to get decent feedback. “Am I doing it right?” Can’t look to your results… there’s too much variance to figure much out. Can’t ask your friends… chances are your friends are not able to tell you. You can post hands on the internet, but even then you often don’t get a satisfying outcome.

      So you’ve played for weeks or months or even years. You win sometimes and you lose sometimes. No one you know cares much either way. And you can’t even figure out if you’re on the right track.

      “Is anyone out there?” (Echos……) “Am I doing this right?” (Echos…..) “Can anybody hear me?” (Echos……) The loneliness is enough to drive poker players totally batty. And its enough to drive their games squarely into the crapper too.

      Here’s my way of looking at it. Poker is not a social game. Not if you care to play it well, that is. Learning to play poker well is a solitary exercise. It’s an exercise in introspective spirituality. There’s no good way to measure whether you’re a good player or not. It has to come from within.

      I do agree with what Guojing said about treating poker like learning a martial art. Even our local online pro Kyo also told me he is still seeking ways to improve his poker skills. I am studying something that will make me a better person. I am always learning. I have never mastered it, nor can I ever master it. I am more skilled than some people, and I am less skilled than others. Some things I learn quickly, and others I learn slowly. It’s a lifelong task. I’ve already mentioned previously that meditation helped alot in my poker games too. Just a wild thought. I wonder if China’s ShaoLin Temple gotta send a monk to play in WSOP in future…hehehe

      Every day I learn something new. My skill improves, and my decisions are sharper and faster. And every day I have prepared to learn even more the next day. Every day I climb a new step, and yet I will never reach the summit. I can only be satisfied with how far I’ve come and be eager for the journey ahead.

      The results, the money won or lost, is irrelevant. I mean truly irrelevant. I know some people say that “money is the way poker players keep score,” but that’s nonsense. You keep your own score. Are you happy with how much you’ve learned? Are you ready to learn more? What do you feel like you’ve mastered, and what challenges are still before you?

      Should you move up? My answer is this, “If you can play and win or play and lose and either way not care what happens, then you are ready to move up.” This should be the comfort zone.

      Are you better than your opponents? Only you can know. What skills have you mastered. Have your opponents master them yet, or are they still struggling with them?

      Poker is a psychological trial. It will test you every day. It will test your ability to handle failure, and it will test your ability to accept success with humility and temperance. You cannot hope to succeed in those trials unless you are strong and confident from within. How do you feel with how you play? What do you feel like you have to learn. And are you ready to play today and learn that thing?

      If you’re new to poker, no doubt you’ve already seen plenty of poker “hotshots” with huge egos who throw trash talk and hubris around aplenty.(You see tons of these jokers while playing online). These players are losers in the long run. Every one of them. It doesn’t matter how high they are flying today, eventually poker will beat them. They don’t understand poker, and eventually their lack of understanding will leave them on the outside looking in.

      The best players, the one who stick around for life, are humble. They are skilled, but every day they just want more skill, more knowledge. It doesn’t matter whether they win today or they lose, as they will play again tomorrow, and the next day, and every day after that. If they do not win this week, then they will win next week. If they do not win this month, then they will win next month. If they do not win this year, this decade, then they will win next year, next decade. They will learn and acquire skill every day until they are unbeatable. And then they’ll get beaten.

      Your results are irrelevant. If you simply can’t get your brain there, then move down in stakes until you can. Your results are irrelevant. All that matters is if you are better today than you were yesterday. Only then will you be awesome.

      Get back to the poker felt now & good luck in your games.

      Der Text ist nicht von mir, hab ihn auch hier über die See-you-Fuck-you nicht gefunden und dachte evt finden ein paar Leute gefallen daran, ich fands gut.
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