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Keeping Your Mind on the Game

The ramifications of a mental error

by Roy Cooke |  Published: Aug 20, 2010


No matter how much knowledge you acquire about poker, you still need to keep your mind focused on the game. The concentration of many longtime pros tends to wear down over the course of their careers. They become arrogant and complacent, which makes them sloppy. They just go through the motions, thinking their superior knowledge will carry them through the day. But, they often find themselves outplayed by opponents with inferior knowledge who just try much harder to play well. No matter how well you learn the game, the level of effort required to play your best doesn’t diminish. On a Sunday afternoon, I was playing $30-$60 limit hold’em at Bellagio, and had just received a problematic real-estate business call. My mind switched from “poker mode” to “business mode.” I was intent on calling my client back when my big blind came, which shifted my attention. I was pondering solutions ...

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