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Creating the Poker Mind

by Roy Cooke |  Published: Dec 28, 2011


Most of us are guided by our emotions more than we care to admit. We often rationalize, giving good reasons, not the real ones, to justify our emotional reactions. The effects of emotionally-directed thinking at the poker table are enormous and not often in the player’s self-interest. Poker requires judgments based solely on logic; your emotions should not affect your analyses at the table. Many players “play to their emotions,” which manifests itself in many ways. Players looking to “lock up a win” sit and play tight not because the game strategy dictates it but because they are afraid of “blowing back,” something they are emotionally uncomfortable with. Some fear losing and never put themselves at risk. Others enjoy the thrill of being at risk and put themselves into risky situations that defy logic. Some avoid high-fluctuation situations because they can’t handle the stress. Being in tune with your emotions, ...

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