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Online Poker Discipline
Why is discipline so important in poker?
This article answers the question as discipline is the most important quality in online poker.
Discipline is necessary in many activities requiring some sort of effort. Hold on, are we talking about poker as a fun game or as a laborious chore?
There are many types of poker players. Discipline is for the ones who want to excel and become sharks. This is the price to pay. If you just want to have a good time, then you do not need to continue reading. There is not need for discipline if poker is just a casual hobby for you.
Importance of Discipline in Poker
Discipline is needed in many human endeavors. But it is so much more crucial in poker, because poker is not a self-reinforcing activity. What this means is that it cannot be learned inductively, because the good plays are frequently punished and the bad plays are frequently rewarded. So if you follow the path of greatest short-term pleasure, you cannot learn the skills of good poker.
But if you want to win the sunday million, please read more about how to get disciplined.
For example if you practice swimming in a disciplined way, your efforts will be rewarded by an improving speed and better times. But if you practice disciplined poker, this may result in profits or in losses in the short term. Solid disciplined poker is only profitable over the long term.
This is called variance. The shorter the time frame under consideration, the more luck will impact your results. This is why it is so easy to get discouraged if you follow a disciplined approach, as you may get a beating and lose faith in your method. Because sometimes the winning play loses or the losing play wins, there is no reinforcement confirming that the disciplined play was the best action.
It is difficult to apply discipline in poker because most of the time this requires doing what you do not want to do. Let us see a simplified example. You have A♣8♣ and the flop contains 2 clubs and no pairs. You make a moderate bet and get called in a heads-up situation.
The turn is not a club and does not pair the board. You bet half the pot and get raised 4 times. You should fold, as you do not have pot odds to draw to the flush. But it would be so satisfying to call, get the nuts flush and give a lesson to this villain, would it not? No, you should fold according to disciplined poker, but you really want to call. You need a lot of emotional control to maintain such a discipline .
It is hard to be consistently disciplined because you cannot put an exact cost to the negative habits that make you lose money. Not being adequately bankrolled, playing drunk, not concentrating enough, not taking poker seriously enough, thinking that you are better than you really are, all reflect a lack of discipline.
Your biggest enemies at the poker table are your ego and your emotions. Good poker players know how to remain as analytical as possible while inducing emotional stress into their opponents. Emotional control is what it takes to be great at poker.
How to be Disciplined in Poker
Self-control is the key. It is not enough to know what you should do; you also must implement the plan. Most people are not disciplined when it comes to making difficult decisions, so the least you should do is always be self-cognizant of the importance of discipline.
Test your poker discipline by laying down big hands when you intuitively know you that are behind. These frequents situations can be a big test of your discipline. For example when you have a set, the board has three cards of the same suit and a very aggressive villain is representing that he has the flush. It requires mental toughness to fold this hand.
Discipline not to tilt is another fundamental test. Everyone will be brought to tilt for different reasons, such as folding a hand which would have won a monster pot, losing a big hand to a very lucky player who called with a garbage hand, etc. Part of discipline in poker is to know yourself well so that you recognize when these situations arise, and you act preemptively to avoid tilting.
Furthermore, if you want to improve you game, you must have the discipline to study constantly & consistently. This is not easy as poker is played for entertainment before all. It is tedious to review your hand histories in detail, to read dry poker books or to run statistical tests from your poker tracking software.
Discipline is crucial for both poker and casino games. For casino games it is also important to choose a reliable and reputable gambling operator. For online poker it is a bit different as the industry is tighly regulated nowadays. But online casinos are not, and reading casino information at an online guide is thus very important.
No other skill matters if you do not practice self-discipline in poker (or at casinos). This is why poker is not a walk in the park. There are few online poker winners and many losers. One thing all winners have in common is their discipline. Develop the fortitude to stay disciplined and you will become a better poker player.
One way to improve your discipline in tournament play, it to follow a tournament indicator.