Download (direct link):
Be Aware of i/our Strengths and Weaknesses
An outrageous image at the table may work for some people but not for others. Some players are better suited to tournaments, others to ring games (cardrooms). Play your best game and play within the confines of your own comfort zone. In other words, know yourself, and do what you do well.
What you achieve in poker will be the product of your own play. Yes, luck is a factor in the game, at least in the short run. Over the long haul, it generally evens out. But until you acknowledge your own accountability for the results you achieve, you won’t be able to exercise enough control over your skills and abilities to ensure success.
Don’t just play poker — you have to think about it. Unless you’re consistent about doing your poker homework, you’ll simply find yourself marking time. You need to keep up with the current poker literature, and you need to think about the game. Think about it while you’re at the table and when you’re away from it. Analyze hands you’ve seen. Decide whether you would have played them differently — and if so, why? Learning about poker, like learning about most other things, is a recursive process. Think, analyze, and modify your game. Then, repeat as needed.
262 Part V: The Part of Tens
Hat/e a Plan
What is your goal as a poker player? Do you want to have fun and just break even? Do you want to be a top tournament player? Or do you want to be the best $15—$30 player around? How much are you willing to risk? You need a definite plan for your poker play. Without a plan to guide you, you’re likely to wind up as a pawn in someone else’s game!
If your goal is to play an average of 30 hours per week, then do it. If you plan to reread Poker For Dummies until you know it cold, then set a deadline for yourself and do that too. If you’ve lost all your poker money and need to rebuild your bankroll before venturing back into a casino, plan on how long it will take until you are back in action. Once you have a plan, go out and get the money you need to enable you to start playing again.
If your goal is to win the World Series of Poker next year but you’ve never played a big limit game in your life, don’t expect to achieve that simply by virtue of having read this book. Let’s get real here. While your authors are terrific teachers (who are now learning to walk on water) they haven’t quite mastered it yet.
Instead of indulging your fantasies, start with a challenging but reachable goal. Once you make it, you can set the next, more difficult, goal. Perhaps you want to set a goal of playing in one or two inexpensive tournaments per week, or playing in satellites that are usually part of the format surrounding major tournaments. If you don’t do well there, keep trying. But save your money. You’re probably not ready yet to invest big bucks in entry fees to major events.
You will succumb to all of your flaws as a poker player during the period you are struggling, growing, and reaching for a higher level of skill. Just because you’ve read all the books by all the experts, don’t deceive yourself into believing that you’re going to play as well as they do. Every top-notch player
Chapter 19: Ten Keys to Success
struggled to reach the level of success they’ve achieved. You’re going to have to do the same. Golf videos won’t turn you into Tiger Woods, chess monographs won’t turn you into Gary Kasparov, and Poker For Dummies will not turn you into Doyle Brunson. The best poker books will teach you how to talk the talk. You’ll have to walk the walk on your own!
Builtt on Small Accomplishments
If you’re not a winning player today but you study hard, put into practice what you read, and integrate these strategies into your own style of play, you’ll find yourself improving. You may not be able to make your living from the game, but at least you’ll no longer be a contributor. Keep doing what works for you, and you’ll find that success builds upon itself.
Don’t let small setbacks put you on tilt. You’ve already taught yourself to expect difficulties. If you play poorly, correct it next time. However, if you find yourself saying, “Just this once won’t hurt me,” you’re wrong. It can hurt you, and it will. You’ve got to focus on what produces accomplishments. Playing a weak hand or taking the worst of it on a hunch — or just for the fun of it — is nothing more than premeditated backsliding. Do it, and you have only yourself to blame.
You must sustain. The saying, “Ninety percent of success is just showing up” has a lot of truth to it. You need to keep playing, keep practicing, and keep building on small successes. Each time you reach one of your goals, savor the moment. Then quickly set another goal.
Try visualizing. Golfers visualize their putts dropping; baseball players visualize the bat connecting with the ball; basketball players visualize the hoop growing and the ball dropping through, hitting nothing but net. In your mind, watch yourself make the right plays at the poker table. When you’re able to visualize strategies in action, you’ll see your winnings accrue in the process. Keep showing up, play your best game, and keep moving forward. Remember that some of your opponents will be improving too. If you do not consistently move forward with your own game, you are probably moving backwards in relation to your opponents.