thinking man on poker

Professional Poker Players and Athletes. What Do They Have In Common ? 

I’m Focusing on the psychological aspects of poker while others focus on strategy ,hand analysis, and memorizing pre-flop push / fold charts.

I believe that…

There is no specific strategy to play a certain hand…”

The next time we get dealt the hand we study now  , we will  be at a different table with new table dynamics and game flow. Our opponents will  holding different starting hands so the preflop action will change. The community cards will be different affecting all post-flop play. I am aware of guidelines to playing starting hands. Overplaying AK ,middle pair, etc. . I am leaving that behind for a moment.

I believe decisions at a poker table come down to :

  • Position at the table
  • Starting hands
  • Opponents or villains involved in the pot and their position in relation to us
  • Preflop and postflop decisions and actions
  • Player(s) types or player models of villains at the time and their prior actions and history.
  • Smaller factors and considerations needed before making our decisions.

I have enough technical skills in playing poker. This is due  my years of experience in both cash sessions and tournament winnings. It is time for me to explore , learn , master, and teach the psychological aspects of poker.

I am researching in common mental traits ” Professional Poker Players and Athletes Share”.  What makes up their state of mind when playing the game.

Here is what I found :

  • Higher self-confidence and a belief they are going to win every game they play.
  • “Pressure perform at a higher level” –  Top players make prop bets or wagers on games they are competing in. Bet on a year’s result and profit. Wager on the number bracelets and championships they are going to win. They boast to the media and fans pronouncing certain success. They put their reputation on the line.
  • They have a burning desire, dedication, and a faith to win.
  • “Meditation and mindfulness”-Poker is a battle of the minds we fight against ourselves and others. Meditation calms and relaxes the mind while mindfulness helps focus us other critical information such as the hand we are in. These sharpen our intuition and focus us  when observing play when we are not involved in a hand.
  • “Mental Imagery and Creative Visualization” These  help harness the power of the sub-conscious to gain the  faith required to achieve our higher goals.
  • “Self-Hypnosis” – psyching  one into believing and to building self-confidence.
  • “Have a Team” – Successful individuals have a team of support because they know they are not masters of everything.  Successful people have a coach(es) or a mentor(s) who is there to check their performances and way of thinking. Coach(es) or mentor(s) are chose based on their specialty(is) to help them achieve specific goals.

How can someone replicate a professional athlete’s or poker players’ success? How do players get higher confidence, faith,  and mentality ? In my next post I will share some more of my ideas on this .I hope this article get you thinking about your mental game. I hope you are willing to follow me on my quest to master my own.


Please welcome Akoito to

We will be moving more strategy based topics to a few new sites in the near future . I just wanted to share some of his thoughts before he grew to impatient with me.


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Also published on Medium.

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