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Why Others Are so Distracted

Everyone asks why so many online poker players focus inefficiently on their short term fluctuations. I think I can provide a better reasonable answer. The extent where player is likely to support to short term swings and form the wrong conclusion appears to be greatly a function of four factors. (Of course, there are many other factors, but the following four are very important.)

•  The wrong goal .

The first factor relates to the basic goal a player makes before sitting at any game. As strange as it may sound, most players are too focused on winning. It is efficient to make correct play your goal and let winning take care of itself. Some players quite appreciate this. Some are drawn wrongly to be concerned with their short term results. When they win they feel relaxed and think they are doing very well and when they lose they waste time blaming their bad beats as if they lost due to their bad luck. I cannot overemphasize on these counterproductive responses are.

The main focal point on the wrong goal is always involved in reaching the wrong conclusions about one's skill level that I have mentioned. If you are serious kind of player you should learn more enough of poker theory to determine how well you are playing by evaluating your play itself rather than concerning yourself with your current fluctuations. This conclusion, along with the hourly rate (over adequate hours to be precise) will put you in a position to evaluate how you are playing.

Distress with the wrong goal is normal in poker. You sit down to play a game; in games where you want to win. Yet in poker, as in other forms of poker, over-distress with winning rather than just trying to play well, can have a great impact on the final results.

There are of course many winning players who maintain this focal point which I am saying is wrong. Many winning players would say that they have never even accepted the possibility of goal other than just winning. I think that lot of players who win the most in the long period unthinkingly adopt the correct focus most of the time. Obviously they want to win but to some degree they put that out of their minds and most of the time focus on their play.

•  Lack of knowledge .

Just knowing the right focus is not all in poker. A player should be able to do something productive with the information he deals with. When he cannot, it is because of the second factor: The lack of adequate knowledge of poker theory. Without this basic knowledge a player's focus goes irrelevant to what he sees most precisely, his fluctuations.

•  Lack of probability knowledge .

One another significant factor is to be mention separately along with the second above factor. This factor is the knowledge of probability as it relates to the gambling theory in general, and poker in particular. If a player does not have the exact appreciation for the random nature of the fluctuations experienced in poker, he will start wrongly to credit meaning to them. He will say, "I've won so much recently so I must be the best player around." This is not unlike the player who decides that it means something that he ahs often won when he sits in a particular seat or wears a particular kind of shirt. The player's results, though distributed indiscriminately, have, for some time, fallen within what looks to him like a nonrandom style which he can see in vision. He thinks it of great significance. He cannot appreciate that within an indiscriminate distribution, styles of all kinds will finally appear.

•  Difficulties with self-esteem .

Problems with self-esteem may lead a player to form several self-deceptions. It is not my object to refer miscellaneous topics of self-esteem, a subject which the interested reader can look worldwide in the psychological literature. I think I should share some simple observations which should be of interest to players who are affected enormously by their monetary swings.

To consider a rough correlation, I would say that to the extent that one has a problem with self-esteem, one's behavior will expose that problem, either in demonstrating the need to protect self-esteem, or in betraying its weakness. What it truly means for a poker player is that any problem he has with self-esteem may encourage his actions, thoughts, or feelings during (or about) his play. This can lead us to various areas of the game. In respect to the wrong thinking I have stated here, note that a player who has had a winning streak may curb the opportunity to conclude that he is a best player.

However, a good player who has been losing much may respond to self seriously that he concludes that he actually can't play. A player may have same reactions to monetary swings within one session. For example, the strength of the depressing effect of a downswings, mentioned above, looks like closely connected to difficulties of self-esteem.

In many cases, this emotional factor may actually be the cause of the first factor, mentioned above. A player may be too closely focused on winning because he needs to win to support his self-esteem. Ironically, his need o win will tremendously affect his play, forcing him to lose.

If you have any little problem in this regard, you may be able deliberately to guide yourself to change your mind about poker your short term results from your self-esteem, thus keeping the latter from affecting your decisions. The reason for doing this is to equate your self-esteem to the quality of your play rather than your results. You deliberately try to feel comfortable about good decisions during the play rather than monetary outcome. Preferably (and conceivably this may be just an ideal for many players) you should be able to feel good about yourself after the session in which you lost badly, because you know you played constantly well that session. Skylansky has discussed the same idea in his essay, "Will Power" in Poker, Gaming & Life. If you have crucial problem with self-esteem, however, you may need to take more serious solution to confront it.

Once you are able to get beyond insignificant concern with normal fluctuations, when anybody questions you, "How are you doing?" you will be authentically able to answer, "Who cares?" You know the way to ask the right question is, "How are you playing?"

Continue Here: Tilt-1 The Poker Play Over Time