The One Little Thing Holding You Back From Huge Poker Success

The One Little Thing Holding You Back From Poker Success
Did you know that there is probably just one little thing which is holding you back from having the success you have always dreamed of in poker?

After having coached 100+ students to success in poker in the past, I have seen this one mistake over and over again.

In fact, it is such a common mistake that I have literally seen people lose for years and years at poker because of it.

Alright, so enough already!

What is this one little poker mistake that so many people make?


Making the Right Play Every Single Time, Whether You Feel Like It or Not


The one little thing that is holding you back from the success that you always wanted in poker is simply the ability to make the correct play (every single time), whether you feel like it or not.

Let's face it guys. Winning at poker isn't exactly rocket science.

If you play 6max, then you should play roughly the top 20% of hands that are dealt to you, 15% if you play full ring. And you should play extra loose and aggressive in late position around the button.

Furthermore, you should come into the pot preflop for a raise or a re-raise the vast majority of the time and then follow up on the flop with more aggression most of the time.

You should barrel the turn and river on scare cards or equity cards but largely just give up if you are unimproved and you are playing against a loose calling station.

And most importantly at all, stop tilting and only play on tables that have at least one clear fish. This is all the stuff I have been talking about for 10 years on this blog, in my books and YouTube videos.

This is honestly pretty much the keys to the vault right here.

It is extremely simple stuff at the lower stakes in particular and that is why most experienced high stakes pros can literally smash these games in their sleep.

I even wrote a totally free little 50 page step by step guide explaining it all for you. So it impossible for anybody to even have an excuse anymore for not beating the micros.

Most of us already know all this stuff already though. It's pretty basic after all.

So why is it so hard to consistently put it all together in the heat of the moment when the pressure is on at the poker tables?

Why do so many people consistently veer from the game-plan, play bad hands, make bad calls, go on monkey tilt and so on?

Simple. It is because they let their emotions get involved in the game.


The Best Poker Players Feel No Emotions


The biggest problem that many break-even or losing poker players face is that they get way, way too wrapped up and emotional about their short term results.

Go have a look at any poker message board online or poker sub-reddit and you will see full grown men whining like little babies because their AA got cracked a few times in a row.

Heck, I wrote a post awhile back about if PokerStars is rigged or not and there are literally 100+ comments of some of the nastiest stuff you have ever seen written, mostly directed towards me.

These people are triggered beyond belief over a few bad beats in a $5 pot online! Here in fact is how I picture them raging when I nail my flush on the river against them.

The One Little Thing Holding You Back From Poker Success

It's highly profitable to play against these people. I have literally made a living against them for years. But it's hard to not feel a bit sad for them also.

Because no winning poker player would ever react like this. And this is because of one very clear difference in how they think about the game.

Winning poker players know that only long term results over a period of months or years mean anything in poker.

And this is why they are better able to detach themselves from short term results and therefore play emotionless poker.

I have talked about it many times on this blog before. And some people think it's totally crazy. But I regularly go weeks without even looking at my bankroll.

And this is because I know that it simply isn't important at all. My bankroll is always very large and I only play in games where I am a significant long term winner.

So what this allows me to do is forget about my short term results completely (ignorance is bliss) and simply focus on making the right (logically correct) play every single time.

I don't get my emotions involved in this game every time I take a bad beat because I simply don't care about it. In fact sometimes when multi-tabling online poker I don't even view the results of a hand.

Because why does it even matter?

If I got the money in good with a mathematical edge (which I often do), then I win. Period, end of story.

I might not win this specific hand right now but when I consistently get the money in with the better odds, then the math will sort it all out over the long run.

I don't need to be an emotional wreck like so many others at the poker table, married to the results of every individual hand.

Not only is that a very counter-productive way to approach the game of poker, but that also sounds downright miserable as well.

I want to enjoy myself all the time when I am playing poker. This is why we all first started playing this game in the first place right?


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Start De-Programming the Way You Think About Poker Right Now


And this is why it time for you to start de-programming the way you look at the game right now. This is if you finally want to start winning consistently.

Do you really?

Then you have to simply lose the notion that poker is "gambling" or that there is something on the line in each individual hand.

This is pure nonsense.

Poker is cold hard mathematics, odds and statistics played out over hundreds of thousands and millions of hands.

There is nothing more to it.

You don't win a prize because your AA just held up in your $10 tournament online. You also don't lose anything if they suck out and you get eliminated.

This is just one tiny and totally insignificant sample size in your poker career. In fact, run this same scenario 10 times, 100 times, 1000 times.

It still doesn't mean anything!

Assuming that you got the money in good with the best odds to win (as you should always try to in poker), then you will realize your equity over the course of months and years of playing tournaments like this.

If you are going to get angry every time your AA gets cracked in a routine spot where somebody usually has at least 20% equity against you, then you are literally going to make yourself sick.

You are also very unlikely to ever become a winning poker player. Because winning poker players understand that the only way to overcome the short term madness in poker is to stop caring entirely.

This is the only way you are going to finally stop wasting all your time telling people bad beat stories on the internet (which nobody cares about by the way), and start actually focusing on playing consistent winning poker.

And more importantly, actually start grinding!

It still makes my head spin how little most people actually play poker these days. I became a poker pro over 10 years ago because I have played over 10 million hands of poker.

In my early days all I did was eat, breathe and sleep this game. I didn't do anything else. And I certainly didn't have time to be complaining about every little bad beat I took either!

My AA has been cracked thousands and thousands of times. Does it really matter? Nope, I have made a lot of money playing this game.

If you want to finally start winning consistently at poker then you need to de-program yourself completely from short term variance (bad beats), and simply learn to embrace the grind.

Then you will learn to start laughing all the way to the bank over the long run, when it actually matters.


Final Thoughts


The one little thing that is probably holding you back from having the poker success you have always dreamed about is actually pretty simple.

It is the ability to make the right play every single time, even when you don't feel like it.

And this becomes remarkably easy when you learn to stop allowing your emotions to get so heavily involved in this game.

Because let's be real. While it is a good idea to learn some advanced poker strategies, most of us already know enough to at least crush the micro stakes.

This stuff isn't rocket science guys! Make good hands and bet them. Don't bluff fish and so on. You have heard it all a million times before.

I preach it every single week on this blog, in my YouTube poker videos and in my books.

The only thing that separates the long term winners from everybody else is the ability to consistently put these basic strategies into practice every single time, no matter how they feel.

And that is because they don't feel anything.

They aren't married to every little bad beat like most people are. They don't take it as some sort of deep personal insult when their AA gets cracked a few times in a row.

It's just a part of the long term mathematical game of poker. Continue to get the money in good over and over again and let the math sort it all out over the long term.

That's really all there is to it. Seriously. 

The end.

If you want to know the simple poker strategies I have used to consistently crush low stakes games as a 10+ year pro, make sure you grab a copy of my free poker cheat sheet.

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Let me know in the comments below what is the one thing that holds you back in poker. Do you struggle with making the right play every time?

The One Thing Holding You Back From Poker Success

20 comments:

  1. Well said, Nathan!

    I occasionally find myself in that spot as probably almost all players do. But I luckily learned the long term mindset from you and SplitSuit and it helped me a lot.
    And if I get a bad beat and notice I make a wrong call after that, I take a break from the tables to prevent emotions taking over too much.

    Buuuuut I think very very occasionally even you must bang your fist on the table with a very unlucky bad beat 😉

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    1. Glad I could help! And good point about taking frequent breaks. This is also something I highly suggest.

      But yes of course, we are all human. You will get frustrated sometimes. It's totally fine and normal. The key though is to not let that emotion influence your decisions at the poker table.

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  2. Thank you for the advise. That's exactly how I feel. I will make an effort to turn it around.
    Keep the good work.
    Best regards.

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    Replies
    1. Glad I could help Luis, let me know how it goes for you :)

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  3. This whole article lines up with what Mike Caro wrote many dog's ages ago: his Theory of Least Tilt. He who spends the least time on tilt wins. It's the A Number One advantage of bots: they don't tilt. I've seen many suspected bots, but none seemed particularly good. What can you expect for something that's advertised at $200 -- $300?

    80% also means you lose 20% -- one out of five plays. That's not all that unlikely. Repeats aren't all that rare either, not at 5 : 1. SUX, but if these fish didn't win one occasionally, they wouldn't play.

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    Replies
    1. I haven't read that theory of Mike Caro's but that is bang on and exactly what I have been saying for many years also. The best player is very often the one who tilts the least. The mental game is so under-rated it's crazy.

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  4. Thank you for this. Currently going through a 15 BI downswing over the course of 10k hands, which is very discouraging, especially after finally getting my WR in the black after 50k hands at the lowest limit. Good to read some motivation to take it all in stride!

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    Replies
    1. Totally feel you, man. Long downswings are so rough.

      It helped me to study more in those times and reduce playtime and lower the stakes by one or even two stages.

      Hang in there, the upswing will come back 🙂

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    2. Hey xdredd,

      Glad this one helped you. Hang in there, hope it turns around soon!

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  5. Awesome post man! So true about staying off tilt. This is the #1 thing I work on now.

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  6. having an abundant mindset is important. Obviously play more hands, date more girls, quit a job where it sucked (cause you believe they'll be more). Being outcome dependent just makes oneself miserable, it applies to everything in life.

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  7. Great article, I have to keep this in mind. My worst fault in my play is that after winning a big pot, I feel that should stop playing, because I've "used up my luck."

    When I first started playing online, I got strong hands in bunches after being card dead. I get that this is how math works, but I started to suspect that the Poker Gods were really a deliberate attempt by the website to stimulate play.

    But at live tournaments, I see the same thing and the house has no incentive to stimulate play.

    Just last night, I got AQ in a live tournament. I played it reasonably, flopped top pair and got two streets of value.

    Then I got AQ again.

    I know how math works and that it would be unusual if things like that did not happen. But I threw that hand away, thinking that I would lose to AK or some weak pocket pair.

    I went out in 8th place. If I had played that hand, I might have cashed.

    Never again, I say!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Seymour! :) The protecting your winnings is a real problem that I will write about one day. It is also a form of tilt in my opinion, winner's tilt.

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    2. The one adjustment, which does make sense, is to consider your table image. If I have just won some pots without showdown, this is not the time, I will pick, to run some kind of bluff. The reason is, someone might think, I am out of line, and select this exact hand to “fight back”.

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  8. Hi Nathan,

    just got a question concerning your poker forum.
    I bought your books a while ago and now also wanted to register for the forum. I signed up and got told that my email address will be verified.
    This was a couple of days ago and i haven´t gotten any message since.

    Do you maybe know where the problem might be?

    Keep up the good work, it´s always informative and motivating to read what you are writing!

    Greetings,

    Philipp

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    Replies
    1. Hey Philipp,

      As I mention on the forum signup page, there is no message that you will receive. I upgrade all forum requests within 24 hours. All you have to do is login and start using the forum :)

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    2. Thanks Nathan, i certainly did not see that! :D

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  9. Lets not forget to mention that while I wait to play A-10 on a three player table, and im outkicked I watch in horror as players other than myself call an all in, and a call of that all in with A-2, only to flop an ace, and triple up vs KK and QQ.

    Yes the weak ace theory that I have sure does seem to hold up here. Weak players play weak aces, my aces are always kicked (way too often to be believable) no matter how many are at the table. Why, because I play stronger aces. Simple.

    There are a TON of these nuances in online poker. Which ALL add up to greater profit for the poker room. End of story.

    ReplyDelete