It happens to poker players all of the time in live casinos. After playing solid poker in a cash game for half of the night, the player has managed to grind out a respectable profit. After cashing out at the poker room, the player strides through the casino with his newfound money firmly in the pocket.
Hiding your feelings and playing your cards close to the vest are necessary to succeed at poker.
Living your life, hopefully, should be very different.
Expressing your true feelings and being honest and open with your friends and those in your life you love are the traits that make your life rich and worth living. I have made the conscious decision, at my ripe young age of 68, to step out of my poker mode and share from my heart my life, my hopes, my dreams and my ideas in this article. I do ask for an exception to this when you meet me at the poker table.
Psychologists and counselors have long researched and studies human motivations and behaviors. While much of what we do as human beings (and why we do it) is still only explained in loose theory and general concepts, we do see and understand definitive patterns in many psychological processes and outcomes. The understanding of these theories combines with experience to afford mental health professionals insights that many in the general public might not easily grasp. An example of this is when we see women who seem mired in abusive and harmful relationships.
Five hours crammed inside of a plane on a budget airline is never something to look forward to. Since I fly from the east coast to Las Vegas several times per year, this uncomfortable trip has become a familiar one. I usually spend the time before I board the airplane doing a bit of people-watching. I consider witnessing mildmannered grandmas slyly butting into the front of the "A" boarding pass line to be quality entertainment. After settling into the seat onboard, I immediately break out the latest poker book that I'm reading and a small notebook to log some key points.
At a recent book signing, a young woman came up to me and asked what she could do about her being stuck as a writer. She is a nurse and was writing about some of her experiences with various medical procedures. She was writing a book about the psychological conflicts and aftermath of abortions. I told her that such a book would appeal to both pro-life and pro-choice readers. About the writer's block problem, I encouraged her to keep writing. I told her to sit down and start writing even if she didn't have a thought to write about.
Players' attitudes towards money will affect their game. Whether they manage their money with their mind or their emotions will have drastic results. Emotions can make or break a good player's game. While playing too tight can make you a target, ignoring intuition can also limit your game. In the end, how you manage your money has its emotional component. Some are scared, others are stupid, while there are those who are silly and those who are smart with their money.
We were an hour an a half into the tournament. Thanks to the quick blind structure and the aggressiveness of the 60 starting players, we were already down to the final table. I'd been completely card dead for 20 minutes or more, but I'd found a way to steal enough of the blind money to stay afloat. I found myself in a position that I've been in way too many times before - facing the bubble. This particular Vegas casino paid out the top 6 of their daily No Limit HE tournaments, and the 8th place player was saying his goodbyes.
I've often wondered from where the name of Texas Hold 'Em came. How often have you played the odds and waited for decent cards to play and been beaten by a player who was playing garbage? It's not unusual for a pocket pair of Aces to get beaten with two small pairs. The frequency of this made me want to re-name the game to "Texas Flop 'Em." A lot of players in both low limit and high limit will play "no fold 'em hold 'em" just to see the flop. I know that when the antes and blinds are so large in tournaments, this attitude prevails.
Position usually refers to when a player acts (early or late). Acting after everyone else has its advantages. There's also the psychological position a player takes with others in the game. In this case, position is not so much when a player bets or calls, it's how players win or lose that will reveal their true life positions. Players in good times will have good attitudes and take a position with others that says, "You're OK and so am I."
TV reality games, like "Survivors," highlight manipulation, misdirection, forming false alliances, and tricking people-all to win a bunch of money. Well, it might seem like something new to the world of TV audiences; but, it's old stuff in the poker world. In fact, when a player gets friendly with you it's just a matter of time before that player sets a trap to get more of your chips. I'm not being a cynic. It's part of the game of poker.