Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013

Desensitise Yourself to Money

Remember back in the day when you played fun money or micro limits (my apologies if you still do!). You just didn’t have a care in the world whether you won or lost since it was only a few dollars? Then as soon as you put any significant amount of money at the table, the heart starts to pound and the palms become sweaty. We are human after all (well the non-bots) and to lose hurts because it hurts the wallet and bruises the ego.

How can you avoid that frustrating feeling of losing money? Merely change the way you think!

Money is merely a tool

As soon as the money has left your bank account and is in your poker account it seizes to be money as we see it every day. What are left are merely tools of a trade.

These tools:

  • Harvest information by betting and raising;
  • Perform magic tricks by deceiving your opponents;
  • Create circumstances where by using one’s intellect alone is able to  outthink another.

Negative Thinking

Everytime you lose a pot or finish a session and think, “I could have bought an Ipad with that, you are a slave to your emotions and sensitive to money won or money lost.” In the long run, this is neither desirable nor profitable.

Remember, making the correct decision is making the choice that will earn you the most money in the long run. If you focus on not losing money, it is very difficult to focus on making correct decisions.

Two factors tend to contribute to how scared you are of losing money:

  1. Bankroll: Do you have sufficient bankroll to absorb variance? Money is your ammunition. It is a tool to fight your battles and conquer your opponents. If you run out of ammunition, you need to reload. If you run out of reserves then you will have lost the battle.
  2. Attitude to money: Do you tend to be risk-averse ? If so, you may have a problem as good poker players need to embrace some risk. Two alternatives are quitting the game altogether or playing with such a large bankroll and at such a small limit that even if you do end up losing a considerable amount of buy ins, it won’t affect your bankroll too much.