I share my plans for “The Mental Game Month of May” and some of the strategy goodies coming this month. We're talking anger, fear, focus and more.
Bookmark this page because it's your #1 source for mental game content. Everything I create this month can be found below, as well as links to some useful items from the past.
In case you missed episode 233, I reviewed Poker Satellite Strategy by Dara O'Kearney and Barry Carter.
What is the mental game?
The mental game is all of the mind-related issues that we face as poker players. Things like fear, focus, preparation, learning strategies, self-discipline, playing in A-game mindset among many others.
For poker players, everything is mental. But, this is the aspect of poker we probably work on the least. I think the mental game is often ignored because people don't want to face negative issues relating to the mind.
It might also be because it seems elusive, not as easy to grasp like 3bet strategies or check-raise bluffing turns.
That's why I have chosen this to be the theme for May. My goal is to help you improve your mental game this month and enhance your performance both on and off the felt.
This theme was inspired by a questionnaire I stumbled upon while Googling things related to the mental game.
I landed on an article called “10 Ways to Improve Your Mental Game”, written by Patrick Cohn.
At the top of the article he gives 10 ways to improve your mental game (check 'em out, you will find them useful).
A Great Assessment
Midway down the page there’s a little section where he gives us 3 steps to improve our mental game. Step 1 says “Download the one-page mental game test to assess your strengths and weaknesses.”
The assessment contains 33 statements, and you check off all that apply to you.
This process will clue you in to the mental game areas that you need to work on. Going through this list I found that just about every statement is applicable to me in some way, but I checked off 17/33.
This was an eye-opening exercise for me. Not in the way that I finally learned some issues that I have, but more in the way that now that I have a concrete list of mental game issues I can now tackle one at a time.
“You become frustrated easily because you expect to perform great or win all the time.”
Yep, that's me to a “T”. I will begin working on this starting with my very next play session.
Download the assessment for yourself and check off all the statements that apply, then start working on them one at a time.
May's Podcast Episodes
Poker Downswing, Boredom and Improved Focus | Q&A #235 – I give 3 actions to 3 questions revolving around going through a poker downswing, handling boredom on the felt and improving in-game focus.
Bankroll Rules and Warm-ups #236 – I discuss the importance of following bankroll rules and doing simple warm-ups prior to your play sessions. Set yourself up for poker session success!
Adding Tables and Kicking Ass #237 – I help you add tables to your online play sessions and have a kick-ass attitude on-the-felt.
Your Poker Nemesis and Revenge Tilt #238 – I discuss how to handle your poker nemesis who can “read your soul” and ways to avoid revenge tilt.
Initially, it was going to revolve around some form or poker fear. But, I nixed that idea in favor of helping your plug 7 poker leaks:
1. Small 3bets
2. Double-barrel Madness
3. Poor 2bet Calling
4. Playing Too Loose
5. RFI-Call 3bets Poorly
6. Unprofitable BB Calls
7. Tourney – Limping at 10-15bb's
Mental Game-related Items From the Past
Next month's theme: The Month of Profits
Check out last month's theme: The Month of Poker Books.
Support the Show
The Smart HUD Webinar (10% off) was packed to the gills with HUD goodness. You'll learn all you've ever wanted to know about utilizing your HUD to understand the player you're up against and to make exploitative plays. A big applause for these wonderful poker peeps for purchasing: Alexander Kirwald, John Tahos, David Ridge, Richard King, Takashi, Oliver, Don Lee, Varian Lee, Johan Cedarlund, Ben File, Justin Robbz, Michael Kansier, Robbie Franks, Luigi Cappel, John Collins, Mark Remnant, Jerry, Chris Lugiano, Bud Kincaid, Colin Kelly, Antonio Altamirano, Luis Fernando, Lowry and Murray Alexander.
In episode #235, I'll answer questions about handling poker downswings, boredom and other mental game issues.
Until next time, study smart, play much and make your next session the best one yet.