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Beat Your Poker Ego and Start Winning More

3 minutes

Posted by: Ivan

Becoming a winning poker player involves endless hours of practice and devoted learning. But, apart from honing your poker skills, you also need to work on the mental aspects of the game.

If you ask any professional poker player, they’ll tell you that there’s no place for your ego in poker.

Your ego can only have a negative impact on your game and prevent you from playing at your best.

So, if your goal is to win more in poker, here are the best tips for beating your ego and reaching your full potential.

1. There’s No Room for Personal Wars

Sure, it’s nice to beat a poker rival or finally take a big pot from a player that’s been beating you all night.

While you can use this as motivation, you shouldn’t let it cloud your decision-making.

For example, if a player has beaten you time and time again, perhaps you should focus on taking money from other players and not put your attention into forcing wins against the opponent that has your number.

Putting too much attention into winning a personal war will make you lose focus of other things happening at the table. You’ll only get more frustrated as other players start targeting you.

2. Don’t Play to Impress

Some poker players, mainly inexperienced ones, make moves guided by their desire to impress other players at the felt table.

They look for big moves, bluffs, and showdowns that would present them as great poker players.

This is a flawed motivation propelled by ego and doesn’t make any sense when you’re trying to win more.

Keeping your poker ego in check

The best poker players don’t really pay any thought to what their opponents think of them. Consequently, they would never behave like that just to impress someone.

If anything, poker pros focus on playing the best they can and winning as much as possible. If this leads to a special move that makes them look good, it’s a nice but unnecessary bonus.

3. Be Willing To Go Down Stakes

If you’re in it for the long run, you ideally want to see your poker game progress steadily as time goes by.

But, setbacks are a normal part of the process. You should accept them and try to learn from them.

Unfortunately, many poker players let their egos get in the way of their success. Guided by their ego, they overestimate their poker abilities and play limits they can’t afford or bet against players they can’t beat.

This is why moving down stakes is often a necessary part of moving up. Sites like Michigan PokerStars offer a great range of stakes, giving you a lot of flexibility in this process.

You shouldn’t think that you’re a failing poker player or that you’re on a bad track just because you have to move down.

In most cases, setting your ego aside and moving down stakes will instill the necessary confidence and help you build up your bankroll.

That way, you’ll be prepared when the time comes to move up the stakes and face more serious challenges.

4. Keep Your Emotions in Check

When our ego directs us, we often make irrational and emotional decisions following unfavorable or unexpected situations.

These are often very visible reactions some poker players consider weaknesses that could be exploited.

This is why you should stay true to the well-known expression and maintain a stone-cold poker face.

Try to put your ego and emotions out of the equation and make every decision with a level head.

5. Know When to Quit

Lastly, we all agree that losing in poker is something no one likes to experience. Plus, focusing on this in the context of ego, walking away from a table with a minus in your bankroll can undoubtedly be an unpleasant hit to your pride.

At the very least, players like to break even at the end of the session so as not to feel like they wasted their night.

However, this puts unnecessary pressure on you and will ultimately make you dislike playing poker.

removing ego from poker

Instead, you should always remember that poker is a long-term game. There will always be short-term ups and downs.

And, when you’re experiencing a lousy session, know when to set your ego aside, stop chasing wins, and cut your losses. You’ll save your money for the next night and the next opportunity.

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