How money is made in poker is interesting to look at. Because in practically all cases, the payoffs in poker are irregular. And this is often challenging to deal with, especially, if you’re new to poker and have yet to taste success. Not to mention, if you’re going through a dry period or a downswing. How does the mind really deal with being in poker?
Watch, listen or read below:
The Losing Stress Podcast Ep 49 – The Irregular Payoffs in Poker
In this episode, we are going to cover an important topic related to our minds and the experiences that we go through in poker: the payoffs in poker and tasting success in poker.
It’s best if we start with tasting success in poker because it’s a highly relevant topic if you’re just getting started out in poker. And can be covered quite quickly.
Why You Start Playing Poker
If you’re relatively new to poker, you enjoy it and it’s a hobby at the moment, then you may have this desire to become a poker professional.
Or at least make a significant amount of money through poker.
And so if you’re a poker hobbyist, it’s worth noting how you actually became a hobbyist in poker in the first place.
If you were to look at this quite clearly, you’d find that what initially drove your interest in poker is typically poker entertainment.
So poker, TV shows, poker live streams and also poker YouTube channels.
And what you see on poker entertainment is the reality of professionals making money at this game. And then from seeing this stimulus, this is what drives you to actually go ahead and play poker.
The Beginning Stages of Playing Poker
For many of us, we don’t win or run well when we start to play poker.
So we come across is the evidence that actually poker isn’t as easy as it seems on TV shows and what all the professionals make it look like it to be.
Most of us have the experience of initially losing in poker.
And because this doesn’t match up to the image that we would like, what we see on poker entertainment and other peoples’ results and other people’s poker graphs, there is some form of struggle and confusion in our minds.
And what we mean by this specifically is that there is this confusion and this question that runs in the mind about whether it’s actually possible to make it in poker?
Making It in Poker
You can see that other people are doing it and it’s working for them.
However, it’s not working for me.
When you haven’t tasted any success in poker, so you haven’t:
- won a big tournament;
- had a big score in a cash game;
- had a decent winning period playing cash
then making money at poker is something that falls outside of your reality.
Whereas if you have been playing poker professionally for a few years then the reality of making money at poker is already there, in your memory.
And so this question doesn’t pop up.
You may, perhaps, question your ability after a big losing day or you have a bad series or you have a downswing.
But that starts to tread into territory we have explored previously on the podcast.
But let’s get back to the main point, which is that unless you’ve tasted success in poker, then there is this uncertainty in the mind about making it in poker.
How Your Mind Deals With Poker Results
And what this leads to is a fixation on your results.
Effectively, the next session has to go well. The next tournament has to go well. So that the mind has the evidence that the possibility to actually win at poker is real.
And so if you are at this stage with poker it’s incredibly vital to be aware of this tendency of the mind. Because it can lead you to do things irrationally. As well as get caught up in various psychological issues.
And if you are new to poker, it’s really worth taking a look at the last podcast, getting better at poker. Because that has the potential if you really listen to it to help you immensely.
What we are going to look at now is the payoffs in poker. And how they don’t match up to what the mind thinks about payoffs in poker.
The Payoffs in Poker Are Irregular
Whereas our minds tend to rationalise our past results. And try to form a story or some kind of regularity to the payoffs and the results in poker.
And there are many different examples of this in the experience of being in poker.
For example, suppose there’s a regular poker stop that you go to regularly, so an EPT or a WPT or a WSOP stop. And suppose for the past two or three years you’ve gone and won each time.
Then in your mind, there can be this false belief that when you go again you’ll win again.
And quite clearly this is false. However, in reality, it does occur and this causes many psychological issues that we’re often unconscious of.
Issues such as:
- becoming frustrated with poker or;
- not coming to terms with reality;
- not wanting to play poker;
- disengaging from people and your relationships.
How Your Mind Deals With Poker Results
If you look at this very simply these issues arise because of the fact that we’re not fully aware of what’s really going on in our minds.
But if you’re in poker and have the realisation that your mind often becomes caught in a delusion. And that this, in fact, causes several issues; several issues that if we were perfectly honest, cannot simply be ignored then the precise realisation of this something really quite special.
And the evidence of the power of this precise realisation comes through the direct experience of the realisation.
In effect, there is no separation between the result and the realisation. Which is something incredibly practical if you actually apply it fully.
What we’ve covered here so it’s clear is how our minds often work against being successful in poker. And also being happy in poker. Whether you’re at the early stages of poker or have been involved in poker for some time.