Monday, June 2, 2008

Game Selection, Part 3 – Emancipation

“In actual combat, the mind must be calm and not at all disturbed. We must feel as if nothing critical is happening. Nothing betrays the fact that we are now engaged in battle.” - Masahari Adachi

OK. We have identified a game or some games we can beat. We have examined our motives for playing and decided we single mindedly want to win. Now what?

To be a consistently winning poker player and optimize our game selection capabilities, we must learn something more - detachment.

When you decide to play poker, proactively choose to play poker and nothing else. Remember, we are talking about game selection. Select (from all your other options) to play your best game, your “A” game, now.

FREE YOUR MIND. Unfetter it from the concerns of daily life, of work, of relationships, of anything beyond playing poker. Enable your mind to make the best poker decisions you are capable of.

Free your self from distractions, do not succumb to the temptation to think of other things. No matter if the other things are important, you may always return to them after your poker session is done.

Free your self from playing for your ego. It is one’s ego that seduces one into feelings of superiority, playing in games above one’s bankroll, and what Mike Caro calls Fancy Play Syndrome.

Free your self from unnecessary expectations. Unnecessary expectations lead to unnecessary disappointments. Just play your best game and remain alert.

Obtaining this degree of mental clarity and focus is not easy but each time one does so, it becomes easier the next time. As one becomes more adept at obtaining this state of detachment, one will recognize just how much more information at a poker table is available to a receptive mind that is not distracted. And that, my friends, is +EV.

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