Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Do You Have the Will to Win?

All of my good streaks and all of my bad streaks of every length and depth have had one thing in common. They did not exist in your mind. They only existed in my mind. And this is true for everyone's winning and losing streaks. None of them actually exist. They are all mental fabrications, like past and future. – Tommy Angelo

Despite actually blogging about the extraordinarily good June I have been enjoying, I did not jinx myself (so far) and managed to continue my winning ways over the weekend. I kept thinking about the quote above from Elements of Poker but I also knew I could exploit my current image to my advantage. You see, I am not the only one that has observed and made note of how well I have been doing this month. Most of the regulars at the homegame are also well aware of how good I have been running.
However, what they don’t know is that it hasn’t been about catching good cards. Sure, I have caught some big hands but no more than everyone else. However, by using SPR and other such notions, I have been able to win some huge pots with my big hands. I have also been mercilessly “adopting” as many orphaned pots as possible and making a few more than usual turn and/or river bluffs. But despite all of this, the primary thing I have tried to do differently is bring my A game every time we play. I come with the will to win. What I mean by that is making sure I am well rested and mentally focused. Making sure I have eaten before playing and taking a break to eat during the game if necessary. Not allowing distractions, interruptions, or other player’s actions to cause me to tilt for even a brief period. I know this probably sounds trivial but it works.
Tommy Angelo is the Stephen R. Covey of poker. Reading his book to improve my poker habits reminded me of reading Covey to improve my work habits. His advice is so solid and reasonable that one thinks, “yeah, that’s obvious” but although the concept may seem obvious and clearly make sense, most players aren’t doing what he is recommending. One must have the will to win. A few of the players in our group always seem to allow distractions external to the game to tilt them into losing their chips. A few others always seem to over consume and have such a good time that they also lose their chips. Others are just playing for sheer enjoyment and to spend an evening with the guys while losing their chips. Meanwhile, I am visiting with the other players, watching them closely, enjoying a cold one or six, and quietly amassing a large stack chips.


Memphis MOJO said...

I keep seeing good quotes from the Angelo book. Guess I need to get it.

Lucypher said...

I highly recommend it.

Tom said...

I read it. Nothing groundbreaking in there. In fact you could say a lot of it is common sense, but seeing it in print can make an impact since it's easy to sit down at your computer and 4-table on autopilot.

Lucypher said...

Tom, thanks for stopping by. The book is written in an understated manner and on the surface, it can appear to be nothing more than common sense. However, taking the advice seriously and implementing it into my game has yielded positive results for me.