The most successful poker players are those that never lose touch with the game at hand. A player who gets distracted could miss out on a lot of information about their opponents, as well as forgetting to keep a conservative hold on their own chip stack.
There are plenty of ways a poker player can get distracted, especially in a live poker room. A lot of noise coming from a nearby table, or the bar in the next room, could be enough to draw your attention away from the table. Eyeing up the waitress instead of the player across from you might get you a wink, but it won’t tell you that your opponent is holding the nuts against your second-best flush.
Even online poker games can carry distractions. Watching television while playing poker on your computer detracts completely from your ability to make reads on your opponents, assessing behavioural patterns for later in the game.
By keeping your eyes on your opponents, you can pick up a lot of vital information. In a live poker game, your focus should be on mental evaluations of each player. In online poker, make use of the note-taking tools to keep track of everyone else at the table. Within 30 minutes, you should be able to label each play as tight or loose, aggressive or passive. You should know who the calling stations are, who the maniacs are, who is playing only the best starting hands.
Multi-tabling is considered one of the best ways to boost your online poker bankroll, but even multi-tabling can be a distraction if you’re not practised enough to make the proper adjustments. Basically, if you play well at single tables, but find yourself faltering during multi-table sessions, perhaps they are creating too much of a distraction.
Poker table distractions won’t just affect your profit margin. They could be disastrous to your chip stack as well. Too often a player will become distracted enough that he or she doesn’t even realize he’s calling too much.
A good poker player knows the difference between a workable starting hand and one that should simply be folded out of the gate. But even a good poker player will sometimes move on with what would normally be a bad hand. It’s not always a bad decision – heck, Doyle Brunson is famous for it. But doing so too often can be quite costly. Before you know it, you will be looking up and wondering where all of your chips went!
One convincing way to put it is this: Have you ever scoured an online poker site for “fish”? You know, those incredibly loose, careless poker players who do wonders for your bankroll? Let yourself become distracted from your own chip stack and you’ll be the fish everyone else is hunting for!
Patience and discipline are the most common terms used to describe the emotional state of a successful poker player, but if you don’t toss in the ability to stay focused, your game will not have the consistency be categorized as a winning poker player. Pay attention, keep your eyes open and don’t let yourself become distracted at the poker table.