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Tournaments are more dynamic than cash games. They force you into a lot of situations you’d never encounter otherwise, so to play them successfully, you need to be flexible. There’s no denying that luck plays a huge role in poker tournaments, but if you can grasp a few key concepts, you won’t be as reliant on the fickle affections of chance.

The 3 Key Ingredients to Winning NLH Poker Tournaments

The greatest thing I ever saw in my life was a boxing match. I was in San Diego, California. I was 12. This was the year 2000. My father had me down there to work on a commercial fishing vessel of his. It was getting redone at the time. It wouldn’t be back on the water for months. I spent the days cleaning up debris from construction, as my father taught me about hard work. To reward me, he’d take me to see different sights at night. My favorite memory from that time was a boxing match my father took me to.

Did you know that suffering from anxiety issues can also affect your attention span? Researchers have recently determined that there is a correlation between these two issues.

In fact, if you have anxiety, then you’re more likely to have coexisting attention disorders. Researchers now believe there is an underlying brain connection that could explain this relationship. In fact, preliminary studies of adolescents reveal that they’re more likely to have both issues together.

How to Treat Poker Like a Profession

Let’s discuss a topic I feel many “professionals” need help with, which is how to treat poker like a profession. One of my favorite quotes that comes up at the beginning of Elliot Roe’s Mental Game podcast is, “If you treat it like an amateur, you should expect amateur results.” This is one of the most applicable quotes to poker that I’ve heard in a long time regarding how many players treat their poker games. They don’t study, they are on their phone the entire session, and they fail to keep accurate records, among many other things. Let’s discuss a few key things that if you are an amateur will help you be more professional while playing, or if you are already a professional, hopefully will help you recognize areas you can improve in professionalism.

Habits are so powerful that it’s not an exaggeration to say that they are the key to success. Your habits determine everything from how much money ends up in your bank account to the size of your waistline. Your habits have the power to determine the quality of your life.

Many people find that breaking bad habits and creating new, more positive ones is a near impossible task. That’s because most people use ineffective habit building strategies. The most common ineffective approach: trying to go cold turkey while relying on willpower to force the necessary changes.

Willpower doesn’t work unless you’re incredibly motivated, and motivation isn’t very reliable. It’s here one moment and gone the next. So, what should you do instead?

You can create new habits more effectively if you avoid the most common mistakes:

Creating a solid environment to play poker is just one of the many edges that can help you win - and win consistently. Your environment is integral to your results, but it’s often overlooked - even by some of the most talented players out there. No matter how good you are at the game, if you don’t feel good when you play, you’re bound to make some poor calls out of frustration. It’s like trying to run with a pebble in your shoe. Sure, you can do it for a few blocks, maybe even a couple miles, but if you’re in it for the long haul, that pebble is going to be all you can think about and it’s going to affect the quality of your run.

Here’s what you need to consider when building your ultimate space:

Making the transition from a fledging player to a regularly winning champ isn’t always seamless. A lot of people are drawn to poker by what seems like easy money. The truth is it takes a lot of hard work and time to make winning a consistent occurrence. And the truth is there is no specific timeline that will determine when you make the transition, but here are a few tips that will help you along the way…

There are a few reasons you might be avoiding virtual poker rooms. Maybe you’ve just realized your most meaningful relationship is with a DNS server in Bermuda. Maybe the influx of screen time is making you depressed and lethargic. Maybe you aren’t legally allowed to play online poker for money where you live.

Regardless, there’s no need to let your game atrophy just because you don’t want to or can’t play online. In fact, you may actually get better without online poker, since you’ll be forced out of your comfort zone and have to work on some other key elements of the game.

Here’s what I’m talking about.


Live tells are an interesting topic that is often ignored or misapplied when playing live poker. Some put way too much emphasis into them, while others don’t pay enough attention and miss out on valuable information. For me, live tells are a way to help in a close spot where two different options are both acceptable. I always lean on my fundamentals in poker to make my decisions, but I do allow live tells to help me in close spots in choosing between two options.


Let’s talk about the decision-making process in poker. In every sport, the athlete has their technical fundamentals that they rely on during high pressure moments. In golf, it is the player’s swing. In basketball, a player’s jump shot. In swimming, it is their stroke. These technical aspects of a player’s game are constantly worked on and ingrained in their body, so they can perform under pressure. As a prime example, a golfer knows their swing so well, that they don’t even have to think about it. Their body automatically performs the swing, due to the repetition that has occurred.

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