For more tips on what it takes to become a winning poker player, check out the detailed article on my website. Just Google “7 Common Traits Of Successful Poker Players” or type in automaticpoker.com/traits.
One of the things that makes poker so interesting is that many different approaches to playing the game can work. Over the years, a wide variety of playing styles, tight players, loose players, and everyone in between, have been able to find great success in the game. However, while playing styles and general philosophies can vary widely from player to player, to obtain long term-consistency, there are a few traits that are common to every successful winning player.
In this video, I will cover 3 of the qualities and characteristics that are universal among anyone who wins money at poker over the long term.
#1. Winning poker players are always a favorite in the games that they play.
We all know that poker profit comes from the collective mistakes that our opponents make in relation to us. This reciprocality should be the entire reason we play this game. If we aren’t better than at least a few of the players at our table, then there is no reason we should be sitting there in the first place.
Our number one goal in poker, above all else, should be to win money. Otherwise, we might as well choose any number of casino games or other games of chance. You’d stand a much better chance of winning money at Blackjack than you will in playing poker against players better than you.
The truth is, all winning poker players understand this truth in an intimate way. In fact, the end game of poker is less about the strategy and tactics of the actual hands that you play and more about seeking out weaker competition to play against. This is a cold hard fact and is at the core of finding long-term success.
Now I’m not saying that you don’t need to work hard on your game. You do need to actively spend time learning about all of the commonalities of losing poker playing styles and have a repertoire of adjustments to make against those specific traits. Then, once you are able to spot those player types, you will be able to practice more efficient game selection by sitting in the correct seat in relation to them. For example, if you see a maniac seated at a table, you choose a seat directly to his left, if possible. On the other hand, if that same player was a huge nit, you’d sit to his right and steal until relentlessly.
In other words, we create our profit before we even play a hand at the poker table. It all comes down to information, and there is always some edge to be gained if you know where to look. And if that edge doesn’t appear substantial enough, we either don’t sit down or we leave as soon as we figure that out. That is what game selection is all about.
2. Have balance in their life
Even if poker is your main source of income, it should seldom become an obsession that rules over all other aspects of your life. The secret, if you can call it that, to longevity in poker is in having the perspective that it is just a means to an end. In other words, you play poker for a living, not live to play poker.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with being passionate about the game, in fact, it’s one of the keys to success. It’s just important not to set unrealistic expectations for yourself when it comes to your potential level of success. In fact, measuring the entirety of your self-worth around poker or any one thing in your life is a sure road to frustration. There will be bad times and good times, and it’s vital to have other aspects of your life that bring you joy and fulfillment during periods of negative variance.
It could be your family, a separate career, business, or a hobby. The actual who or what is unimportant, what matters is finding a harmony and balance. Think of any really successful person and you will almost always find that they are successful at more than one thing in their life.
So, if you struggle with balance, I recommend scheduling activities into your day that are non-poker related. If you are into sports, go do that at least 3 days a week for 1 hour at the time. If you have a wife and kids, schedule a few family activities a week, a game night or whatever. It doesn’t really matter what you choose, as long as it brings you happiness that is not derived from poker.
3. Are studious
Every year it gets harder and harder to win money at poker. Therefore, if you want to remain relevant, you have to constantly improve. So, as a part of your daily routine, you should invest time into analyzing your game, pouring through stats, and thinking about better ways to beat your opponents. Be honest with yourself and make sure you invest a portion of your bankroll toward coaching. It’s often really helpful to get a second set of eyes on your game since sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Additionally, it’s no secret that the better you are, the less awful your downswings will be.