The art of poker is challenging to master. Those who take their place as champions in the upper echelons of poker society have done so after years of diligent study and practice. Poker is a game of skill, which means if you want to compete with the big guns, you’re going to have to put the work in. Of course, Lady Luck may sprinkle a little gold dust over your poker playing aspirations, but luck will only get you so far. If you don’t know when to fold and when to walk away, you’ll find yourself outplayed quicker than you can say NeverfoldQ5.
In a recent interview, NeverfoldQ5 gave some insight into the life of a professional poker player as well as a few tips that will go a long way towards improving any aspiring poker player’s game. The first question put to NeverfoldQ5 was regarding how he keeps his cool during a long and high-stakes poker tournament. The ability to stay calm under pressure is essential for a poker player in any situation, whether it be at a big tournament or at a friendly local game. NeverfoldQ5’s method for staying calm is to forget about the money in the pot. This helps him to stay focused on the cards in his hands and put his emotions to one side. We think this is a fantastic way to approach any game because it will also allow you to enjoy the gameplay without being obsessed with the outcome and this leads to better decision making regarding each hand.
Controlling your emotions and learning how to breathe properly is a sure-fire way to stay calm. Money, especially a huge amount of money, can cause even the most stoic of players to tremble, so if you can block it out of your mind, you’re more likely to stay poised and in control. We would add that playing poker while inebriated or when overly-tired will make it one hundred times harder to remain calm and focused – if you’ve had a few drinks or you’ve been up all night, step away from the poker table.
Practice Makes Perfect
NeverfoldQ5 also talks about the daily routine of a professional poker player. Discipline is a major component here. If you’re going to take this game seriously and make it your full-time occupation, you’re going to have to set yourself daily targets and goals and stick to them. We can’t stress enough how important it is to practice in between tournaments. NeverfoldQ5 recommends setting yourself working hours just as you would if you were employed. Of course, the best time of the day to work is up to you – are you a night owl or a lark?
When asked if anyone can become a professional poker player, NeverfoldQ5 was of the opinion that it takes a combination of will and skill. As with any profession, if you’ve got a natural affinity to the game, then with practice you could go a long way. A truly great poker player will have a way with numbers and a good eye for reading people. And having a poker face is a real thing, and again, being able to cultivate that poker face comes down to being able to stay calm. Hitting the gym, going for a run or joining a yoga class before a big game will definitely help you to stay focused and in the long run, a solid exercise routine will give you the stamina to see a tournament through to the end. For more essential poker tips, read the whole interview with NeverfoldQ5 here.