Deep Concentration is a Key to Success
Here at Juicy Stakes poker we admit that when people talk about poker a few subjects come up all the time. Pay attention to your position, to your opponent’s tendencies, and learn all you can about hand ranges and poker math. It all boils down to developing powerful concentration skills.
Isn’t Concentration Easy and Obvious?
A lot of people downplay the importance of learning how to concentrate. We feel that poker players will win more and enjoy the game more if they develop concentration skills.
Here are a few excellent tips that poker players hear all the time to the point that players ask: Can’t you give us something else to think about?
- Pay attention to what your opponents tend to do.
- Give deep consideration to your betting position.
- Try to imagine what hands your opponents might have to justify the best they are making.
- Play smart after the flop.
- Make sure everyone has a stake in seeing the flop.
These are all good aspects of poker to study well. But they get repeated over and over again. So, in this article we will talk about things you can do to concentrate more. After all, paying close attention to your opponents is an aspect of concentration. Delving deeply into hand ranges is also an aspect of concentration.
Poker Requires Great Analytical Skill
Playing smartly after the flop is a function of deep analysis. It requires remembering every bet and the subtle actions players took in making those bets. So, getting out of a hand is as much an aspect of good concentration as it is an aspect of analytical skill.
Health and Brain Exercises
It is an amazing fact that your overall health is a very big factor in your ability to concentrate. It is also true that you can exercise your brain in ways that improve your ability to concentrate.
The Power of Sleep
Some people thrive on little sleep. These people are in a very small minority. Most people need at least six good hours of sleep and seven or eight hours is even better. If you get up during the night to go to the bathroom, you need to add some time to your sleeping because the act of waking up and then falling back asleep takes away from good sleep.
It is easy to find information online on the salutary effects of good sleep. In poker, a tired mind or body will interfere with your ability to find the small kernels of truth in any hand that will lead you making the right decisions going forward. Sometimes these small kernels indicate a bluff and sometimes they indicate, in the famous words of Daniel Negreanu in a hand that is available on YouTube, “pocket sixes, pocket fours”.
People reading this who are in Eastern cultures will easily understand the synergy of mind and body. This synergy is at the heart of much of Eastern thought. People in the West have a harder time seeing this combination. The truth is that a sound body and a sound mind go together and good sleep is an essential quality of both.
Good sleep leads to better concentration.
The Power of Food
Fifty years ago or so, people started taking vitamins seriously. Multi-vitamins flooded the market and many kids grew up taking a vitamin tablet every morning. Maybe they worked. But it is also possible that we can get all or most of the vitamins and minerals we need from food.
The gist of this section is not to push any faddish eating system or diet. The idea here is that to maximize your ability to concentrate on poker, you need to do two things:
- Understand which foods upset your stomach and digestive system and try to avoid them, especially before you play poker.
- Avoid junk food as much as possible especially before playing poker.
There is a difference between the first set of foods and the second. We will not make a list of junk foods; you know what they are! But whereas some people can eat meat, cheese, or many other foods with no problem, there are many people who suffer some mild distress after eating a pepperoni pizza or a cheeseburger.
We will become better poker players owing to better concentration if we avoid as much as possible the foods that generally don’t agree with us and junk food in particular.
The Power of Exercise
Here is another case where Eastern people understand the value of exercise better than Western people do. In the East, many people exercise doing the slow motions of tai chi, yoga, and other methods of exercise. Zhan Zhuang makes little sense to Westerners but it is an important exercise of the internal organs and systems. In this system of exercise people stand still for as much as ten minutes. People experienced in Zhan Zhuang stand for much longer periods of time.
A 30 minute Zhan Zhuang routine is exhausting! One of the basic ideas in “standing like a tree” is to learn to concentrate without thinking. Did you say that’s hard to do? Yes, it is. But if you begin Zhan Zhuang slowly, about five minutes a day to start, you will soon see an improvement in you ability to concentrate in poker.
We also can improve our ability to concentrate by gaming. This includes all forms of gaming from Sudoku and all the derivatives of it to chess, checkers. GO, and many board games. Even the eternal game Monopoly can exercise your brain if you play it as a thinking person’s game rather than as a competition.
No one expects a poker player to suddenly turn up as the next Picasso! But learning to play a musical instrument requires great amounts of concentration. It also requires copious amounts of patience which is an essential element in concentration.
Even doing something we love can get boring and in poker, since we fold about 70% of our hands before the flop, the game can get quite boring. When we play music, we can transfer the patience we need to learn the instrument into our poker play.
Drawing, building models, making miniature rooms, baking and cooking, and walking in nature are all things that require patience. It is the patience involved in these activities that can lead to better concentration in poker.
Poker is The Classic Game
So many people love to play poker. a lot of people paly video poker because they have never learned how to analyze a possible bluff. There are aloo other reasons why so many poker lovers shy away from a competition with real opponents.
Many poker players play in low stakes games. This is fine! Low stakes poker also requires a lot of concentration but the risk is a lot less than if you play at a higher level of stakes.
Many poker lovers play with friends. These games are also usually low stakes games that require a lot less concentration. However, if you want to win more often than not, even if winning amounts to a few dollars here and there, you need to be able to concentrate.
Juicy Stakes Offers Great Poker
We hope this article has helped! Juicy Stakes offers poker in many variations and stakes so every player can find his or her niche here.
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