Poker Psychology: Superstitions, Rituals & Habits 

It’s strange how some of the most logical, rational people are prone to superstition. Even during my days as a pro chess player it was not so unusual, in a vast hall full of people engrossed in arguably the most testing game around in terms of there being no luck element, to see superstitious types. Lucky shirts are common (despite causing certain sartorial challenges), as are pre-game rituals and even placing (and moving) the pieces in a very specific manner, and without exception. A Dutch International Master, for example – also a fan of loud shirts, funnily enough – deliberately positions knights facing backwards which, from the opponent’s point of view, can be quite disconcerting… (more…)

Poker Psychology – We should be so lucky…

Most of us like to think of ourselves as being optimistic. Yet when it comes to luck we tend to be negative in that we feel good things seem to happen only to others, and that we appear to be going through life missing out.

Of course some people will have more than their fair share of good fortune, while others will be on the other end of the scale. However, luck is linked to a frame of mind in that if we have the right kind of attitude we are going to benefit on more than one level. (more…)

Poker Psychology – Know Yourself

Poker is no different to all sorts of other sports, games and activities that have in common a high level of personal effort and input. It’s not a team exercise. Lady Luck plays her role, of course, but that evens itself out over time and consequently renders luck’s contribution irrelevant.

Ultimately we’re left to our own devices and, this being the case, it’s imperative we understand ourselves as well as possible in order to get the most out of our abilities and skills and – equally important – address and reduce the detrimental impact of our weaknesses. (more…)