How to be a Confident Poker Player


Confidence is a state of mind that isn’t easily attained and when you play poker, confidence matters. You might think being confident (or not) is fairly trivial and it’s all about luck and skill but it can help carry you to the end or it can cause you to crash out early. There are two types of confidence in poker and whilst both have their benefits in certain situations, there is a clear winner between the two.

Blind Confidence

Some critics argue that confidence has no relevance to poker but they are the same people who say that someone who is over confident in a game that is being operated above their ability will quickly lose their bankroll. This is because the level of confidence they have isn’t based on any tangible apart from what’s happening in their own head. The main sources of blind confidence are ignorance and results.

The likeliest offender of ignorance is a fairly successful person with a substantial financial backing. They feel as though they have succeeded in most other areas of their life and that this “poker thing should be a piece of cake”.

Moving over to the results side, this would usually be somebody who believes they are on a hot streak, they’ve managed to string together a few good hands purely by chance and are on the up. They think it must be destiny and of course, since they’ve won a few games or hands, they just must be destined to win again. Short-term results aren’t an accurate representation of skill level and eventually this player will get found out.

Earned Confidence

There are a few steps you must take to ensure you become a successful player over the long term and becoming a successful player creates earned confidence. Earned confidence is where you develop a confidence in you playing ability from consistently performing well. This is gained by studying the game of poker to the full, whether that be playing lots and lots of hands of poker to gain experience in every single situation that you could be faced with and ensuring you are always fully focussed on the game at hand and know exactly what is going on.

Being a confident poker player is all about the process of improvement, and of course not your results over the short-term. Losses are a big part of the game, and the very best players accept this while maintaining their ability to find areas where they can grow.

Focusing on the formula of Skill + Awareness = Confidence removes all of the uncertainty of whether you’re a good player or not, and the more skill you get in your strategic and mental games the higher your confidence can grow.


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