One of the most important and under-rated aspects of poker is patience. This is something poker players generally have a short supply of and to add to this the environments we live in does everything to erode your patience.
On a daily basis in a casino poker players will see people amounts of money that may change your life depending on your circumstances. You may be losing money while you watch friends whom you spend a lot of time with making enormous amounts of money effortlessly. There are always a suppl y of higher stakes games awaiting you and your bankroll, waiting for the player who wants his money back now. When we run bad and are on tilt, the first instinct for money people is to “recover” their money, to climb out of make up, to “take shots”.
The most successful poker players in the long run are the ones who have the discipline to take their time and wait. In a fishy game, you will eventually print money, but not if you go on monkey tilt any time you take a bad beat and are stuck a couple of buy-ins. In tourneys, you won’t find success if your enthusiasm for grinding gets crushed when you don’t score big for as short a time as a week. You won’t last long if you start playing scared the moment you run bad for a bit. Human beings are wired to think about the short-term. There are many irrational urges that make us tilt or play scared and tight because we want to win so bad this time (a hilariously misguided approach). It’s those of us who can ignore the emotions or change our system to feel the right ones.
I personally spent months looking longingly at the tournaments like Big 55, and Big 109 wondering if I could ever play those regularly. It took me a long time to realize that if I had spent even an year without spewing or taking shots or going on monkey tilt, I could have had a roll big enough to grind those without any fear. This year has been incredibly profitable for me and I have become a lot more rational; and yet when I look at how much I have cost myself through doubt, impatience and laziness, I cringe.
This Sunday I finished 11th in the Big 109 for $1777. First place was $41,000. My immediate reaction was to be crushed, but now I am very confident that this means nothing. I am playing good solid poker and my understanding of the game is much better. Sooner or later I will get a score that will make me forget about this missed opportunity. From today I am putting in real volume building up to the WCOOP.