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Understanding how discipline makes you better at poker
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Understanding how discipline makes you better at poker

Date Published: 29th January 2020
Author: Matt Clarke

Learning a winning poker strategy is easy. Especially today, where we have so many tools, apps and software that helps shortening the development of anyone just starting to play poker in comparison to 10 or even 5 years ago. All the knowledge and the tools are there to learn how to beat the game consistently. So, if this is true, why are so many people losing money at the tables? In three words?


It's so incredibly easy to get emotionally involved and let emotions dictate what we do at the table. Sometimes all it takes is getting our AAs cracked late in a tournament for a massive pot and then seeing that same guy who busted us, finishing 2nd and cashing four-digit prize money. But discipline doesn't just understand the nature of the variance and its impact on our results. It goes beyond that.

Poker Disciplined

Being disciplined in poker means…

  • Be humble
  • Be serious about the game (treat it like a business)
  • Regardless of your results, keep studying and learning about the game
  • Regardless of your results, keep playing the game at your best level
  • Sustain a healthy mindset (don't tilt!)

Whenever I talk to my fellow grinders about topics like mindset and discipline in poker. There's always another word that pops into the discussion – And that word is "motivation". I don't believe there's a single word in the whole American vocabulary that causes more harm than "motivation". Why?

If you're only going to grind and study whenever you feel motivated, I will tell you right now, you're destined to failure. I'll take discipline over motivation any day of the week. Being disciplined in poker means to keep doing the stuff you need to be doing to achieve your daily/weekly/monthly/yearly goals REGARDLESS HOW YOU FEEL! I don't care if you come from the worst session in your life. Get your act together, open your hand tracker and start analyzing what went wrong.

If you made mistakes, then fix them. If it was variance, stop whining and start loading tables. All it matters is if you're making the right decision every time and you have sufficient bankroll to absorb variance. If this is the case, then there's no reason why you aren't loading another session. Don't get me wrong.

Poker Discipline

It feels great to wake up in the morning filled with energy and a genuine desire to load up some hands on your hand analysis tool and start going through spots, breaking down a situation that happened in the previous session, making the adjustment, taking notes, etc.

But, if you're going to do this only when you feel like it and not because this is something you have to, then again, you're guaranteed failure.

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