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Poker is a game dominated by emotions. During a bog-standard session of the beautiful game, you could feel grounded, angry, humorous, hurt, inspired, miserable, optimistic, pessimistic, patient, outraged, spontaneous, and unclear.

Each of these emotional states will contribute to your win rate in a way that your holdings will never be able to mask. Holding pocket aces in a poker game may win you the pot more than you will lose it, but your emotional state at the time will also dictate the pace.

So, how do you eliminate emotions from your game? How do you become the ultimate robotic poker mind? You can start by accepting the fact that you can’t control your emotions. Simple - You should accept them and make different choices when each emotion comes to the surface for a gulp of air.

Just consider a typical hand in a game of poker. It doesn’t matter if you are happy, sad, or indifferent. The dealer deals the cards and you have no influence over what you will receive. Your opponents whose turn it is to act before you will check, raise, or fold. 

You do not have any influence over their decisions. If you open, your opponent may raise and you don’t have any influence in that decision either. Eventually you may get to see the flop, turn and river and guess what? You don’t have control of their destiny’s either. 

When you step back from the glare, you can see that there isn’t a lot that you do have direct control over. So if you don’t have control, why worry? Instead focus on the actions that you do have direct control over – your decisions. 

If you just focus on your decisions and let the rest of the hand mildly pass you by, then you are less likely to allow your game flow to be dictated by your emotions.


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Last Updated 8 April 2014
Poker and Emotions