Research shows that anger is the most difficult of emotions to control. When things are not going your way on the felt you can start to become angry. As each bad beat smacks you in the face more anger seats itself in your brain.
You don’t erupt quite yet but your mind has created a block of anger and it will be followed by another one quite soon. Before you know it you will have built up a large wall of these things. It is inevitable that sooner, rather than later, one moment will turn the anger into rage.
In his excellent book, Devilfish: The Life and Times of a Poker Legend, Dave Ulliott said that when he was younger money was seen as fuel to him. Fuel to help ignite the fires of his addiction. These angry trains of thoughts are the same thing. They too are fuel. Fuel to ignite your eventual rage.
So how do we try to avoid these blocks of anger building up to almost uncontrollable levels?
Ways To Avoid Getting Angry At Poker
Firstly, poker is as much a game of luck as it is skill. So no matter how good you think you are at playing it, somebody else could very well just get lucky. When that happens, brush it off. Hopefully, the luck will turn in your favour and you will win a few hands you should definitely have lost.
Admit to yourself that you are prone to moments of anger and rage. Start to record the times when you feel yourself start to get worked up. It could be anything from tightness in your stomach or you lobbing your mouse out of the window. Once you can identify the triggers you’ll be in a better position to avoid them.
You could also work on ways to actually improve your gameplay. Poker anger can be quelled when you know so much about the game that it becomes very difficult to beat you. So become a diligent note-taker while you are playing. Not just notes on your opponent’s tendencies but notes on your own moves. It will also put some distance between you and the game.
Set yourself some goals. Aim to win a certain amount of money or hands. Or maybe decide to not get drawn into a pot you know you can’t win. Each time you set a goal and meet it, you will be improving your game. As you become a better player, you won’t actually have a reason to get angry.
Top Tips To Become A Better Player
A lot of the time poker anger is born out of frustration. That frustration comes from not playing well. So in order to improve one, you must also improve the other. So here are some top tips to be a better player.
YouTube: All of the best poker players in the world have their own YouTube channels. Check them out for some great tips or even how those players have overcome huge losses. When you know the even the professionals get it wrong, it will help eases your mood.
Tutorials: There are loads of official sites that offer tutorials for beginners, or even those payers who just need a bit of extra help. Some of them are even free. So have a scout around the internet and find some that can help you with your weaker points. Any boost to your play will go a long way.
Books & Forums: You won’t be the first person to ever lose it at the poker table. And chances are you won’t be the last. So rather than dwelling on a bad beat, check out what other players have to say on the poker forums. And failing that, do a bit of research and go to bed with a good book about improving your poker game!
So there you have it. Our best ways to improving your form and reducing your poker anger. It’s not a failsafe but if you follow the tips we have given you should be able to turn that anger into something more positive. And you feel positive and confident you play better.