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FE A R

Mental reactions, just like athletic ones, happen thanks to deeply ingrained skill. If you don’t trust your gut, you don’t trust all the work you’ve put into learning the game. When your gut is right, you learn it’s something you can trust and use as a part of your decision making. However, sometimes your training is old or flawed, so your gut is wrong. When that happens, it means you’ve found a weakness in your knowledge base to correct. Once you correct that weakness, your game becomes even more solid because your gut is more accurate. 3. Second-guessing While you’re playing, the urge to know the correct decision in hands where you lost or made a mistake can be so strong that you replay them repeatedly in your mind or review the actual hand history. You’ve made a move, lost the hand, and now you question it. You wonder if it was wrong. There are so many times when the decision is close, and not knowing if it was right or wrong can be agonizing. Second-guessing means you have doubts or questions about a decision after you make it. Often, this is fueled by a desire to make sure you don’t lose more or make more mistakes. However, being distracted by previous hands makes both more likely to happen. The best thing to do is to take a quick note and then revisit the hand after you’re done playing. 4. Performance Anxiety Playing poker is a test to prove what you know. Players with performance anxiety put so much pressure on themselves to make the correct decision that they end up overthinking, not trusting their gut, and second-guessing their decisions. Unfortunately, these actions make them play worse, and make it harder for them to access all of their poker knowledge. Test your game when you play poker instead of overthinking, not trusting your gut, or second-guessing your decisions. Then you can more accurately evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in your game so you 163

The Mental Game of Poker Excerpt: Chapter 6 Fear  

Here are a few sample pages from the chapter on Fear. They'll help you better keep your sanity and make sound decisions right now.

The Mental Game of Poker Excerpt: Chapter 6 Fear  

Here are a few sample pages from the chapter on Fear. They'll help you better keep your sanity and make sound decisions right now.

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