When you play a sport, a warm-up routine is extremely important! Sportsmen cannot humanly operate at peak performance all the time! Therefore to ensure they reach as close to their best, they develop and implement a warm up routine.
In fact whether it is a physical or mental skill based game a warm up is equally important! In mental skill based games like poker or chess, professional need to get into the right mental state that conducive for their optimal performance. A warm-up routine does not have to be the same for all and there is certainly no such thing as a perfect routine. What might work for one player may not work for the other. But here’s a look at the broad three goals your poker warm-up routine should accomplish:
Steady your mental state – Keep calm and play poker!
This is probably the most important warm up routine for a poker player. The human brain is bound to be affected by factors such as fatigue and emotional states and that is naturally going to reflect in your game.
Before a session, take a few moments to assess your mental state that could significantly affect your play. Be honest to yourself with this exercise and address whatever is bothering you before the game. Tired? Fix it with a nap or skip the session and play the next day. Stressed or irritable or sad? You don’t want to be bringing this baggage to an already emotionally challenging game. Address these troubles and do what it takes to clear your head, even if it means skipping a couple of sessions for a week. Because we all know the spiral a negative state of being can take us down in a game of poker!
More importantly, even when you are feeling good its equally important to take a few minutes to reach a state of neutrality in your mind – Do things that bring you that state of being, it could be anything from music or meditation
Variance is another factor poker players can mentally prepare for by taking time out for a brief period relaxation. This certainly helps not letting short term results dictate the rest of your session.
Eliminate all your distractions
Multi-tabling is the name of the game! A game of poker certainly demands your full attention! Here are a few tips that will help you focus better:
- Put your phone away
- Sign out of social media
- Load up on good food if you are hungry, an empty stomach is certainly a distraction for your brain
- Make sure your partner/family/housemates don’t disturb you (this is a delicate one, so you have to be aware of how far you can take it)
- Keep water handy, stay hydrated
- Keep the vices away before a game
Reflect or do a quick recap of what you’ve learned
Well, lets begin with we hope your hitting the books. Studying is extremely crucial for poker! There is no avoiding it! And as you may know from our Indian system of education it is pointless if you fail to apply what you’ve learned! Here are a few tips to help you with this warm up routine:
- Make sure what you’ve studied is fresh in your mind by spending a few minutes reflecting on it before playing.
- Take time out to apply what you’ve learned to scenarios you’ve actually experienced in your past few games.
Excuses don’t get you results! Warm-up!