Poker and sports have a lot more in common than one can imagine. Though the later is not physically challenging in its traditional definition, there are mental strategies that they share. Here’s a look at some of the common concepts:
Statistics is the name of the game. Data crunching has enabled fans to follow stats and ball-by-ball information for an ongoing game. Games now calculate Win Probability using different parameters and historical data to compare a particular game situation to what has happened in the past in order to project a game result. While it’s a prediction, several other factors often change the end result. Similarly, professional poker players know how probabilities work, using it as cautious tool to calculate their next move. While going in pre-flop a player might have an 85% chance of winning the pot. But they know well enough that a little over 15% of the time they’ll lose.
Dealing With Downswings
Sports men across all sporting fields have their ups and downs. From winning accolades to bringing laurels for the country and team, they slump to a spell of bad performances and smacking the ball straight to the fielders. There is that variance you cannot account for called luck. Like any sport, poker too combines skill and luck. Experienced poker players know all about how variance works and that the game’s small chance element leads to a bad streak even when a player makes ‘positive EV’ decisions. These are inevitable spells and being able to handle it and comeback as a winning player is a part of every game!
Being Patient and Letting Others Make Mistakes
Times are changing; the pace at which sports are being played is changing, formats are becoming shorter, expecting quicker faster action and results! Players however are forgetting to adopt the more conservative approach of waiting for other players to make mistakes before taking advantage. In several situations sticking to a disciplined game can be more profitable as other players will become impatient and decide to take their chances. This is also a strategy common to the poker felts. You are often successful on the felts when others ‘give’ you their chips and pay for their mistakes compared to taking them and try to outsmart them. Being Patient does pay off!