Confidence in Texas Holdem
When a player looks for strategies to improve their poker game, it is very rare for them to find anything on the importance of confidence in the game. Many people overlook this crucial aspect in texas holdem and unfortunately the players who want to learn are penalized.
Through my experience and the experience of some of my associates, I have come to the realization that confidence can be the deciding factor between a winning and losing player.
Being that the tactics behind using confidence to your advantage aren’t very widely spread, I think it would be best if I explain what I mean by it exactly. It is important that a player doesn’t doubt his decisions when he/she is playing. This is by far one of the worst things an individual can do. As soon as you start questioning your ability you are blatantly demonstrating your weakness to your opponents.
Even worse then that though, is doubt will lead you to over thinking a situation and then making the wrong decision in the end. I do not mean to say that you shouldn’t carefully consider your choices before you call, bet, or fold, but what I do mean is you shouldn’t get caught up in the analysis of the game. Trust your instincts.
When talking about confidence, two different situations come into play, one consisting of positive aspects and the other of negative ones. The first of these two situations is when a player has a sense of long term confidence. Obviously this is the best type to have, but often is one of the hardest things to come by. Obtaining a long term sense of confidence can only be done through experience. You need to play the poker game, and play it on a consistent basis. You need to play enough hands that you realize that bad luck happens and no matter what happens there will always be a tomorrow. When you have come to terms with these tenants you will achieve a long term confidence. When this has occurred you will know that losing is a part of the game. Even the professionals don’t always win, and if this wasn’t true then there would be no reason to play the game.
Achieving long term confidence will indefinitely improve your game in numerous areas. It will be much easier for you to avoid tilt if you have come to the actuality that bad beats will occur. Tilt is one of the most devastating plagues that can be inflicted on a player, and if you are able to obtain the power to avoid it then your game’s strength with increase tenfold. Furthermore, confidence will play a very beneficial part in your end of the psychological part of poker. Your opponents will certainly be intimidated by you if you are numb to any bad beats. There is nothing scarier then an opponent who looks untouched by bad luck.
As I mentioned earlier there are two sides to the confidence coin and the other side, the bad one, is having short term confidence. Again this seems almost obvious but many players suffer from this illusion of confidence and their losses pay the price. A short term sense of confidence occurs when a player has won a few important hands that really boost their ego.
Usually these hands are won because of luck, but an inexperienced player will misperceive this as good play. When these sorts of events occur they usually also lead to an aspect of overconfidence of the player. Short term and over confidence are very similar in the fact that they occur for the same reasons and both almost always result in a negative conclusion.
When an individual is stricken with overconfidence they have the tendency to call to often, and attempt to draw on hands that they shouldn’t. This leads to the misinterpretation that bad beats have plagued them and then tilt sets in. Over confidence is your worst enemy.
As you can see, confidence can be a major weapon in your poker arsenal, yet if not used properly can fine you a lot of chips. It is important to not mix up bad luck with a wrong play, and good luck with a good play. When these things are misunderstood the confidence level is construed resulting in peril. Good luck!