Poker is, undoubtedly, a genuine phenomenon at a worldwide level. While most people play just for fun and they never or rarely win any money, others continue to shine and win big. They make up about 10% of players, and they are the elite in the industry. Names like Daniel Negreanu, the Global Poker Index player of the decade with a fortune of $34,151,327, or Erik Seidel, coming in a close second with a poker fortune of $33,333,457 probably come to your mind right now. If you would like to walk in their footsteps, here are a few of the most surprising habits of the biggest poker winners you should get acquainted with and start practicing on your own.
#1: They Are Hard-Working
Most of the greatest poker winners we all admire today have started slow, playing poker online roughly 50% of their free time, while allocating the other half to carefully studying the game. If you are just starting out and would like to follow their lead, start by spending a certain amount of time playing on a regular basis. Introduce daily or weekly poker time into your schedule and stick to it. If you have a full-time job, chances are you won't be able to invest the same amount of time into your passion as someone who is a student or a part-time employee. However, no matter how little spare time you may have, use it wisely. When you come home from work, try to avoid turning on the TV or logging on into your social media accounts. Instead, log into your favourite poker sites and play for 2-3 hours. Get a satisfying bankroll that will help you say goodbye to your daily job. It may take a few months to build the kind of bankroll that will allow you to quit your job, but you could get there. The secret is to stick to your hard work, dedication, and discipline.
The best poker players in the world know how to manage their time wisely. You will need to push yourself over your boundaries and gain a good grasp of the game, so you can eventually start spending more time playing instead of reading books or watching training videos. You will gradually move to 20% studying and 80% playing once you stop being a rookie.
#2: They Learn From Their Mistakes
Successful poker players know being stubborn will cost them a lot of hands. This is a poker habit they periodically try to fight against. It may take you a few years to get there, but you need to do it. Summon every ounce of energy and determination you can find within you and you will eventually change your play as needed. You will learn from your mistakes and lost games and get to effectively alter your gameplay in certain situations.
#3: They Are Independent
Top players think about the game on their own, without having to use any more training wheels. You will also develop your own personal strategies that work for you specifically against the opponents you are playing against on a daily basis. You will stop reading manuals and start implementing the most cutting-edge strategies to beat the limits. Study the top 5% of players to find out what poker strategies they use. Copy their behavior, but do not try to beat them. Independently analyze situations, post less on forums and stop relying on the opinions of other people for each action you take. You can do this a lot in the beginning. Discuss your hand histories on forums and read specialized books, and take in a lot of input from reliable sources. Once you reach a certain level, you will notice your thinking will become a lot more independent. Tournaments with good bonuses are also good places to meet successful players.
#4: They Surround Themselves With a Small Circle of Big Winners
Your idols do it, so you will need to do it too. Try to surround yourself with winners as often as you can. It might be more difficult at first since there is a very small percentage of players that are actually big winners. You can use social networks to form relations with these people. Forums on training sites are also a good idea. However, avoid becoming friends and discussing hands with someone who is a loser or a break-even player. It might sound rough, but it has nothing to do with the people, but rather with their poor and unsuccessful strategies. The harsh reality is that you will probably not have a lot of things to learn from them. Instead, focus on surrounding yourself with a small circle of big winners.
#5: They Are Mentally Strong
Good results are not going to be there all the time. Million-dollar poker winners worldwide know that very well. What they do is focus on the process of thinking and action at the table every time. That is the way you also need to approach the game. Just because you have a bad hand, it does not mean your entire game was bad. Assess your play at each hand based on the range and board and understand the expected value will eventually be on your side. Keep in mind each day is a new opportunity to improve your strategies. Don't get easily discouraged when results are not there. Hang in there, get a good night's sleep, eat healthy, stay hydrated, and start over the next day.
Finally, another good poker habit to use is to always pause at least two or three moments before acting so you don't betray how much you are thinking about your cards. Carefully observe the behavior of the rest of the players at the table and you will eventually start picking up useful information on them that should help your game.