Reparenting Your Inner Poker Child

Reparenting Yourself

Once excavated, it is time to turn even deeper into ourselves and get in touch with our inner child. The one that, in those moments of poker heartbreak, feels scared, feels angry, feels like the world is unfair or that they are not good enough. This is when it is time to channel the parent we’d wished we’d had, or better yet, our better, higher self. Now is an opportunity to find out what they would tell you in these moments of frustration and self-doubt? What advice would they give that scared child?

Likely, that you’re okay. That hey, everything’s going to be fine. That you can do this – no matter what this is. They’d likely say that those unconscious beliefs – I’ll never be good enough, or I’m forever unlucky, or if I can’t provide for my family I am not worthy of their love – are nonsense. They’ll tell you that even though you don’t have the power to change your past, you are the only one with the power to change your own mind. You are the only one who can manage your reactions. That it absolutely is within your power to decide how to perceive and engage with the world in a manner that serves your interests, not pushes them further back.

And so begin reparenting your inner child first by instilling counter-points to your most frequent self-limiting beliefs – counterpoints such as:

  • My losses don’t define me.
  • Progress isn’t linear.
  • I can handle any adversity, any bad beat, any downswing, that comes my way.

And then repeat them to yourself – no matter how inauthentic they feel at first – each and every time your mind tells you the opposite (plus any other time you can). Be obsessive enough with the repetition and, soon enough, automation will take place and you’ll no longer even need to try.

Like going to the gym, each exercise making you a little stronger, each rep increasing your power, even if only beneath the surface.

By understanding our past, reparenting our inner child, and consciously reshaping our beliefs, we can turn even the most explosive bout of tilt into opportunities for personal growth. With perseverance, self-awareness, and some work on the Shadow self, we can master not just a game of cards, but our very minds.

Pocket52 Poker Sports League Season 5 – Bigger and Better Than Ever!

Pocket52 Poker Sports League Season 5 – Bigger and Better Than Ever!

Posted by Laksh Pal Singh on 2023-08-23 at 9:41 PM

Pocket52 Poker Sports League Season 5 - Bigger and Better Than Ever!

That was what the Poker Sports League management promised us this year, and that is exactly what was delivered. This edition of PSL was grand in many ways, and I’d first like to thank everyone who made this event possible.

Nitesh Salvi – founder and CEO of Pocket52, title sponsors of PSL, Pranav Bagai, Siddharth Mishra, and Prajit Gambhir, the three musketeers who started this wonderful concept of PSL and have worked endlessly over the last five years to grow this mind sport!

Prajit, you legend. God only knows how many roles you have at PSL! From being COO to the auctioneer to commentary to ensuring that the show goes on every single time, big shoutout to you, brother, and to Vidur also for making sure every pre-show and every stream was super smooth. Sid and his production team, wow, man, I don’t even know what to say. You guys are so good at what you do! This year the production team of PSL has really outdone themselves. From every reel to every Instagram story to every update, I have to say the content was fabulous.

Obviously couldn’t have done it without your ever-so-talented team! Dashank, Madhur, and Pandey Ji, big shoutout to the three of you for doing such a great job and just being awesome people in general. I’m really fond of the entire PSL team and of course the man himself, the mastermind Pranav Bagai for making this happen on Jio Cinema- working day in and day out to achieve his vision for poker in India.

I want to thank all the owners for supporting this league every single year and spreading their love and passion for poker. This league would not be possible without you!


The Experience

Pocket52 PSL Season 5 was something else only. Everyone together on land in the same resort under the same roof, with no hassle of going onto the ship, everyone bonding and interacting.

Personally, for me, the highlight was interacting with the qualifiers from all teams, it’s really nice to talk with someone when you know they look up to you and whatever you’re saying has an impact on them.

It was really heartwarming to meet the Massani brothers, these boys were the heroes of PSL, and that’s another story to tell. Taking a domestic flight for the first time, these two brothers have come from Bhopal and won all our hearts. What gems of human beings, so much confidence, so much energy, I just loved it, to be honest. I had a great time with all my friends and all the other captains who I’m so close to off the felts!

The competition was heavy, and everyone was so passionate and into it. So yeah, GG to my boys – Dirty (Dhaval Mudgal) and Shardul (Parthasarathi) for also taking podium finishes, I had already told Shardul I was going see him heads up and win this time.

Big shoutout to Gaurav Sood, one of the best poker players in India, for playing the finale like an absolute boss man and ensuring I’m shitting myself on the rails while he’s reducing the chip deficit. Love you, Mozzie unlucky one, and you’ll be back stronger we all know it.

Shoutout to Romit (Advani) and Vaibhav (Sharma) for being fantastic team leaders- you win some, you lose some, and I am sure we will see you guys in the top 3 next season!

Now coming to my team, oh man, I don’t think I’ve ever felt such a sense of comradery and team spirit in my life. PSL adrenaline just hits differently. I’ve played a lot of tournaments in my life and hit a lot of one-outers for big money, but I’ve never jumped the way PSL made me jump and shout and scream, and it’s a different kind of excitement altogether.

Bringing a team format and making an individual sport a team game is honestly a genius concept! I would like to thank my team owners, Mr Puneet Mehra, Mehul Shah, and Rishi, for trusting me to lead this team again despite a not-so-great performance the previous year. Special shoutout to their families as well, Toral ma’am Divyansh and Prerna, for cheering on the Mumbai team and making sure our rail was the loudest and full of energy. Really happy that Mehul and Rishi also came down and really felt it with the team and were involved and there from start to finish.

Speaking about my team, I want to say I’m so proud of you guys – every point earned by each of you was crucial to us winning and reaching the finale. I remember the day we reached Goa and had our first team meeting, I was really impressed with Puneet sir because he gave a really inspirational team talk on Day 1 itself, which had a big impact on our team. I have to say one thing about my team, though, everyone was really into it, The togetherness and team spirit was really evident, and I think from Day 1, we manifested the win when we took that picture near the trophy.

Humaara wildcard kaisa ho, Alok Birewar jaisa ho! I think the best decision I made this PSL, other than my obvious retentions of Akshay Nasa and Honey Bijlani, was to sign Alok as my wildcard. I knew Alok wouldn’t do it for the money; he wanted to play PSL, he loves strategizing, he was railing every table every tournament, his team spirit was unparalleled, and the best in the league, so kudos bro I’m proud of you, and you did a great job.

Akshay Nasa, my player, said I am born ready when I asked him if he was going to play the finale. Our strategy was simple, get 250 BB in the finale, send Nasa, and ship it!! Shoutout to Ankit, our 2nd pro, for a great performance joining Nasa in the finale, and also getting the ever so-crucial points in the live MTT, but also for declaring that we’ve won before the league even started.

Honey Bijjlani, for doing more work than the captain, bhai this team would not have won without you, I openly state that you are going to be retained every year for Mumbai Anchors. Nitin Gulati for his passion for this team, getting merchandise and hoodies made for the entire team, thank you, bhai! Simran Malhotra, my fellow Pocket52 team pro, for never disappointing me, for being the number 1 woman player of the league, and for her spirit and love for the team.

Dhirendra Kumar and Avinash Tauro for being on top of things, speaking to the new boys, railing watching the stream making notes, top top performance guys. And of course the new boys Shravan and Nikaas, who I couldn’t believe, played live poker for the first time. They both killed it and got super important points for the team. Every single point contributed by each of you was crucial to this team’s success.

It was a rollercoaster of three days, with ups and downs and highs and lows; the excitement and energy were high, and it was the best three days of my life. Humne bahut chipkaaya, 3 straight days chipkaaya, but you gotta spike to ship, and there was no way Mumbai was not winning this season. Also, a big shoutout to my first mentor and dear friend Sahil Mahboobani for top-notch performance and taking down the Player of the Series, so happy for you, bro!

Lifting that trophy was a great feeling and something that’ll stay with me for life, I hope to recreate many more memories with PSL and Mumbai Anchors!

GG everyone, until next time!

Aaamchiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Mumbaiiiiiiii

High Stakes Poker Tournaments: Handling the Pressure

The world of elite poker is a complicated balancing act, emotional exertion and mental machinations meaning that players at the highest stakes often have the most to deal with. Just how do the very best players cope with the stress of high stakes tournaments?

  • Planning and Preparation
  • Execution and Experience
  • Analysis and Afterwards

Planning and Preparation

Many top-level professional poker players will tell you that a lot of the good things that happen at the poker table in a tournament or big cash game are down to the work that they put in before ever sitting down. These cover a wide range of areas, but breaking them down into bitesize chunks – much like those poker legends have to – here are four key areas:

1. Physical Fitness

The first may well be the easiest to fix on the face of it but requires a lifetime of work to maintain. Retaining your physical fitness when you’re an elite poker player is vital and the reason that you will see so many top players seeking the advice of nutritionists, fitness coaches and others who help add an edge to their physical forms.

Working out and eating healthy is absolute must at the top of the game, and you’ll frequently see players such as Jason Koon, Daniel Negreanu and Dan ‘Jungleman’ Cates eulogising over the benefits of exercise, nutrition and mindfulness.

Making your physical form something of true importance to you throughout your poker career will prepare you not only for the long hours and gruelling yards of travelling around the world playing top-level poker. It’ll stand you in good stead for the mental anguish that inevitably travels round with you. Playing the best of the best is tough – you need your body to be resilient when you mind is ready to falter.

2. Strategic Play

Pressure and strategy can sound like opposites, one coming in terms of a short-term burden on your mind’s natural state and the other a pre-game tactic that is designed to resist pressure. Getting on top of strategy long before you sit down enables the player to theorise on what scenarios are likely to play out. Imagining and running situations you might likely face will put you in the position of being able to set yourself up to deal with a pressurized situation optimally.

Players at the highest level not only strategize about their own play, but precisely how to stop opponents they know. The high rollers who play elite high stakes tournaments and cash games have a strategy to deal with each of their opponents and if they haven’t met them before, then they’ll develop one at the table.

When working on a pre-match strategy at the highest level, it’s crucial that you try to intercept any bad moves. You might think that they don’t happen at the elite level, but they do. They just get closed down quickly. I asked an elite player how they anticipated making the best of these situations and he told me “Spot the error before they do, because they’ll plug that leak real quick.”

Strategy at the highest level is all about adaptation.

3. Mental Wellbeing

Preparing for any poker tournament or elite cash game is mostly about the mind. Preparing yourself for hours of intense focus is hard and there are a number of ways to do this. Mindfulness, yoga, therapy, coaching, prayer, all have their places in the pantheon of practical ways to improve your mental health.

Looking after your mental health is something that everyone should do whether they play poker or not, but the sheer toll on your grey matter if you play poker at the highest level is immense. Calculating odds, observing your opponents, if you’re doing these tasks to the best of your capabilities and they’re at the top of their game too, it’s a huge mental impact.

Make sure that you have a handle on how much stress you’re under at all times if you play poker. The very best in the world won’t even arrive at a tournament unless they’re in the right physicial and mental state to perform at the best of their capabilities. Protecting the mind from fatigue and other factors is a big part of preparation.

Execution and Experience

The best players in the world prepare well for a poker tournament or cash game but money is only won at the felt. From the super high rollers to the nosebleed cash games in Macau and Las Vegas, winning big is about turning up and getting the job done.

1. Early Level Play

Whether it is in tournament play or in cash games, the early levels of play or first few orbits are not a chance to settle into your chair and get comfortable. They’re an opportunity to make money. In early tournament play, making as many chips as possible makes it easier to control the table. Big players want to be table captain, using their chips to dominate the action and put pressure on their opponents. The same is true in a cash game. They want to have the biggest stack, meaning they’ll be able to put any of their opponents to the test.

2. Making the Business End

Just as the top pros ease the pressure of early level eliminations by building up a stack, they can also take a load off the latter stages by building a bullying stack. You often hear about the really big names going into a final table with the chip lead. Why is that possible for them? Often its because they are deliberately targeting the period before the final table as the most important. They know that if they get to the final table with the lead, they’ll be best placed to cope with the demands of late stage play with aplomb… and the most powerful pile of chips.

3. Dominating Deciders

The true greats are able to handle the pressure of seven-figure cash pots or a heads-up clash for a WSOP bracelet with the same calm as they exude at the beginning of level 1. While many players can make their way to the business end of events in time, dominating those crucial last few pay-jumps or mega-rich cash games when they are hours into an escalating battle is difficult. Only the best can apply pressure rather than be impacted by it when it comes to the crunch.

4. Rollercoaster Rides

Riding the rollercoaster of emotions at the highest stakes is absolutely essential if you want to be among the best players in the world. This is often about keeping in emotions until the tournament is over or even later, sometime after the dust has settled. Processing huge mental decisions without letting the emotion of the situation impact those decisions isn’t easy but players such as Daniel Negreanu and Jason Koon have the ability to lock up the win before unlocking those feelings that they’ve kept bottled up when it’s the right time.

Analysis and Afterwards

1. Post-Match Humility

Some of the best poker players in the world simply don’t celebrate like you or I might. Imagine winning a major event for seven figures. I’d be beside myself thinking of all the things in my life I could improve, all the people I could help, all the things that I could do with the money. For Phil Ivey when he won a major title was singularly indicative of his mentality.

Asked if he was happy about winning, the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner Ivey immediately said that he wasn’t, that he got lucky in the heads-up match and detailed how one hand he might have played better could have gone. That’s an elite approach to take and why he’s able to handle the pressure – because he puts himself under the most pressure to always make the right decisions.

2. Strategy and GTO

After winning big, the best players in the world know that the pressure has only subsided. Life at the nosebleed levels of elite poker is all about dealing with the constant mentality of self-improvement. The pressure is constant, so the level of comfort with it has to be very high. Strategy, playing Game Theory Optimal poker and analysing your play post-match is a huge part of this.

It’s a little like studying for a big exam. Put yourself in the mindset of someone who has done a good amount of preparation, some mock tests, revised plenty and put themselves in a good frame of mind. You’ve given yourself a good chance of getting the grade you’re aiming for. For the very best, that’s nowhere near good enough. The best will play out every situation they can, revising to an incredible degree to repeat their ability to deliver on their learnings with complete conviction. They’ll practice mindfulness is some form or another and have probably tested themselves to the nth degree. That’s elite.

3. Taking a Break

Being at the very top of poker means living it 24/7, right? Well, yes, but how does that co-exist with taking a break? Taking a real step back from the action is crucial in poker as it is in any sport or professional practice. Unless you rest the muscle you’re using, you won’t have the energy to train it. The same is true for your brain.

Players such as Daniel Negreanu are a great example here. Give him a Las Vegas World Series of Poker and a video camera and ‘Kid Poker’ will be like a kid in the candy store. He does, however, need time off afterwards where he can watch the Golden Knights, kick back in front of a movie like Rocky Balboa or Rounders and spend quality time with his wife Amanda and their pooches.

Taking a break is just as important as making sure that you continue to train hard when you’re in game mode.

4. Coming Back Stronger

Every time you play poker, you need to be better. In some way, that’s almost impossible to fathom. Each time you step away and come back, by logic you’re going to be out of practice. It’s not really about practice, however. Focus is the keyword.

Whether the elite players who dominate the game have enjoyed a period of time studying, vacationing or enjoying some celebrations with their people, when they return to the action, they don’t need to warm up their poker brain, it clicks into gear. Only experience gives a poker player this ability, which is why it’s the last piece to fall into place.

Put all those pieces together yourself and maybe you’ll be ready to take on the best, deal with the ultimate pressure and become a professional poker player. Then, it’s all about how you climb the ladder.

Lukas “Robin Poker” Robinson Puts Cruel Beat on Jaime Staples in Sunday Party

The say you need plenty of skills and a generous helping of luck if you want to win poker tournaments, and Lukas “Robin Poker” Robinson had both in abundance this weekend. The popular Liverpudlian streamer, who once streamed playing online poker for 1,000 hours in 100 days, collared Team PartyPoker’s Jaime Staples en route to taking down the event for $13,371.

Robinson was one of 1,026 entrants in the $109 Sunday Party, our $100,000 guaranteed weekly tournament. After an intense opening day that saw the field whittled to only 16 hopefuls, Robinson found himself third in chips.

Sunday Party Day 2 Top 10 Chip Counts

Place Player Chips
1 ASAP JARDA 15,000,542
2 Charly Error 12,886,617
3 Robin Poker 12,207,563
4 Joker_James95 8,465,319
5 Phaelzin 8,045,040
6 antiZZZ 7,823,916
7 xfnd 7,728,953
8 gunfire22 6,594,920
9 persevero77 5,155,973
10 Kenny11 4,121,305

Our very own Jaime Staples was the first of the eight finalists to bust, and he did so in cruel circumstances. The hand in question started with a min-raise to 600,000 from Robinson with pocket sevens in the hole, and a cll in the cutoff from Staples holding ace-jack of clubs.

The flop landed seven-five-queen with two clubs, and both players checked its arrival. The eight of clubs on the turn completed Staples’ flush, and nudged him into the lead. Robinson bet 1,200,000, and Staples called. An offsuit five on the river improved Robinson to a full house. Robinson went into the tank for a few moments before unleashing a 3,000,000 bet. Staples pondered his options, settled on a jam, and moved all-in for 10,167,932. Robinson instantly called, busting Staples in eighth, and claiming a 24.6 million pot for good measure.

Robinson kept hold of the chip lead for most of the final table action, but he trailed “antiZZZZ” when the Sunday Party reached the heads-up stage. The eventual champion won more than his fair share of early pots, and began establishing a lead for himself.

The final hand saw Robinson limp in on the button with pocket kings, and “antiZZZZ” check their ace-four of diamonds. “antiZZZZ” check-called a bet on the seven-six-eight flop, and a chunkier bet on the seven of diamonds turn, which put two diamonds out there. The river was the king of diamond, improving “antiZZZZ” to an ace-high flush but Robinson to another full house. “antiZZZZ” checked again, Robinson bet half-pot and snap-called when his opponent moved all-in.

Sunday Party Final Table Results

Place Player Bounties Prize Total Prize
1 Lukas “Robin Poker” Robinson $7,654 $6,077 $13,731
2 antiZZZZ $2,642 $6,066 $8,708
3 Charly Error $1,007 $4,020 $5,027
4 Joker_James95 $1,269 $2,609 $3,878
5 perservero $567 $1,783 $2,350
6 ASAP JARDA $952 $1,376 $2,328
7 Phaelzin $1,326 $1,014 $2,340
8 Jaime “jaimestaples” Staples $596 $808 $1,404

“t1ltaka” Captures Sunday Carnival Title

“t1ltaka” came out on top in the latest edition of the Sunday Carnival, outlasting 1,479 opponents on their way to reeling in $4,258 of the $35,000 prize pool, making for a profitable weekend at the PartyPoker tables.

The campion-elect finished Day 1 with 16,838,036 chips, enough for second place from 16 surviving players. “t1ltaka” still had much work to do before being crowned the Sunday Carnival champion, because everyone in the top six places at the start of Day 2 were armed with eight-figure stacks.

Sunday Carnival Day 2 Top 10 Chip Counts

Place Player Chips
1 jussi1 19,706,724
2 t1ltaka 16,838,036
3 UsteckaMACHINA 16,150,660
4 omegalulz 14,443,635
5 rica_games 12,076,626
6 DaiRoKKfish72 11,426,015
7 El-Filliponn 8,940,414
8 ACEofVADERS 7,229,576
9 Jamie197833 6,459,891
10 shevadio 6,073,928

With bounty payments included, none of the finalists took home less than $434 for their $22 investment, with the top four finishers each scooping more than $1,100.

That quartet were “El-Filliponn” ($1,172), “rica_games” ($1.708), runner-up “UsteckaMACHINA” ($2,541), and your champion “t1ltaka” ($4,258.

Sunday Carnival Final Table Results

Place Player Bounties Prize Total Prize
1 t1ltaka $1,947 $2,311 $4,258
2 UsteckaMACHINA $235 $2,306 $2,541
3 rica_games $219 $1,489 $1,708
4 El-Filliponn $189 $983 $1,172
5 MF96FM $76 $668 $744
6 jussi1 $476 $510 $986
7 DaiRoKKfish72 $165 $372 $537
8 Kamie197833 $137 $297 $434

Poker Pro’s Luxury Yacht Engulfed in Flames in Mediterranean

An 88-foot luxury yacht, purportedly belonging to Spanish poker pro Diego Gomez Gonzalez, turned into a blazing inferno amidst the tranquil waters of the Mediterranean.


A distressing incident unfolded as an 88-foot luxury yacht, allegedly owned by Spanish poker professional Diego Gomez Gonzalez, caught fire in the Mediterranean waters. The dramatic scene was captured on video by The Daily Mail.

The yacht, reportedly belonging to Gonzalez, who boasts an impressive $500,000 in live tournament earnings according to The Hendon Mob database, was the center of a harrowing event. While it remains uncertain whether Gonzalez was present on the yacht during the incident, reports confirm that all 17 individuals on board at the time managed to escape the flames. The group consisted of five crew members and twelve passengers, with only one crew member sustaining minor burns and requiring medical attention.

The video footage obtained by MailOnline depicts the luxury yacht engulfed in a massive blaze. However, the exact cause of the fire is yet to be determined and has not been publicly disclosed. The alarming occurrence unfolded around 6 p.m. on a Saturday near the island of Formentera in the Mediterranean. Prompt action from nearby boaters played a pivotal role in assisting the passengers.

The footage also shows onlookers at a seaside restaurant observing the inferno from a distance of around a couple of hundred feet, capturing the fiery spectacle in photographs.

Gonzalez’s yacht, constructed in 1995, is designed to accommodate up to 20 people comfortably. It boasts luxurious amenities such as a deck jacuzzi, well-appointed cabins, and easy access for various water-based activities. The yacht is anchored in Ibiza, an island located off the southeastern coast of Spain. While Gonzalez frequently charters the vessel, it’s likely that he wasn’t on board during the fire incident. Chartering the yacht during the peak summer season costs upwards of £45,000.

A seasoned poker pro hailing from Madrid, Gonzalez achieved his highest live tournament earnings of $256,000 with a fifth-place finish at the 2012 European Poker Tour (EPT) Prague Main Event. Additionally, he’s secured five cashes in World Series of Poker (WSOP) online bracelet events on GGPoker in 2020 and 2021.

Gonzalez’s colorful personality earned him the nickname “The Lion” after he sported a lion costume during the aforementioned EPT Main Event in Prague.

10 Winning Tips for Online Poker

To help you get started down the right path of winning at online poker, we’ve devised some winning tips for online poker that are essential if you want to succeed in the digital poker space.

  • Start Off Slow
  • Have A Healthy Bankroll
  • Start With One Table
  • Remove All Distractions
  • Take Frequent Breaks
  • Learn The Math
  • Be More Aggressive
  • Don’t Bluff The Fish
  • Think In Ranges, Not Hands
  • Be Prepared To Lose
  • Have Fun

Start Off Slow

Slow sign on a highway

Many players start off at stakes that are way too high for their skill level. It’s important to know that $1/$2 online is light years away from $1/$2 live; even if you’re a winning player in your casino’s $1/$2 game, you’ll find yourself getting crushed if you play $1/$2 online.

That’s why it’s important to start off at lower stakes when first playing online. Playing lower stakes means you’ll be up against a lot more recreational players, and you’ll be able to get a feel for how the game is played. While live and online poker are the same game, just through different mediums, people play them very differently. Live poker is a lot more passive, whereas online poker is far more aggressive, which can take a bit of getting used to.

Have A Healthy Bankroll

Poker chips on cash bills

When playing any form of poker it’s recommended that you have at least 30 buy-ins for your stake level in cash games, and at least 100 buy-ins for MTTs. However, this need is exacerbated when playing online, as the game moves a lot faster, meaning that you’re more likely to see big swings that could see you go broke if you’re not properly rolled.

This is part of the reason why we suggest starting off at small stakes – it’s much easier to find $300 to have 30 buy-ins at $0.05/$0.10 than it is to find $6000 to have 30 buy-ins at $1/$2.

Start With One Table

a single poker table without cards

Online poker is significantly faster-paced than live poker. While at a live poker table you may expect to get 20 hands an hour, at an online table you can easily get 3-4x that. If you’re playing a fast-fold version of poker, it’s common for people to play 200 hands an hour – that’s ten times as many hands as you get playing live!

It’s tempting to load up as many tables as possible now that you’re finally able to play more than one at a time, but we’d recommend against doing that until you’re comfortable at your stake level. Playing 3-4x the number of hands you usually play can take some adjusting, so start with one table until you’re comfortable with the pace of online poker.

Remove All Distractions

focus in red among a bunch of blurry words

Playing online poker requires a lot of concentration, as you’re constantly being dealt hands and being forced to make decisions. If you’re sat there scrolling through Instagram while your favorite TV show is on in the background, it’s going to be hard to make optimal decisions.

That’s why we recommend removing all distractions from your playing area while you play. Put your phone on silent, turn off the TV, and focus on the game. You’ll be surprised at how much your game improves when you’re able to give your sole focus to the task at hand.

Take Frequent Breaks

Woman eating lunch and taking a break

One of the reasons people surround themselves with distractions is that it’s hard to keep focusing on one task for a significant amount of time; therefore, by having distractions nearby, people give themselves mini-breaks from the game to reset their focus. However, in practice, this doesn’t work, as the distractions become too enticing, and take focus away from your game.

Not only that, but online poker is an intense game with a lot of swings that can be tough for some people to handle. It’s incredibly common for players to log on and be down a couple of buy-ins within the first 2-3 minutes of playing. This is part of the reason why it’s so easy to tilt when playing online poker.

If you’re prone to tilting or losing focus while you play, we recommend taking frequent breaks during your sessions. This allows you to reset your focus, check your phone, de-tilt, and then come back to the game ready to play.

Learn The Math

woman standing at a chalkboard preparing to do math

Yes, we know it’s boring, but math is a vital part of poker, and you won’t be a winning player until you can do it backwards, forwards, and upside down. You should have a complete understanding of poker odds, outs, pot odds, minimum defense frequencies, and general poker probabilities – and know how to use them in-game.

Without understanding the math, you’re unable to know whether a play you’re making is profitable or not. “Should you draw to this flush?” “Is your hand a favorite against your opponent?” “What are the odds you’ll improve on the river?” These are questions that any winning poker player should be able to answer, and without knowing the math, you won’t be able to.

Be More Aggressive

Man in suit holding up gun after playing poker

A trademark of every winning online poker player is that they’re aggressive players. They don’t often take the passive route and are always betting and raising when they come into a pot. If you had to boil it down to a single attribute, aggression is the key factor that makes someone a winning player.

By being aggressive, you give yourself two chances to win the pot – either your opponent can fold, or you can win at showdown. If you play passively, you’re relying on having the best hand at showdown. While this can happen often if you play strong enough preflop ranges, it’s never a guarantee, and there will be long stretches where it seems impossible to win a hand at showdown.

This means we want to be aggressive preflop and postflop. We never want to open the pot with a limp, we want to 3bet and 4bet our opponents more, we want to be doing more continuation betting on the flop, and we want to be doing more raising when our opponents bet. A player who regularly does all of these things is a tough player to play against, as they’re always putting you under pressure and putting you to a decision.

So, if you want to become a winning poker player online, make sure you’re aggressive!

Don’t Bluff The Fish

someone bluffing with a 7 and 2

It may sound like simple advice, but you’d be surprised at how many people mess it up! Many recreational players are calling stations; players who will call down with a wide range of hands in the hopes that they’re good and to “see what you’ve got.” These people cannot be bullied off their hands, and they very rarely fold if they have a piece of the flop.

So, for the love of God, do not try to bluff them! These players are walking ATMs, and we want to be making withdrawals, not deposits. By all means, build the pot if you’ve got a big draw so you can make more money when you hit, but if you miss, save yourself the cash and just check – they weren’t going to fold anyway.

Think In Ranges, Not Hands

poker ranges

One of the biggest differences between a losing player and a winning player is that a winning player will think in terms of ranges, not in individual hands. Not too long ago, it would be common to hear people say “I put you on AK,” or, “I think she has 99.” This type of thinking is flawed and doesn’t take into account how people actually play.

For example, you’re first to act UTG, and you raise to 3bb in a cash game. If you’re a good player and not a complete nit, you’ll be doing this with more than one hand. You’ll be doing it with AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AK, AQ, AJs, and a number of other hands. Therefore it would be stupid of me to try and pinpoint what you have to a single hand, I should consider how to play against all the hands in your range.

Trying to put your opponent on a single hand is essentially guesswork, and while you might be right sometimes, most of the time you won’t be and will be making significant mistakes.

Train yourself to think in terms of ranges, and you’ll quickly see a vast improvement in your poker game.

Be Prepared To Lose

man with head down on poker table after losing hand

This is one that no one likes to hear, but it’s true nonetheless – get ready to lose. A lot. Online poker is a tough game, and even the winning players only win between 50-60% of their cash game sessions and only cash 15-20% of their tournaments. This means that winning players are still just less than half their cash game sessions, and only cashing one of every five tournaments!

The variance in online poker is much higher than it is in live poker, due to the increased number of hands you’re playing. This means that the swings are a lot more dramatic, and it’s common for players to go on 20, 30, or even 50 buy-in downswings during the course of their online career.

At some point, you will run worse than you ever thought possible, for longer than you ever thought possible – what matters is how you deal with it and how you bounce back from it.

Have Fun!

Emotional young man playing poker online

The most important part of playing online poker is to make sure you have fun! After all, what’s the point of becoming a winning poker player if you don’t enjoy playing the game? You should play and study poker for the enjoyment of the game, rather than any desire to get rich or make some fast cash.

If that’s your goal, you’ll soon find out why people say poker is a hard way to make an easy living!

If you enjoy yourself while at the poker table, you’ll always be a winning player.


In conclusion, mastering online poker demands dedication. By starting low, managing your bankroll, and embracing aggressive play, you’ll pave your path to victory. Stay focused, take breaks, and think in ranges, not hands. Remember, losses are part of the journey; resilience matters. Ultimately, prioritize enjoyment – the key to lasting success at the virtual felt.