So much has been said about the comfort zone, that the entire concept got devalued and poker players among others tend to dismiss its importance. Professionals on the other hand are taking it seriously and have even come out with a more advanced concept, which is explained in details by coach Jared Tendler. In his latest book, he explains what it means to “get in the zone” when playing poker and how important it is not to leave this virtual area when at the poker tables.
The author emphasizes the factors that can easily distract players and prevent them from getting in the zone, with the leading threats being anxiety and boredom. Apparently, these are factors that being at opposite ends of the spectrum are unlikely to affect the same category of players. The truth is that under certain conditions, players can succumb to both anxiety and boredom, with a couple of factors being enough to trigger the state of mind.
While there are many who are reluctant to spend money that would otherwise go towards fueling their bankroll on a book that explains abstract concepts, there are many who realize the importance of making such an investment. The idea is to learn from the mistakes committed by others instead of employing the old-fashioned trial and error procedure that can prove so costly. With online poker being a highly competitive industry, you simply can’t afford to learn while sacrificing significant a part of your bankroll.
Boredom is an insidious threat, because you don’t even realize that it eats away at your game, instead many players assume that they simply relax as a result of beating the limits. The moment you assume that you have everything under control and nothing can surprise you at the poker tables, you are in danger of getting bored. Whether the stakes are too low, or the money you could lose no longer impresses you, the wheels are set in motion for significant losses.
The safest remedy is to open additional tables or move up to the next limits, but make sure that this transition is smooth and not artificial. Anxiety happens when you play at stakes that are above your skill level or when your bankroll is not large enough to make these limits affordable. Afraid by the fact that you could lose a lot of money or even go bankrupt during a lengthy downswing, you tend to play a narrow range of cards and shift from tight aggressive to tight passive poker.
Since it doesn’t pay off to wait for monster hands and then slow play them to win a fortune, the strategy usually ends in financial losses. If anxiety is caused by pressure, simply move back to the limits where you are comfortable, while if there are external factors that keep you under constant stress, try to address them first and foremost. The bottom line is that The Mental Game of Poker is a book worth reading by those who want to learn more about how to “get in the zone” and most important help stay there.