Tom Middleton is a poker pro who has been a member of the PokerStars network for several years. He has won some notable tournaments, like the World Series of Poker and is also a winning bonus card at the WSOP. He also has a book coming out soon, called The Book of Poker Stars. Tom was kind enough to share some of his thoughts about poker with me, and what follows are a few excerpts.
Poker is like any other sport, you need a trainer. I never saw Tom as someone who was particularly talented. He said that when he was starting out, many of the top pros would train with him, and he felt that Tom had progressed quickly, but that his talent was not quite there yet.
In a sense, the way that Tom looks at poker is similar to how big boxing coaches look at their fighters. He believes that a good way to improve your game is to go against the best players in the world. For example, if you are playing in a tournament with a big winner and you play poorly, you might think to yourself, “I’ve played badly today, it wasn’t my day.” However, if you are playing against that person consistently, you can tell yourself, “That’s not going to happen again, I’m going to be a better player.”
One of the biggest challenges for any player is how to react when the chips start rolling. In Tom’s opinion, the secret to becoming a winner is to keep thinking positive, and avoid getting overly excited when things are going well. For example, if you win a hand, you shouldn’t get too excited, you should instead think to yourself, “this is great, we’re going to the money!”
If you have a strong attitude, then you will continue to think positive and believe in yourself. If you don’t, then you’ll easily become negative, and this will have an adverse effect on your game. If you become emotionally attached to a loss, then it will make it very difficult to move on. So how do you prevent this from happening?
Basically, when you feel bad about something, then you should try to stay away from your own emotions, and try to stay focused on the event or situation at hand. If you are emotionally attached to a loss, then you’ll immediately begin to try and get over it, rather than focusing on what you did wrong. If you try to win and try to focus on the mistakes that you made, then this will only make the situation worse. Therefore, if you can maintain a strong self-control and self-esteem, then you’ll be able to maintain the integrity of your poker game.
Do you know that the best players in the world are the ones who try to stay in control of their emotions and do not let their emotions control them? If you play like this, then you will find that it will help you stay in control and play better. But if you can maintain your emotional state, then it will take all the stress out of the game. This is why, by Tom’s estimation, so many pro players become highly emotionally attached to the outcome of their game.
If you play poker for fun, you have to keep in mind that it is much more than just a game of chance. Poker is more of a game of strategy, and if you can keep this in mind, then you will be able to play better. It is important to think strategically, and not to get too emotionally attached to a losing hand.
One of the greatest challenges that any player faces is to determine how they are going to react when the chips get turned over. Tom said that when he was starting out, he would not make the mistake of betting all in when he was ahead, and that this was the first mistake that he made in poker. This is because when you start off, you might feel confident, but this will turn to frustration after a while, and when you lose all your chips, then it will make you want to throw in the towel.
Tom said that poker players should try to maintain some level of self-control, and that the best way to do this is to concentrate on the game itself. Don’t worry about the fact that you lost the pot, because that’s the point of poker. poker, so if you lose the pot, focus on the next hand, rather than on the fact that you have been taken, because this is why most poker players lose.