Mental game part 1

2019-05-07

I used to be a professional poker player. One of the most important skills you need to succeed (at least in the later days) is a solid mental game. 'Mental game' is a term used by poker players that refers to maintaining a calm balanced thought process regardless of the how the game is going. Endeavouring to play consistently regardless of wins or losses (winning can be as detrimental to your performance as losing). The best book on the subject, and one of the most influential books I've ever read, is 'The mental game of poker' by Jared Tendler. One of the key concepts in the book is correcting mental game issues as soon as possible. These issues arise from emotions ramping up and once a certain threshold is crossed they shut down rational thought processes (evolution, tldr in survival situations fight or flight > planning). It takes a lot of trained awareness to catch the earliest signs of these issues and deal with them while they are still correctable. One strategy for catching these issues is being aware of your micro tells, putting in place a system to alert yourself to these, and using that trigger to correct them.
I've almost hit 200 words. I'm splitting the post here. In the next installment I'll tie this back to software development.