It’s easy to feel you can no longer improve as a poker player. It’s especially true if you’ve been playing the game for quite some time now. Nevertheless, feeling stuck in your progress doesn’t always indicate a plateau. Other factors could be at play, preventing you from moving forward and becoming the poker player you want to be.
Here are some possible reasons why you might feel stuck in your progress as a poker player:
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Your skills aren’t being challenged.
One of the most common causes of feeling stymied while playing poker is when your skills are no longer being tested. Are you consistently playing in lower stakes in the same online poker room? If your game isn’t allowing you to learn new strategies or techniques, it may be time to up your poker game. Consider seeking out higher-stakes tables or playing in tournaments.
Tournaments are a great way to push yourself and your skills. Aside from competing for bigger prizes, you’re also learning from a broader range of opponents and styles. Plus, since the goal of a tournament is to win and not cut your losses, you will have to develop a more aggressive strategy.
You only play one poker variation.
If you’re stuck in your poker journey, it may be time to branch out and try new versions. By playing different game forms, you will challenge yourself and discover which type of poker best suits your skill level. For example, try Omaha or 7-Card Stud if you only know how to play Texas Holdem. It’s incredible how much you can learn by switching up your routine and trying something new.
Feeling stuck in your poker journey might be caused by a lack of organization. Concentrating on the end goal can be difficult if you don’t have a clear plan for what poker hands to play or strategies to use.
Scheduling your sessions will help you stay focused and motivated. That includes setting aside time to practice or review poker concepts, ensuring all your tools are in order, and having an agenda for each session. It would help if you also established guidelines on how to react when certain situations arise while playing and stick to them as best you can.
You’re playing too many hands.
Another common mistake is playing too many hands, making you feel stuck in your progress. Playing a lot of hands can achieve short-term success, but it can be challenging to find long-term success this way. Try to focus on playing fewer but better hands and observe how other participants are playing, so you can learn more as you go.
It would be best if you also spaced out or shortened your sessions if you find yourself playing the same hands repeatedly. For example, if you’re playing a couple of hours each night, try focusing on one specific poker strategy for 40 minutes or less and then switch to another game or limit. Doing so will help you hone in on your goal and not feel as burned out from playing.
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You’re not tracking your progress.
It’s essential to monitor your improvement regarding your poker journey. When you don’t follow your advancement, it can be challenging to know whether or not you’re making any headway. Keep a poker journal for each session, and write down the hands you played and your decisions. Doing so will help you understand what worked and what didn’t so you can adjust accordingly.
It’s also a good idea to set goals for yourself. That could include aiming for profits after a certain number of hours or setting up an overall plan, like making it to the higher stakes tables by the end of the year. Keeping track of your progress and setting goals will help you concentrate and be motivated to achieve your objectives.
Don’t forget to update your goals from time to time. Remember, you might be learning faster than you think, so the goals you’ve set for yourself may become too easy to reach. Establishing new and higher purposes will help you challenge yourself and advance your poker journey.
You’re too hung up on winning pots.
There’s nothing wrong with playing poker for money. It can even be a great incentive to improve your skills. However, if that has become the only thing you care about, it’s time to re-evaluate and think about why you’re playing poker in the first place.
Focus on improving your game, and avoid getting obsessed with winning pots. Of course, playing well and making as much money as possible is critical. Still, if you’re only concerned with collecting chips, you won’t be able to learn much. It would help if you could take a step back and look at the game objectively. You should also do your best to play the game again for enjoyment. Once you’ve found the right balance between fun and money, you can move forward in your poker journey.
You’re not staying up to date.
Poker constantly evolves, so keep current with new strategies, tactics, and game variations. If you have been following the same routine for months or even years, it can be challenging to make headway, often leading to feeling stuck.
If this is the case, try watching online poker streams or attending a few live tournaments and observing what other players are doing differently. Also, take notes on their strategies to apply them in your game.
Time to get unstuck
Learning more about poker, setting goals for yourself, tracking your progress, and playing fewer hands are all strategies to help you avoid feeling hindered. As long as you remain methodical and bent on improving, there’s no reason why you can’t continue to progress and become a better poker player.