Self Sabotage at the Poker Table

Everyone has at some time self sabotaged. This is when we get in the way of our own success or happiness. So how does self sabotage relate to the poker table?

Dodging EmotioSelf Sabotage at the Poker Tablens: The Help That Harms

It’s not rare to see a player who’s tilting at the table order another drink from the bar or hear of an online player smoking a joint to reduce anxiety whist playing. In both these cases the player is self medicating in order to try and resolve their issues at the table. Rather than deal with their emotions they are blocking them chemically. Although there may be some initial gain, the drinking player regains some lost confidence and the smoker feels more relaxed. There is also a loss of cognition I would always prefer to play someone who’s drunk or stoned and I‘m sure you would to. So find effective resolutions to your issues and if you want long term success don’t rely on shortcuts.


Have you looked at the poker book on the shelf promising yourself you would read it. How many times have you have you switched off a poker video to catch up on facebook? To reach the highest levels of the game now you must treat poker as a full time job. The temptation to procrastinate is always there but even small increases in motivation each day can led to huge changes over a year.

Addiction to Failure

How many times have you called knowing your holding the weaker hand. Praying for the river to save you? Gambling adds drama to poker and some crave the highs and lows of hero calls. This is self sabotage, play poker to win not to punish yourself. Crazy calls will lead to some inevitable wins but to far higher losses.

It’s possible to use techniques to resolve self sabotage and improve your game. The first set is to realize what you are doing and actively try and break away from the habit. Hypnosis can be an effective tool for removing self sabotage and improving confidence. It is also worth researching CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy) and looking at the techniques they offer.

Remember the game is evolving and to be a winning player you need more than just an understanding of poker theory, emotional control plays an important role in your success at the table

About the Author Elliot Roe

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