Good players eliminate the negative



Do you have a reason for playing poker? What’s your plan of action to be successful?

I challenge you to write your 10 greatest fears, doubts and worries. Some of you might need more paper to write them all down, but I said 10.

If you had the courage to write them, this is what you will find. Seven or eight have happened or never can happen.

Out of the two or three remaining, you have no control over one or two of them. And finally, you will find that you have control over one, maybe two.

So, does it make sense to spend energy over a list of things you can’t control instead of focusing your energy on one or two things you can handle effectively?

Since the obvious answer is no, why do we continue focusing on unsolvable problems and worries?

The answer is simple: We’re creatures of habit; we like routine and when our routine is changed, we get upset. And one the most destructive habits is griping, complaining and moaning. Some would rather complain than succeed.

Think I’m wrong? Eliminate the complaining and see if you don’t succeed regularly. Eliminate the negative expectations, stop griping, set a plan of action and an attainable goal, whether at the poker table or just in life general, and see how easier it is to achieve success.

The worst thing you can do is to replay a bad beat over and over in your head or repeatedly telling others about negative results. Move on, spend that energy learning from it and not repeating it, but don’t dwell on negative outcomes; they will destroy your game and mind-set.

Many of you might have a four-letter word to describe your game, U-G-L-Y. So I propose you start getting in a winning frame of mind by blocking out the distractions surrounding you.

Focus on the task at hand, expect to succeed, string small victories together and let others do the complaining as you stack their chips. As I pointed out above, most fears or doubts are not worth the bother.

Once you figure that out and concentrate on the skills and experience you have, you will succeed at a better pace. There’s nothing stopping you but yourself and now you know you can beat that opponent, too.

— Al Spath is the former Dean at Poker School Online and continues to teach poker online and live. His free YouTube Poker Channel (Al Spath) has hundreds of instructional videos to view. Al’s live broadcasts are on TwitchTV: follow (PositivePokerInsiders). Contact Al directly at with questions coaching inquires.

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine