As Poker players we are stereotyped as lazy, greedy, addictive, and competitive personalities. Thruthfully, I can’t argue with them for at least two and certainly been guilty of all four. You may say “Who gives a sh*t about what others think?”, but in all reality image and perception is a big part of the Poker community and definitely important when you sit down at a table. If your wondering about your table image and how you may be viewed as a player, check out Determining a Poker Players’ Style.
Laziness is the easiest to call a Poker player, we sit on our ass all day and make money while doing so. Fortunately, we can’t relate to their lifestyle because they probably work a regular nine to five job like most Americans. Are we really lazy? Success in Poker certainly doesn’t come overnight and I believe we can argue against this stereotype.First, there are several hours in learning the game before becoming a professional poker player; training, reading, playing, and overcoming failure. Failure alone defeats many before becoming a professional poker player. Some players even put more effort in learning the game of Poker than some give towards a bachelors degree. Some have even gone to the extent of taking phycology courses to learn the human body language and study the human mind. Second, we put in more hours than a typical forty-hour week job, and often have ten to twelve hour sessions. Sitting on your ass is one thing, but dissecting your opponents brain every single hand leads into another profession, a phschiotrist. Figuring out how to make potential profit, is similar to a salesman and how well you can sell your bullshit story. In all reality we can go on and on comparing to normal jobs, but you get the picture.
Greed isn’t necessarily a bad thing on the Poker table. I personally want to be the greediest person on the table every single hand. The problem with greed is when it overcomes you then becomes apparent to your peers and family. The constant thirst to making more money is something that is natural for most people and can be difficult when cutting the greed switch off. It’s easy for greed to consume your life off the table, upgrading materialistic things, hotter chicks to sleep with, and takes away time from spending with loved ones that demand your attention and time. I’ve even seen some players bluff so much that they themselves in believing their own lie. The easiest way to overcome Poker greed is by setting a goal before entering sitting at the table, and track your winnings. Once you keep record of your success, it will be easier for you to convince yourself that this formula works and confident when getting up from the table. Numbers don’t lie, if you playing Poker for the money then plan accordingly to achieve a manageable goal before setting the next.
Addiction stems from the previously discussed greed. Addiction is persistent use of a substance or thing, in our case Poker. Considering the definition I would say we walk a thin line for being addicted to the game of Poker, and success. Is it a bad thing to be addicted to success? That’s my response every time someone tells me I’m addicted to Poker. Now your painting a picture in that persons mind that could positively change their mentality of Poker and give understanding why we play the game to begin with. Addiction has also been described as something that one cannot stop doing. In all reality, we can stop anything once our resources are taken away from us, whether we like it or not. Setting priorities is something that helps overcome addiction (schedules, dates, reminders). Don’t let addiction to success from Poker lead to other addictions that could effect your personal life. It can be easy to use your success from Poker earnings/fame open up opportunities and bad habits that can become problematic addictions.
This is by far our best trait. The competitive nature is what leads to the question, “Is Poker a sport?” The hundreds and thousands of competitors playing one game to decide one winner is exciting to be apart of, especially when doing well. Aside from the money, winning a bracelet or ring and satisfying the will to win is what drives us. Everyone gets that undeniable feeling of joy when winning and it makes it much easier when money is involved. The opportunity to beat your opponent every hand and possibly make your opponent fold a hand that had you beat is what competition is all about. The competitiveness on the Poker table isn’t much different than that of a regular athlete’s training journey. For the most part, it could take years to build a bankroll from the beginning just as a professional athelete starts training at an adolescent age. Similar in training, Poker players start with an adolescent mindset and minimal knowledge when entering the Poker world. Competitive nature is our best trait, lets use this trait to not take any hands off and capitalize on every hand we are involved in.
The Stereotypes of a Poker Player isn’t so bad after all. We get to play a competitive game while potentially making money. We may take a bad wrap in the general publics eye, but you can be the Poker player to change that person mentality on our stereotype. If you are convincing enough you should be able to add another player to your local home game.