Phil Hellmuth Teaches How to Optimise Your Emotions at the Poker Table

9 months ago
Phil Hellmuth Teaches How to Optimise Your Emotions at the Poker Table
05 May

Phil Hellmuth has been busy teaching how to keep your emotions in check while playing poker. As ridiculous as it sounds, the “Poker Brat” feels with all his experience and success he’s the man for this job. Yes, the very same man we have seen on countless occasions losing the plot whilst getting unlucky in a game of chance. Let’s take a look at what tips Hellmuth has to offer.

1. Never Have too Much of Your Own Money at Stake

This one sounds obvious, but there are some wrinkles to take note of. Hellmuth has a personal rule of never risking more than $10k of his own money in any one tournament. This is regardless of how well-rolled for the event he might be. 

The main point to take away from this, even if you consider yourself well-schooled in bankroll management, is that large sums of money at risk changes your mindset regardless of how rich you are. High-risk situations will generally make a player less rational which is fatal for a gambler.

2. Eliminate Extreme Downside Risk

This is just an extension of point #1. Hellmuth recommends negotiating a deal where it’s possible to eliminate the chance of a huge loss. This makes sense whenever possible, particularly if you can convince your opponent(s) to accept a deal skewed in your favour.

Guaranteeing yourself a decent payday with a little left over to keep the play interesting is a sure fire way to keep your stress levels down and your play at its most rational.

3. Remind Yourself, 'This Is Just One Hand Out of Many'

This technique is called broad framing. The aim is to always be strategising with the long run in mind. For example, a single hand in a tournament played poorly can certainly be responsible for your downfall, but generally one hand makes little difference to your overall performance when viewed over a whole year.

Use this tip to avoid putting yourself under undue pressure when wanting to play sub standard hands because of boredom. 

4. Avoid Overconfidence to Maintain Focus

A bit cheeky of Hellmuth to put this one in his list….. He claims to remain humble despite all of his success in the world of poker. Whether or not we agree that he manages to uphold this piece of advice himself we should certainly always apply it to ourselves.

The principle of working hard and never feeling you have nothing more to learn is priceless.

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Mark from Stamford in the UK is a professional cash game player, and part time journalist. A massive chess fan and perpetual traveller.He also produces strategy content for our sister wesbite more


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