Doug Polk has been playing poker for over a decade and has won more than $9.4 million in career prize money. The 28 year old poker pro plays both live poker and online poker tournaments and has won three World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets till date.
Polk runs a successful online poker training website called ‘Upswing Poker’ along with fellow poker pro Ryan Fee. Upswing Poker has a great wealth of information that is useful for both professional as well as amateur poker pros.
There are videos and articles discussing poker strategy, mindset and what it takes to be a successful poker pro. Polk recently pointed out five key areas that poker players must work on to be successful.
1. Money Management
To be successful at poker, a player needs to learn how to manage personal finances as well as their bank-roll. They must not fall into the trap of exhausting their funds in an attempt to get rich overnight playing poker. Polk points out that the best poker players in the world have great money management skills and do not splurge their winnings on fancy items but keep aside a chunk for their future bankroll.
2. Emotional Intelligence
Playing poker for a living does give players to choose where they play and when they play. However Polk warns that this can be a lonely journey filled with more downs and ups. The top poker players in the world invest in mental coaching and prepare themselves so that they are able to overcome the down periods and not let it get the better of them.
Some of the top poker players in the game have good academic backgrounds. Polk believes that being good in academics is helpful as to become a good poker player, one needs to invest countless hours in reading and studying the game. Poker players who are not willing to invest time and money into their poker education will struggle to reach the top.
Polk believes that it is important for poker players to exercise self-control in all aspects of their lives as it helps at the poker table. Players should know when they should walk away in both good times and bad times and it all comes down to self-control and decision making.
Polk says that there is a small element of luck involved when it comes to poker – especially in the short term. Good players quickly learn the difference between bad luck and bad play which helps them rely less on luck and more on strategy.