What is poker mental toughness? Let me explain by way of example. Poker is a mental sport. So, for that matter, is chess. In sports, whether the game is mental or physical, the mentally tough prevail. Does anyone doubt the mental toughness of Bobby Fischer or Lance Armstrong? Indeed, through life, in any form of competition, the mentally tough prevail. Do you doubt the mental toughness of Abraham Lincoln, or Sir Winston Churchill? Would you want to challenge Bill Gates?
Mental toughness, in life or in sports, describes the combined qualities of discipline, dedication, overcoming adversity, focus, perseverance, and tenacity. The pathway of achievement for the mentally tough is just as littered with setbacks and obstacles as is the path of anyone else. The difference being that the mentally tough simply never give up. They rise to any challenge through increased training, or introspection, or by whatever means necessary. Their minds are steeled to the accomplishment of their goal. They can not be deterred.
Here are seventeen hits that characterize poker mental toughness:
1) When you will not play, unless all factors are positive, and a gaming edge is enjoyed.
2) When you can turn on concentration, focus, and detachment at will.
3) When you command resolute, winning drive.
4) When you do not allow emotional involvement, or reaction.
5) When you do not allow fatigue until the game is won, no matter how long or difficult.
6) When you execute nothing less than rational, thoughtful decision making.
7) When you are constantly focused, thinking, analyzing, and observing.
8) When you press for higher and higher levels of game and opponent awareness.
9) When you can not be dominated or beaten mentally.
10) When you will not give up.
11) When you hold to your game plan and strategies, especially when under attack and suffering.
12) When you will not be deterred by pressure, set-back, or adversity.
13) When you guard against any fraction of discipline.
14) When you are a force that influences how others play, bending them to your will.
15) When you rise to any challenge and fight back.
16) When your presence is noted by your opponents.
17) When yours is the mind of a warrior - never tiring, never giving up, never distracted, always keenly focused upon the goal at hand.
We may never achieve the heights of success as have those individuals mentioned above. Neverheless, we should still cultivate our own personal brand of mental toughness. Why? Well, if we do not, it will not be long before our opponents smell and attack our weakness (sharks that they are). Mental toughness is more than a prescription for success, it is a matter of survival. Whatever in life or at the felt.