Simple Soft Skills Strategies

Benjamin "NeverscaredB " Wilinofsky

 

When I was a young poker player coming up, the games were so easy, and the prize pools so big, that it would have been criminal not to register a full schedule. I would roll out of bed at 9 am so I didn’t miss any hands in the 100r, and keep registering through the Nightly $162 at 9 pm. Most of that time was spent 20-24 tabling, cramming MTT SNGs on my screen whenever there was an empty spot to fill, unless I was deep in something big enough to warrant fuller attention.


 

A few things happened that year. 1) I made a lot of money. 2) I put on a lot of weight. 3) My girlfriend decided we needed ‘a break.’

 

After the ‘break’ turned into a ‘break-up,’ I continued to do what I had always done, cram my screen full of tables and play long days. Except now the money was flowing in the wrong direction. I gave back 6 figures the year after that break-up and my only solution was to keep doing the same things I had always done.

 

When we talk about our edge in poker, we usually talk about our strategic advantage over our opponents, things like them putting chips in too often or not often enough. But it’s one thing to have a stronger strategy than your opponents, and it’s another thing to execute that strategy.

 

Think of it this way: If your A game has a 20% ROI, and your B game has a 10% ROI, and you play each half the time, you will end up having a 15% ROI. If you can work hard to improve your strategic knowledge and improve your A game by 5%, you will end up with a 17.5% ROI. But if you focus on managing your capacity to play your best consistently, and play your A game 75% of the time, and your B game 25% of the time, your ROI will also be 17.5%.

 

A lot of the material you work on in the stable is focused on the former, but often the latter is the lower hanging fruit, and will have a more immediate impact on your happiness. As a bonus, managing these ‘soft skills’ will not only help you bring your ‘A’ game to the tables more often, it will help you bring your ‘A’ game to studying the hard skills, the technical stuff that makes your A game more profitable.

 

Here are a few simple tips that will help you maintain your mental balance so you can study and play your best:

 

1) Take breaks. Even if you think you’re the kind of person who can be ‘on’ all the time, you aren’t. Your nervous system is not designed to handle extended periods of highly focused functioning.

 

2) Be social. Online poker is a tempting hideaway for introverts. There were many weeks of my life where the only human contact I had was with the delivery driver. But humans are social creatures, and an undernourished social life is fertile ground for mental health degradation.

 

3) Sleep. You need it more than you think. Coffee is not a substitute for a well-rested brain.

 

4) Exercise and diet. Your physical health affects your mental health, especially your stamina. Exercise, like sex, floods the brain with a bunch of beneficial hormones. Don’t go overboard with either and exhaust yourself, but don’t be neglectful. Junk food is always tempting for a hard-working brain. Mix in a salad.

 

5) Drugs and alcohol are tempting escapes. They might take the edge off after a long day of grinding, but they take their toll. Alcohol reduces your capacity to fall into REM sleep, a crucial brain process for mental recovery. If you sometimes want a drink at the end of the day, that won’t hurt. If you often need a drink at the end of the day, it will. I shouldn’t even have to say it, but don’t play drunk or high.

 

6) Sex. Get some. Not only does it feel good, it releases a flood of beneficial chemicals in your brain, especially Oxytocin. It also helps satisfy your need for social contact. There’s no shame in a hooker if you’re busy (or ugly).

 

---

Like our blog? Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to be informed whenever we publish something new.

---

Write a comment

Comments: 8
  • #1

    Sngwonder (Tuesday, 06 December 2016 03:51)

    Ive always felt this stuff is so important , always preached it espeically as ive suffered with my mental health (i didnt need poker to make it so lol ) But for poker purposes balanced lifestyle , keeping fit and seeing people and having friends and girlfriends will only increase roi , i feel people study super hard and play hard then neglect actual life way to much,

  • #2

    Austin Mickley (Monday, 23 January 2017 01:52)


    Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

  • #3

    Lula Selvy (Thursday, 02 February 2017 05:19)


    These are truly fantastic ideas in concerning blogging. You have touched some good things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

  • #4

    Kelle Kellems (Friday, 03 February 2017 13:08)


    This website was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Thanks!

  • #5

    Mitsue Daub (Saturday, 04 February 2017 02:17)


    Hello mates, how is the whole thing, and what you wish for to say concerning this piece of writing, in my view its genuinely awesome designed for me.

  • #6

    Hyo Severino (Sunday, 05 February 2017 04:16)


    You need to take part in a contest for one of the most useful websites on the internet. I'm going to highly recommend this website!

  • #7

    We Write Essay For You (Wednesday, 15 March 2017 10:46)

    The best communicators are not just skilled at articulating their own considerations, they're also extraordinary audience members. We tend to partner being the loudest voice in the live with power and control, however effective leaders understand the importance of listening in to others' thoughts and ideas.

  • #8

    Marlon Santana (Wednesday, 14 June 2017 18:35)

    What's wrong with those auto comments? Shiz... @topic, amazing content. Recently I've been noticing the impact of leaving my social life aside to just play poker. Also how my mind keep asking for It by consuming tons of hours of social networks. People got to stay aware! Thanks for your awesom text. Stay strong.


CONTACT US: 

bitbstaking@gmail.com