Why is the mental game important in poker?

The mental game is everything, once you are at a certain skill-level.

I will cover two specific reasons why the mental game is important if you want to be an elite poker player:

Reason #1: Play more A-game. 

You can learn how to play your A-game more often, reduce B- and C-game and thus dramatically improve your win rate

Reason #2: Improve your overall life.

When you improve your mental game you will also be better at mastering your life away from the tables. 

Let’s explore the two reasons separately. 


Play more A-game

We all have different levels of how well we play. 

We can call these levels A, B, and C.

When we play our A-game we might win 20 ante per 100 hands.

When we play our B-game we might win 10 ante per 100 hands.

When we play our C-game we might lose 5 ante per 100 hands.

When you move your performance away from your worst game and towards your best game it can have dramatic effects on your win rate.

Simply doubling the time you play your A-game and reducing the time you play your C-game by 66 % could make you 60 % more EV over 100.000 hands. 

These results are simple to achieve with the right knowledge, models, and practice.


Improve your overall life

I see over and over again that highly skilled poker players find it difficult to manage their private life. 

Structure, goals, feelings, motivation, fulfillment, gratitude, and consistency are keywords that can be tough to master.

If you do not master these elements, you will likely burn out. 

You will likely become stressed. 

You will probably stay in your comfort zone. 

You won’t achieve your potential.

You won’t feel fulfilled, even though you crush the tables in periods.

The flipside?

Master your life outside the tables.

This will make you go full circle; you will become a highly skilled and mentally strong player.

You will feel better on a day to day basis.

You will have true passion and a burning drive to play great and to play more.

You will become more focused and concentrated.

You will be a better partner, father, son, friend, and family member. Your relationships will skyrocket.

You will become more healthy. 

My endnote is this…

Your biggest opponent is not on the tables. Your biggest opponent is you.

When you decide to work with your mind, everything will change.


Feel free to ask me any question on discord. There’s also a mental strategy thread at the 6+ discord forum + an ongoing meditation challenge where we help each other to stay consistent.


Peter Rasmussen

Poker Mindset Coach

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