Paul Phua Poker Tip: Keeping your cool

Every poker player has their strengths and weaknesses.

Even myself; there are things in my poker game I would still like to improve on. But I’d say my biggest strength is my temperament during casino games. And that is never tested more than when you lose a big pot on poker night.
When that happens to me I say to myself, “OK Paul, this just happened, don’t worry too much about it”. I then switch as soon as I can to wanting to learn from the experience. I’ll ask myself if I played the hand badly. I’ll then ask someone else whose opinion I rate the same question – could I have done better? Or maybe I’ll just admit to myself, “you know what, you were just unlucky”.
It’s important to control your emotions in Texas Holdem, to stay calm. Because if you don’t it can affect your play and make you choose the wrong poker strategies. That’s my biggest strength over other players
I’ve seen lots of technically good players lose their cool in the casino. Many, many good players and poker stars can slip. These are players who were supposed to be able to beat me hands down on the poker table. But over the course of a 15 hour session, they maybe play well for 10 hours and they get unlucky in one hand, get angry, and so the next few hands they play badly and then lose all their chips.
It’s like being a goalkeeper at soccer. If you lose your cool, or your concentration for just a second, it can be a disaster if it happens at the wrong time. If the other players round the poker table aren’t as good as you, fine, sometimes you can get away with it. But if you are all at the same skill level, if you play one bad hand, then it’s very hard to recover. And your poker chips end up with in the hands of the other players.
Don’t lose your cool in poker games. It can cost you everything.