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Old 03-09-2017, 01:28 PM   #1
Slimbets
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Anxiety and stress of poker

Hi guys. Anxiety has been present in my life since young age. I've been playing more seriously with a real bank later. In my life I've been able to manage my anxiety and control it, improving myself. The thing is, I do like poker and I play great I had nice results lately and I'm improving my game since few years ago when I played for fun with 10$ single deposits. Poker brings the adrenaline etc you guys know, but it gets the best of me leaving me worried about something I don't even know when I play. If I play a big hand or I'm down 4bb in cash games I start to feel more anxious because they are kind of important things im my brain, even though I have my bank and I know and say to myself that even if I lose all my poker money I don't need it for my life. I can say either that I don't like to lose, at all, and in poker we all know that variance is f*** up lol

There is no magical solution to this I guess, some people even don't feel any anxiety maybe but I leave poker from time to time so I can feel great again. Poker is stressful the more you play BUT is there some arrangements I can make or something to work on?

I can make money and have positive results but it is not good to me and to my health, should I leave it forever?
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Old 03-12-2017, 10:55 PM   #2
The Imp
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Re: Anxiety and stress of poker

Hi, I've had issues with anxiety since I was younger too. It's definitely not ideal for a poker player but you can make it work. It just means that you need to take a different approach to your mindset than others. Poker can turn a normal person into an anxious mess!

There's a lot of uncertainty in poker and that can be anxiety-inducing. You gave a couple of examples (big hands, small losses seeming a big deal) - you have to separate the uncertainty into what can and can't be controlled. In big hands you can control your own play, you can't control results/variance. When losing during a session you can't control if you'll get even or if you're about to have the worst session of your life - you can control how you play and how long you play for. I know that's all stating the obvious but there's a big difference between knowing all that and actually believing it.

However all that being said - it doesn't sound like you enjoy the game too much at present. It's a game after all, it should be fun!
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Old 03-19-2017, 12:50 AM   #3
Synchronic
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Re: Anxiety and stress of poker

Yes poker is a stressful and anxiety rousing thing for many, and this points up further the mistake of not incorporating respect for psychological aspects of the game in one's approach. Human beings when over-stressed or over-anxious do not perform as well, either physically or as confidently, when under these influences.

One strategy, whatever chips are on the table just consider as soldiers, not "real life money." You can talk yourself into this attitude over time. So that the first buy in, and the second one in your pocket, are just soldiers to be put into battle ... not money for life or even saving. As you acquire this attitude, you also tell yourself, "And I've won this money at the tables anyway, therefore, if I wasn't a poker player I wouldn't even have it to start with ... and the purpose of this money is as soldiers to go to battle to try to win more money ... no guarantees, but this is my attitude."

It helps the non-risk taker assimilate the issues involved.
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:26 AM   #4
lisayoung
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Re: Anxiety and stress of poker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slimbets View Post
Hi guys. Anxiety has been present in my life since young age. I've been playing more seriously with a real bank later. In my life I've been able to manage my anxiety and control it, improving myself. The thing is, I do like poker and I play great I had nice results lately and I'm improving my game since few years ago when I played for fun with 10$ single deposits. Poker brings the adrenaline etc you guys know, but it gets the best of me leaving me worried about something I don't even know when I play. If I play a big hand or I'm down 4bb in cash games I start to feel more anxious because they are kind of important things im my brain, even though I have my bank and I know and say to myself that even if I lose all my poker money I don't need it for my life. I can say either that I don't like to lose, at all, and in poker we all know that variance is f*** up lol

There is no magical solution to this I guess, some people even don't feel any anxiety maybe but I leave poker from time to time so I can feel great again. Poker is stressful the more you play BUT is there some arrangements I can make or something to work on?

I can make money and have positive results but it is not good to me and to my health, should I leave it forever?
Hey, trying anyone at this stage isn't going to help you unless you help yourself. I am going to tell you how I overcame this. So I too tried researching and seeking people for this but I ended up reading an article of which I'll include the link later, and then coming to realize that I have plenty of other stuff to do and focus on them instead of this. Hope you understand the point and direction. Get well. Article was on Anxietyscope by the name of Neurotic Depression.
Your friendly psychiatrist,
Dr. Lisa Young, MD
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:21 AM   #5
Chicagodude
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Re: Anxiety and stress of poker

Playing live does cause anxiety because you feel like everyone's looking at you. I quickly discovered that my being nervous was usually present with my having big hands rather than my bluffing. When you see a guy's hands shake it's usually because he has the nuts I've found.
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Old 05-24-2018, 11:23 AM   #6
spurspur
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Re: Anxiety and stress of poker

Being an anxious person myself, I can relate in some sort although I think that poker is probably just a trigger to your anxiety.

At the end of the day, you should feel good. If poker doesn't benefit you, just stop. Play some games that doesn,t involves money maybe?

In my case, I usually feel a little bit anxious when I play live but, it only last a few hands though. It's like I need some time to feel comfortable.

Finally, your best option is probably to learn about yourself.
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