Psychology in poker. Part 1.
I read a book on psychology. The book isn't about poker. It contains a list of Cognitive Distortions. I think that some of them applicable to poker. Our mood is the same in all aspects of our life. Our behaviors are the same when we study, play poker or work.
I want to share these distortions with you and try to interpret them in relation to poker.
1. All-or-Nothing Thinking
You see the world in black and white. If you fail to achieve perfection in anything, you regard yourself as a complete failure.
Actually, a poker player should not have this kind of distortion. Because no one can win every hand that he plays. No one can win every tournament that he plays.
But sometimes we can get upset about one important hand. Sometimes this triggers an All-or-Nothing Thinking. Inexperienced players can become desperate due to periodic failures.
You view a single negative event as evidence of an endless series of failures.
Have you had ever a situation like this: you got pocket aces, push on preflop, but your opponent collects set to the river. You think: "I've never won with pocket aces."
It's an overgeneralization. Actually, you win with pocket aces more often than you think.
3. Mental Filter
You choose one negative detail in a situation and focus on it so persistently that the entire reality appears to you in a dark light, just as a drop of ink stains an entire container of water.
Let's imagine that you are in the tournament. You play well through the tournament and the bubble is near. There is one hand that throws you into the area of the bubble. You think: "I played tournament badly. I can't get into ITM. I'm a loser."
Actually, you played well the entire tournament. This is just one bad hand. In addition, you still have a good chance to win back and get into ITM.