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The Seven Levels of Mastery for Tournament Poker

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It (poker) takes five minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. ~ Mike Sexton

Even though the following seven levels are presented separately, and in a certain ascending order, they are a ladder of independent measures; The levels will, instead of each overlap, share component parts, and often be accomplished in a different order. This is because the process of learning and advancement is different for every player.

There is no uniform, fixed template, or ladder, for success; These levels of the arrangement may be as large as imply. Instead, there is just so much you can do, and you can do what you can with your own pace and your own way of advancing. Thus, as you might imagine, there are so many paths leading to tournament poker success pkv games.

Every one of us is different in many ways. We each have different strengths and weaknesses, different temperaments, and we each learn differently and at different rates. And darn it, there are a lot of players who just have a lot more natural talent, or gray matter, or photographic memory, or something else cool than us.

Consequently, some players will have to work harder than others. For some, there will be things that will come easy and naturally. While for others, those same things may be extremely difficult, even more alien. Most every player who masters these levels, will do so at a different rate, and possibly a different order, than any other player.

In the final analysis, though, every successful tournament player will have mastered each of these levels, one way or another. So, let’s get started.

This presentation starts with poker fundamentals, then adds layer-by-layer capabilities to the next level of performance. Thus, these seven levels are arranged in some degree of difficulty, some in their usual order of mastery, some in the order that they build upon each other, and the most advanced from the other.

Level # 7. Fundamentals of Command – Playing the Cards.

What I know about poker, you can fit into a room with a thimble over the left, but I’m learning. ~ Wilford Brimley

Learn the fundamentals, the mechanics of poker. Things, for example, such as:

playing position,
starting hands,
bankroll management,
outs and odds,
bet sizing, and
reading the board.
These are among the things you must do before the first master. This is the beginning point for everyone. Practice. Think. Study. And, learn.

Level # 6. Understand the Tournament – Playing the Game.

Talent is never enough. With few exceptions the best players are the hardest workers. ~ Magic Johnson

Learn the formula for success of each style of play that you intend to play. There are so many different and difficult factors that influence tournament play, such as:

Full table, and short table play,
Heads up play,
Bubble play,
Rate and amount of blind increases,
Early, middle, and late game play,
Starting stack size to blind ratio, and
Single table, and multi-table tournaments.
Each style of tournament, and each stage of a tournament, requires special techniques for successful play. Becoming a tour specialist requires an immense amount of plain old hard work in research, calculation, and strategic planning.

The most important attribute a player must have is mental toughness. ~ Mia Hamm

The preceding two, and the degree to which some of the following, levels deal with the mechanics of the game. That is what the game of basics is all about. The book is about learning and dosing sides of the game, so to speak.

Next, address the following five levels of mastery of yourself – how you think, how you choose, what you desire, and how you can overcome your internal roadblocks. Thus, the remaining five have a lot to do with the game of the most difficult aspects – the things going on inside your head. In a sense, mastery of the following is, to use a common expression, separate ‘those that can, but not’ from ‘those that do’.

In other words, almost anyone can become proficient at the game of mechanics. But, only a relatively few advance professional quality players from basic to proficiency. Like many have said, the basics of poker can be learned in just a few minutes; But, the game takes a lifetime to master, provided you are also mastering yourself.

In the lingo of poker, this is the point at which you will learn how to ‘play the cards’ and ‘play the game’. But, there is a whole lot more to learn.

Level # 5. Know Your Opponents – Playing the Player.

Yeah, well, sometimes nothin ‘can be a real cool hand. ~ Paul Newman, Cool Hand Luke, 1967

This level is about a lot more than simply identifying an opponent’s playing style – for example, loose, tight, tricky,

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