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The Essential Characteristics of a Pro Poker Player


As poker became as easily accessible online as it was offline in recent years, the game understandably grabbed the interest of many new players across the globe, many of which have never tried it before. Fortunately for them, Googling things like ”Top 10 Poker Sites” or “learning the let it ride poker strategy” will turn up a plethora of results, all of which can help introduce the game to newcomers.

But while online resources can be very handy for inexperienced players, only a rare few detail what it really takes to become good at poker. With that in mind, if you’re relatively new to the game and are looking to get serious about playing it, here are some essential traits you need to work on if you want to succeed.

Discipline and Patience

Poker is a game of waiting that requires plenty of patience, especially if you play longer tournaments. No matter the format or the occasion, you will always need to patiently wait for the right moment to strike. If you don’t, you’re prone to crash and burn. One of the most patient players on the MSPT is Season 7 Player of the Year Rich Alsup, who is pictured above. Being disciplined with your drinking and eating habits and knowing when to quit and when not to go over your head is also a skill that can be polished and used to your advantage in many different situations.

Decision Making

The fear of making a bad decision can hinder your sound judgment and your performance in the game. You have to be confident in making decisions even when you know that they might lead you to lose, as losing is just another part of the game. Confidence can also help you take control of the action and lead the game rather than just wait for someone else to do it.

Cool Head

Naturally, there’s no place for strong emotions at the poker table. Not only can stress and anger reveal your bluff and help others take advantage of you, but they can also affect your ability to make rational decisions. Poker is an analytical and logical game that always has to be played with a cool head and less emotion. This is especially true when you hit a losing streak and your emotions drive you to stress out and chase wins when your logic would say otherwise.


Math and analytical thinking are one of the strongest weapons that every poker player who wants to play more professionally has. A Poker pro will continuously calculate the odds of his opponents having stronger hands to gain an advantage over other players at the table. Estimating whether it’s the time to call or fold based on mathematical odds and probability is something that can be learned, practiced, and put to great use, while the same can’t be said about hunches or “educated guesses” based on other factors.


And finally, to be a poker pro you also need to have plenty of experience under your belt. Hours of real-world practice and researching strategies and methods will amount to success at the table, just like in any type of business or other ways of making money.

If you want to test your poker skills, the MSPT offers great opportunities to do so, especially through out $65 super satellite. Check out our 2018 schedule here.