What Qualities Define a Great Poker Player?

By Robbie Strazynski
September 01, 2020

Take a moment to think about some of the most well-known poker professionals. Names such as Phil Hellmuth, John Juanda and Doyle Brunson are likely to come to mind. Not only do these individuals possess the poise to remain calm when playing within a high-stakes environment, but they seem to have the capability to make the hands themselves work in their favour. However, we also need to keep in mind that these seemingly godlike skills were developed only after years of practice and determination. If you are hoping to take your game to the next level, it is a good idea to learn from the experienced professionals and take a look at some qualities that are important to embrace at an early stage.

Below, we list three qualities that all great poker players possess that have specifically helped propel them to success and great heights in the game.

Doyle Brunson


An Unerring Sense of Discipline

Although there is no doubt that poker is a great deal of fun, you will require a significant amount of discipline when learning the ropes. Some of the rules may appear boring and yet, they are critical if you hope to be able to appreciate the big picture. The majority of poker professionals fully appreciate the fact that basic strategies still represent the foundations of their gameplay.

Beyond the rules, it’s of course known that as much skill as poker requires, there’s also a good deal of luck. The best players realize that luck sometimes comes in spurts, and a good deal of time might be spent in a downswing due to the (bad) luck factor. The key is maintaining discipline and playing solid poker despite this, and not going on tilt. If you’ve got that unerring sense of discipline like poker’s true professionals, you’ll always end up a winner in the long run.

The Power of Unbiased Thinking

One of the reasons why poker attracts so many individuals from all walks of life is due to the fact that it is extremely entertaining. There are still times when excitement can turn into stress and even panic if a hand is not going as you initially expected. These situations will ultimately serve to separate moderately skilled players from true artisans in the game.

Poker’s greatest players understand that clear, unbiased thinking is key to succeeding in the long-term. They always review their gameplay, realize they need to continuously study to improve, and analyze situations at the tables irrespective of emotion.

Try to develop an objective point of view while playing. Do not allow emotions to cloud your judgement, as they can quickly lead to disaster within a real-world environment, and the loss of big money. In poker, greed and fear can be your worst enemies if they are not kept in check. This brings us to the final point.

Knowing When to Call it a Day

Even the best professional poker players who earn a full-time income from the game are well aware of when it is better to walk away for a short period of time in order to recharge their proverbial batteries. Whether for an hour, a day, or a week, this respite will provide you with the perspective necessary to continue to hone your skills.

For example, you can instead choose to play online roulette here, to read a book, to take a walk, or to watch your favorite films. The main takeaway point is to provide your mind with downtime so that it does not become overwhelmed, and so that you can get back to the tables with a relaxed and clear mind.

Even if you follow all of the aforementioned advice, the fact of the matter is that it will still take a great deal of time to master the ins and outs of poker. Even then, the educational process never really ends. This is why the game itself always provides a sense of excitement and unpredictability. So, be sure to embrace all aspects of this enticing tradition. If you do and truly commit yourself to growing as a player, you, too, may perhaps one day be known as one of the game’s true greats.



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Written By.

Robbie Strazynski

Robbie founded in 2009. A veteran member of the poker media corps, in addition to writing and video presenting, Robbie has hosted multiple poker podcasts over the years, including Top Pair, the Red Chip Poker Podcast, The Orbit, and the CardsChat Podcast. In 2019, Robbie translated the autobiography of Poker Hall of Famer Eli […]

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