Nervousness in Live Games

CloutierCloutier FloridaRed Chipper Posts: 32 ✭✭
I recently started playing poker again, mostly online. But I have a couple poker rooms near me so I decided to give it a shot.

I did well my first time and my second time wasn’t bad but I did lose. However in both occasions I found myself being VERY nervous.

I was playing way too tight. And too passive. I made decisions I would never make in an online game.

I have a tendency to get sorta nervous around people anyway, but throw in a little math and I just turn to goo.

Quick decision making goes out the window. I call when I should raise. Never even attempted a decent bluff. Etc...

Is there any advice out there that might help me?
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  • RoblivionRoblivion WisconsinRed Chipper Posts: 354 ✭✭✭
    The best thing you can do is to just keep playing live.
  • CloutierCloutier FloridaRed Chipper Posts: 32 ✭✭
    Thanks guys! Good to know I'm not the only one experiencing this.
  • LeChiffreLeChiffre NetherlandsRed Chipper Posts: 657 ✭✭✭
    Cloutier wrote: »
    I recently started playing poker again, mostly online. But I have a couple poker rooms near me so I decided to give it a shot.

    I did well my first time and my second time wasn’t bad but I did lose. However in both occasions I found myself being VERY nervous.

    I was playing way too tight. And too passive. I made decisions I would never make in an online game.

    I have a tendency to get sorta nervous around people anyway, but throw in a little math and I just turn to goo.

    Quick decision making goes out the window. I call when I should raise. Never even attempted a decent bluff. Etc...

    Is there any advice out there that might help me?

    Can you maybe try to formulate what actually causes your nervousness? Is it the financial risk, fear of making a mistake, fear of what others might think of your play, fear of success, intimidating atmosphere?

    I used to get stressed out too in big pots. I still get adrenaline rushes but I've got much better at ignoring that and thinking clearly. It really gets better over time.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,393 ✭✭✭✭✭
    run a big bluff right out of the gate and the rest of the session is gravy
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,876 -
    @persuadeo is right, as usual.

    I try to set a tone immediately. The tone is there is a new sheriff in town. I try to have a VPIP of 80% in the first orbit or two. That image seems to last for the entire session.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 5,220 -
    Interesting idea, but probably not one that someone who is nervous will adopt.
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  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 5,220 -
    persuadeo wrote: »
    run a big bluff right out of the gate and the rest of the session is gravy

    I tried really hard not to tangent from the OP here, but I failed.

    Q: Do you think this would work in a Vegas day game in which the primary goal of the bulk of your opponents is to not put chips in the pot without the nuts.
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  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,393 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019
    A: Obviously yes.

    The nervousness must be broken. When your chips are all in the middle, you have reached maximum nervousness. The fever breaks as the illusion of this being unbearable is broken. The rest of the game is easier and we can get back to focusing on decisions, not managing our feelings.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 5,220 -
    Interesting. I can't relate it to my own emotional state(s).
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  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,393 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Then it's probably not nervousness about the game.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Las VegasPosts: 5,220 -
    persuadeo wrote: »
    Then it's probably not nervousness about the game.

    Back when I was nervous it wasn't nervousness about losing money, it was nervousness about screwing up in some "social" way like knocking a drink over the table, or accidentally asking an opponent if they had a prosthetic limb.
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  • Chris_VChris_V BoiseRed Chipper Posts: 181 ✭✭
    Addressing the OP: For me it's an operant conditioning issue, making sure that the reward isn't the pot but to playing the hand well. The nervousness is going to happen to everyone. Some people enjoy it and some people don't. It goes away with time spent at the tables. Though, some people who like that nervous feeling tend to end up playing in games that are too big.

    I personally don't like the rush so I have to force myself to deal with it. I also have to make sure I have a big enough bankroll to deal with the downswings.

    Another trick I try to use is by playing as if I'm an anthropologist. I'm there to study these odd creatures who inhabit my game. I play my hands to exploit their obvious bad plays and I scientifically review the hands afterwards for any mistakes. My first goal is to play well, the money will follow eventually.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    One way is simply more experience/practice. But you know what they say about courage - it's not about not being scared, it's about being scared and doing it anyway. So either get courageous, or do it enough until the scary parts start feeling like "whatever". It's not like anyone's gonna die or anything. There are over a billion people in China who really don't give a sh*t what happens at your poker table.

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