Aaron Steinberg, a poker psychology coach and relationship consultant, served as this week's guest on the Strategy with Kristy podcast. Steinberg is a former professional poker player and brother to two highly accomplished players, Max and Danny Steinberg. He also manages and coaches Ben "Sauce123" Sulky's stable of staked players.
In this episode, Steinberg discusses the misconception of becoming "emotionally dead" at the poker table in order to improve your decision-making process.
Here is a snippet from the interview:
"The way that I approach poker psychology coaching is basically from this: I guess you could say it's from the idea of wanting to be able to think, act, and feel a certain way, but not being able to actually enact that way of being in real time. So this is kind of another way of describing what it is to tilt.
"For example, on a very gross level, you could say, 'OK, I know I'm suppose to raise here,' but then you find yourself folding when the action comes to you. Or maybe you want to induce someone to make a bluff on the flop, but then when it came to actually calling their bluff on the river, you find yourself folding. So the question is, 'What exists in between that gap of what you intend to do and what you actually end up doing?'
"For most poker players, they come to the conclusion that the problem is their emotions. In a sense, this is absolutely true. We know that when you're emotional, it very much limits your field of vision and narrows down what the possible actions that you have at your disposal so you act more out of habit and conditioning [rather] than out of choice. Poker players, I've found, respond to this by trying to become emotionally dead. So basically, they come to the conclusion that if you eliminate your emotions entirely, you'll only make rational decisions. This actually isn't true at all for a number of reasons. That conflict is kind of the main thing that most poker players come to me with."
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