Who thinks long term in poker will be successful

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Every successful poker player can confirm that you have to think long term in order to play successfull poker. Poker is a long session and not a short-term one! If your goal is to make money with poker, you should go with the right attitude to the tables and learn to deal with certain situations and short-term defeats. A good poker player is made up of technical skills and a good mindset. Both are equally important, although it is said that the psychological aspect is even slightly higher.

What is meant by long-term thinking?

Successful poker is based on math. There is always a correct way how to play a hand and that is the highest expected value (+ EV). So your goal should be, no matter what, just think and put your game on it. You have to be clear in your head and follow a structure. If you focus on short-term results, you automatically adjust your game and make turns that have a negative expectation. In the long run, this means that you leave money behind. So you can quickly become from a Winning Player to a Loosing Player.

A good poker player thinks long term and the short term results are not important for him. The results of individual hands and certain sessions should not affect you mentally. No matter what happens, you play your A-Game. If a certain move has a positive expectation value, you do it, no matter if you have a losing streak or winning streak. If you can do that in your head, you’re  on your way to becoming a successful poker player.

What are the consequences of playing poker at short notice?

If you focus too much on short-term results, you will be extremely happy when you have a winning session, but also depressed when it is going the other way, which eventually ends up being on Tilt and continuing to play. We have now listed a few points to what players tend if the think short term.

To be mad at bad players

Players interested in short-term results will be very angry if they lose to very bad lucky players. This players feel all moves and the results at the sessions much more extreme. With each lost pot, the calculation starts in your head and you start to go crazy. This could lead to building an enemy image against these bad players and starting to play worse hands against these players, even though they have no positive expectation. Maybe you are so angry and insulted the bad players, so they may even leave the table. Of course this is very bad as bad players bring the money.

Try to reach with all your power to be break even

A player who is focused on short-term results, will try everything to avoid a Losing Session. You simply can not stop with a losing session and try to play at least break even with all your power. This way of thinking can have fatal consequences and very high losses.

You are not able to play your A-Game anymore, can come very fast to Tilt and will also become less concentrated over time and unable to play your A-Game even if you want. Of course it can work and maybe you reach it to be break even. In the most cases, the whole thing backfires and it hurts extremely. And especially when you are on tilt, the danger is also very big that you go broke and lose all your bankroll.

Protect your winnings to much

Many short-term thinking players look forward to a winning session like a young child, tending to overvalue them and protecting their profits as a mother does to her newborn. The motto is: “Stop when you’re in front” But this can also be a big mistake. Maybe you are currently in an upswing and it just fits everything together. There are a lot of bad players at the table right now and the cards are just good. Simply stopping with such a run would be anything but profitable.

Another mistake is to play conservative as soon as you are ahead. You play so carefully with the goal of risking no more sums of money. This way of playing you lose a lot of Edge on his opponents.


The tilt susceptibility is much higher for players in the short term thinking. Since you only thinks from one session to the next, a loss naturally goes much further than thinking long term. The tilt risk is just way too big.

Change your style of playing

A successful poker player makes decisions that have a long-term positive expectation (+ EV). Short-term results would never affect your own game, because you know that it is right what you do and brings in the long run profit. For players in the short term thinking that looks very different. These change their way of playing after a Losing Session, although they may have done everything right. Of course it is very important to always watch your own game critically and to analyze and improve it, but to change something even though nothing is wrong makes no sense. Even the best and most perfect poker player will lose in the short term even if he plays against an incredibly bad player.

Conclusion regards the long term fact

As in all of our articles on psychology in poker, here too we can only say again that it is very important that you always play with a clear mind, a good mindset and a realistic expectation of profit.


· Published 27.02.2018 · last updated 27.07.2023