Do you want to be a GREAT poker player? Not just a great poker player, the kind who can make money at the game and walks away from the table ahead way more than behind, but a GREAT poker player, the kind that makes it to final tables. The kind that WINS final tables. THAT kind of poker player. If you do, then you have to be able to manage your ego, and that might be your toughest assignment ever.
To be a champion in anything, it takes a big ego. You have to be able to look anyone in the eye at anytime and say to them, “I am a champion.” And then you are going to have to prove it. It doesn’t matter if you are tired, or sick, or sick and tired of playing poker, if you are going to claim you are championship material then you have to be ready to back your play at any time. That takes a pretty big ego.
Here comes the hard part. You have to keep that big ego under your hat at the table. Sure, you can tell people you are a champion at the felt, and you can even use your ego to your advantage if you want to try to intimidate other players; but when it comes time to retreat, your ego is your biggest enemy next to boredom.
Ego lets you fall into traps. Ego tells you “No way he got high pairs two hand in a row; he’s bluffing!” Ego is what leads you down Tilt Street and Steam Avenue, and will soon lead you back to the cashier to get some more chips. If you want to be a GREAT poker player, you will need a big ego; but you will also kneed to know how to control it.