I’ve listed the 12 steps below, along with some comments about how these steps make sense for the less-than-successful poker player.

1. Admit that we are powerless to control the order of the cards, the hands we are dealt, the hands our opponents are dealt, and the cards that are dealt as the hand progresses

This all might seem obvious. But the first step in getting better is to recognize what you cannot control, and then to focus instead on what you can control. Don’t waste energy on your bad fortune or the good fortune of your opponents as reflected in the cards that are being dealt. Except for the effect those cards might have on the play of your opponents (and yourself), they are irrelevant.

Except for the skilled card mechanic or cheat, the distribution of cards is completely beyond a poker player’s control. Accept that and move on. Those factors that are within your control will require all of your energy.

2. Recognize the laws of probability and chance are a power mightier than our will

Those laws are immutable. It is only within the context of those fixed laws that we can exercise our control. At the same time, however, our opponents may not be clear thinking or rational enough to acknowledge this. In that case, we may wish to exploit their superstitious and illogical views for our own ends.

3. Make a decision to focus all of our energy on those factors that we can control

You can control your emotions, your image, your play, and your thinking. Vow to play your best game at all times by focusing on these aspects of the game.

4. Commit ourselves to acting morally at the table

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and let our competitive efforts keep us from acting decently toward others. But we must resist those urges, focusing our attention on how we can improve within the ethical constraints of the game.

5. Observe weaknesses and deficiencies in our play

An honest self-appraisal is a necessary and difficult step toward improving our play. Too often, blurred by what we wish to be the case, we fail to perceive what is true. To be successful we need to shine the brightest light of objectivity on ourselves and see our play for what it really is.

6. Commit ourselves to acquiring the knowledge that will help us develop the correct strategy

This means not just buying poker strategy books, or even reading them, but learning and mastering the ample material that is out there. Poor play is often the product of ignorance or sometimes a simple unwillingness to apply what we know to be correct strategy. We must both overcome our ignorance and make sure to apply what we’ve learned.

7. We must face our natural shortcomings and resolve to correct them with discipline and self-control

Knowledge is a necessary but insufficient tool for winning play. We must also develop the emotional and mental strength to do what we have learned is the correct action. What good does it do to learn that we need to fold Q-7 in late position when facing a raise and reraise if we call because we’re “feeling lucky”?

8. Make a list of bad actions and habits we have fallen prey to, and systematically go about correcting them

Such a list functions as an amplification of the mistakes we make but don’t often admit to. By writing these items down we start to acknowledge at least to ourselves what we are doing wrong. And then, as a document, the list can repeatedly remind us of our shortcomings and what we need to do to correct them.

9. Address each listed problem in turn, directly amending our habitual responses with proper play

We make these amends intentionally and we keep track of their completion as we systematically and thoroughly address our shortcomings.

10. Continue to take a personal inventory of how we are improving or failing to improve as we attempt to address the weaknesses in our game

It is not enough to take one step of progress. We must continue to examine ourselves and assess our strengths and weaknesses. In this way we will have an up-to-date account of our progress with remediation.

11. Through constant application, practice the tools we’ve learned and the self-control we’ve developed to bring our game to a higher level

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Just learning and applying what you’ve learned will be insufficient to develop your best game fully. Mastery requires regular and consistent application. That only comes with the ability to turn into habit and routine that which you’ve learned.

12. Share what we’ve learned with others — but not at the table!

True mastery comes from being able to teach others what you’ve learned. So share these ideas in discourse and writing. Build on what you’ve learned by bringing to others the lessons you’ve absorbed. And in so doing truly incorporate what you’ve learned in the basic fiber of your being!

src: pokernews.com