Poker is a game that you can play and even win without learning it, but some people still decide to learn it to win more or gain an advantage over opponents. When you read those books, watch the videos, or attend the online tutorials, you gain skills and tactics that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you, and the secrets to succeed in actual contests. Some people avoid the long and tedious, even costly process because they think since they can play without being taught, lessons aren’t worth it. But your time and effort definitely pays off when you decide otherwise and that’s what will help you deal with the antics, surprises, and tricks of opponents.
While learning theoretically through books or videos, and practically through constant practice, a player knows and understands different skills that are not just important in playing poker, but in general life as well. You learn to be patient and wait for the right opportunity, be creative when an opponent spoils your planned moves, and think forward to know what could happen if you make a move too quickly. These skills can help in other life situations because you could at times land in a situation where you should step back, no matter how good or strong you are.
It could be a great way to have fun and spend your free time, especially for youth who are prone to peer pressure that could lead them astray. Once you have started the process and gotten immersed, all your free time can be spent trying to acquire more skills, hence contacts with the outside world is limited. Some people could spend their free time drinking, taking drugs, or sleeping, especially in dangerous neighborhoods, so free time spent to learn something is a big improvement.
Besides the small winnings you get while doing practice games online, you will earn bigger when you finally join serious contests with enough knowledge. You might have spent some money, used a lot of time, or went to bed late each day just to grasp the right knowledge and skills, but all these pays off when you finally win a competition. This is because you will survive longer than or even win against those who did not horn their skill, no matter how long they have been playing. In the end, what you will earn and the name you will make or yourself surpasses every effort you put in to learn and get better.
Learning the game does not just equip you with basic tricks like bluffing, folding, patience or forfeit, you learn the most important of all, how counter an opponent that applies those tricks. An uninformed player can have every trick in the book and fail to know what to do when their opponent applies the trick first, which is to control emotions. And like everything else acquired while learning, the importance of controlling your feelings will not just end at the table because you carry it with you going forward.
People may argue that you are wasting time and money to learn poker for nothing since even those who don’t do it play, and robots will soon replace the game online. You should still forget about doing it for the money or fame and choose to learn for the lessons you will get on patience, emotion control, or humility. Because when you finally retire and everything changes, you will still have everything you learned and apply it in your daily life.