Mental game tips for Spin & Go

We have an exclusive guest post from mindset coach Jared Tendler on how to compose yourself when you are playing in a big multiplier game.

Poker coach Jared Tendler
Jared Tendler

As a mental game coach I help my clients deal with pressure, such as a big final table. But Spin & Go is unique in that you have no idea when that pressure is coming. In a tournament, you know the pressure will rise as a final table gets nearer, but you could grind out 1,000 Spins without any significant multipliers and then suddenly be playing for a life changing sum.

In that respect, the single best piece of advice I can give is to constantly make it your priority to be focused on performing your best, regardless of the multiplier. It’s another form of variance in the game that you can’t control. Don’t worry about that random big multiplier, focus on always playing your best, that way you will have a much better default game when the big Spin comes around. Get into a routine for excellence, with a good warm-up, cool down, system for correcting mistakes and for learning, so you perform well nearly every day.

However, whether it is a million-dollar game or just a 10x Spin at your usual stakes, there will be times when there is a lot of added pressure in a Spin & Go.

Strategic Reminders

PLO Spin & Go
A battle of C-games

When these games come around, first and foremost, you need a good awareness of your biggest mistakes when you are playing under pressure. In my book The Mental Game of Poker I recommend you always be aware of your C-Game, because that is what will show up when you play under pressure. I also recommend having a ‘Strategic Reminder’ which is a word document or piece of paper that reminds you of the correction for your biggest errors or what a good decision-making process looks like for you. When you are overwhelmed, these are the errors most likely to happen, so at a minimum have a solution nearby for correcting them.

When you realise you are playing in a big Spin, take a couple of deep breaths. This is to settle your nerves and give you a mental step back to get your mind in a good spot.

Afterwards, make a commitment to only concern yourself with making good decisions and not to think about the money. Set near term tactical goals, like reminding yourself of your ranges in tough spots. There will be a temptation to think about the potential prizes on offer, but don’t get ahead of yourself. It’s similar to when you run well at a final table, you think you are destined to win. Thoughts like this tell your mind to relax. When you relax, you lose your edge and miss subtle details. Your performance drops and you decrease the chance you’ll win. Do not think about the money until the game is over. Then, no matter what happened, win or lose, you’ll be able to tell yourself you did everything you could.

What are you scared of?

Live Spin Go
Play to crush the small Spins

There are some players who freeze up in situations like this. Normally, I would tell my clients to try their best to perform well and correct small errors, and to learn about yourself in these spots. However, in Spins this may be the only time you are playing for such a big prize pool. That’s why it’s so important to prepare for it now, before the big Spin hits. Ask yourself, in that spot, what’s causing you to freeze? What’s the fear? Is it fear of failure? Fear of future regret? Fear of making a mistake? Fear you will never get a big multiplier again? Work it out ahead of time so you have an idea of how to remind yourself not to be afraid when it happens.

Finally, if you are currently in a big Spin and it is overwhelming you, you have to do something jarring just to snap out of it, like running to the bathroom and splash some water over your face. If you’re lucky enough to hit a really big Spin there is usually a very generous consolation prize. Remind yourself at the start that you would normally be overjoyed with the consolation. Viewing it that way makes it a freeroll of sorts and can take a lot of the pressure off.

The mental game key to Spin & Go is, I suspect, the same as the tactical key to these games, which is to develop a winning mindset in the regular multipliers so any single big Spin is a bonus. If you play these games with the expectation to hit a bit multiplier, you may be playing the wrong games anyway.

Want to learn more about Spin & Go?

If you want to learn more about Spin & Go’s and how to get free staking and coaching from some of the biggest experts in the game, visit SpinLegends today.

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