The first stage of poker is characterized by playing for the love of the game. After reading the information on the website and reading some books, the player will have his basic strategy. Getting a basic bottom strategy can take a few thousand hands to get comfortable with. Once he saw a few thousand hands, he would experience wins as well as losses. At this stage, players often believe they have the game tofu. When a bad beat occurs, players will often complain and feel frustrated with the poker game. Players will believe that he plays perfect but bad beats kill long term gains. The player may have some success with poker but bad beats will always bring him back to earth.
In the second stage of poker, players stop complaining about bad beats. He had seen so many bad beats happen, that it just rolled off his back. He has won and lost so many hands that he lost his emotional detachment for the money. Winning is a long term goal and players understand that short term losses will occur. The player has moments when the tilt takes over and he makes very bad decisions. Often times players will make a lot of bad decisions and blame their opponents. He would blame his opponents for making terrible calls and terrible raises. The player lets his opponents into his head and he lets verbal frustration.
In the third stage of poker, players stop complaining about bad beats and their opponents. In the final stages of poker, the player realizes that all success lies within his grasp. He understands that he will make mistakes and his opponents will outperform him sometimes. He understands that holdem requires a lot of skill and he has a lot to learn. Holdem players move beyond basic holdem strategy and think about the game on their own. He realized that holdem is a very complex game of psychology. Basic starting hand requirements and pot odds mean very little at the poker stage. The player plays against his opponent and develops his powers of observation. The player is well on his way to becoming a great poker player if he can stay humble.