Being a good poker player means giving at all you got every time you sit for a round of poker.
Good poker players can squeeze out some money from the toughest poker situations where so-so players cannot. The masters of the game can try something out of the book to see where it goes while newbies and mediocre poker players must not even entertain the thought of it.
Great players know that they can do something great on the poker table. This comes with a ton of experience and that is winning experience on the poker arena. Mediocre poker players has to face the fact that they will be outplayed most of the time by good players and that it is suicidal to do something beyond their set of poker skills.
A newbie may call some plays of experienced players unorthodox while the world looks the better player as the lucky party on the table. This happens because newbies pay attention on the early parts of the hands while the good players are focused on the latter portions of the hand. Excellent players know how to finish a hand well while taking the risk of bigger bets and bigger pots without showing a bit of panic. Beginners will have their eyes on the pre-flop while the better poker players will focus on how to outplay the lesser-skilled players.
Great poker players has the understanding that they do not play the pot to win all the time but to create and re-create favourable situations that will give them a certain edge to have more winnings in the long run. These players may not be afraid to give away some small pots but they patiently stalk the end game where the best things can happen.
Guided by the above tips, one can start trying to have the mentality of a winner, of a better poker player. It takes time but poker like real life is really like that, tough.