Sunday, August 08, 2004

State of Mind

I want to talk about state of mind a little in the context of Poker. Normally when I play Poker I start out very calm. I might be a little excited to play. Now excitement can be your worst enemy. Have you every felt the little anxious jump? Maybe your leg is shaking a little. Your a bit excite or nervous or jumpy. I think a lot of times this little feeling can spell your doom. It is sometimes a tell of wanting to make things happen. Poker seems very much a game of calm. I suppose this is why many people mention zen and meditation when talking about Poker. Basically I think you need to find your center and wait for the cosmos to give you a turn. Forcing things to happen will cost you. So I am going to take a few breaths and jump back into a nice NL table. I am up like 8 bucks and am waiting for my cards.

Just as a side note: It really sucks when your K high flush gets beaten by A, much better the other way around. Earlier today this happened. I do not think you fold a K high flush in NL, but it still sucks. I was on a table. I got the K high. Someone bets 8 bucks into me, I raise another 8, they go all in, and that's the end of me. Damn! I hate it when the chips are supposed to slide to you and they somehow go the other way, that is disconcerting.

2 Comments:

Blogger Sloejack said...

I think I've probably mentioned this before, but obviously you're right. State of mind is critical, this not only means keeping cool and tilt-free but leaving all the external events that work to disrupt your play checked at the door as much as possible. There's nothing wrong with being excited in general, it can possibly help with some aggressive play when you need it. Obviously the trick is not letting your excitement make you stupid-aggressive, aka a fish.

I don't know much about Zen or meditation but if it helps you, more power to you. Another approach could be self actualization. Write down the thing you want to do (bad play style you want to avoid, habit you want to build, etc). Read it to yourself and then read it out loud. Then put it some place you can see it if you look there (doesn't have to be in your line of site, just nearby where you can turn your head and read it). Now, every time you sit down to play, repeat the same process and after a relatively short period of time (few days to a week), the habit you want to build should start showing some fruit, or the bad habit you want to break should start occurring less often if at all. The principle of course being, that by doing this you're making a conscious effort to alter your subconscious responses.

10:32 PM

 
Blogger Sloejack said...

I guess I should add that should you choose to follow my crack-pot advice, you want to be as specific and detailed about what you're trying to accomplish. Vague desires lead to vague results :)

10:34 PM

 

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