3 Ways Brain Training Helps to Win at Poker. Avoiding choking under pressure.
I got to work with a few poker players. It’s new to me. And it’s been interesting to learn how applicable and game-saving all the skills I’m teaching are in the game scenario. I want to share with you 3 insights that I believe are universally useful in high-stakes situations but in “brain games” - they are truly life savers. The difference between a winning and a losing streak.
1. BAD EMOTIONS STAY WITH YOU AND CHANGE YOUR GAME OUTCOME
Alex told me how when he’d get a bad hand or one bad game it would take him a while to snap out of it to keep thinking for the best outcome ahead. You lose and you start making different decisions, sometimes taking more risks than you should, sometimes not taking enough. How do you stay neutral and get back to your center to keep playing with your best “head” when something bad happens❓
Bad emotions don’t change anyone else's game or what happened before. They change your future, your decisions, the outcomes that follow.
Studies show that people perform the best in a confident, balanced, slightly optimistic state.
If you can - stand up, snap out of it, and stretch. The way we move changes the way we think. For sure, take 3 deep, exhale-focused breaths. (I wrote a blog about it today "Don't let emotions hijack your life. 3 practices to master emotional regulation."). Look around, see wider, literally make yourself SEE the bigger picture - where your gaze goes, your attention flows. Keep repeating to yourself - "I can't change the past but I can still shape the future with my actions."
2. HOW TO TUNE THE WORLD OUT TO KEEP YOUR FOCUS SHARP
Alex told me that sometimes he’d find it hard to focus on his thinking, his next move, sometimes his brain would get overloaded with external distractions. What do you do to tune it out❓
Do you know where the majority of your input comes from, into your brain?
Our vision gets prime real estate in our brains.
If you want to focus inward and tune the world out - close your eyes for a moment. Take 3 deep breaths. Open your eyes up and focus on the task at hand. It works like magic. Your eyes are the only part of your brain sticking out. When you shut that down - your focus goes in, and reality gets tuned out.
3. HIGH ENERGY TILL THE VERY LAST HAND
And when the game goes well and I stay till the very end of the tournament I get tired, I just want it to end, what do I do to boost my energy to finish strong❓
I find that hyperventilation breathing does the job beautifully! 25-30 inhale-focused breaths (I demonstrate HERE). 2-3 cycles during your break and you get a natural energy boost, sharpened focus and mental strength to give it all you got.
Also having proper food, hydration routine, some supplements for mental resilience helps a lot. Get in touch if you need all the details.
Life, is all about the decisions we make, the emotions we experience, the meaning we give to things. Believe it or not, it is all in your direct control, will you use this power❓ That’s the most interesting question.