Monday, October 6, 2008
Hypnosis And Poker
"Today I will play perfect poker. I will play patiently and with discipline. I will play with aggression when I detect weakness, and with caution when I suspect strength. I will punish players on draws or that hold weaker hands. I will have the discipline to fold when I am beat. I will create big pots with big hands and small pots with small hands. I will stay calm and relaxed at all times."
This is an example of how I use hypnosis to create a positive mindset for myself before each session of poker. Notice that each sentence is phrased as a positive suggestion. This is because your subconscious mind is designed to accept suggestions only in that manner. Remember that you think in your language! When you frame a suggestion, it should always be written, or spoken, using a positive intonation. Suggestions that are framed as a negative are not accepted by the subconscious in the way that you wish them to be. Actually, they are accepted by the subconscious in the exact opposite!
An example; Do not think of the front door of your house!
What happened? You just thought of the front door of your house. Though strangely enough, I have had clients that told me that they thought of the front door of someone else's house.
Another example; Do not think of a large pink elephant walking down the street!
You just thought of a pink elephant.
So what happens when you tell yourself something like, "I am not going to get mad and go on tilt today!"
Actually, your subconscious hears that as "I am going to get mad and tilt today!" The exact opposite what you wanted.
Even the best players are going to lose their share of hands each day. The ability to not let those beats affect your play is crucial to your long term success. Rare is the day when the poker gods smile upon you and everything just falls into place. That is why it is so important to prepare yourself. Nobody plays well when they are upset or angry.
It also goes without saying that you should be playing well within your bankroll. I personally always stick to Chris Ferguson's five percent rule. You simply cannot play your best when the loss of few buy-in's eats up a quarter, a third, or half of your bankroll!
So, use the example at the top and begin writing and formulating your own pre-session suggestions. Repetition is the key to using suggestion, so make sure to get a note pad and write them down each day before you start to play. Then, take a moment at the end of your session to make a few notes. Including your mental state.
I will soon include an audio link of an actual Self-Hypnosis CD called Improving Poker that I have created for myself. I think you'll really like it.
Good luck and and don't suck,