If you are a poker player then you know how things can get heated quickly. It’s difficult to maintain your emotional state, but it also is a necessity. Have you ever wondered why players sit at the table so stoic? Or, why they are quiet? The reason is because much of the game is mental. Sure the cards play a huge part, but maintaining mental clarity is key.
If you are a player prone to emotional exploding at the games, here are some tips to help you stay off tilt:
- Yoga. Yoga isn’t just for women. It’s calming and can help men and women release stress. It is a meditative practice that can add to anyone’s playing arsenal. It’s a great way to just “chill” when things get heated. You probably can’t go through all of your poses at a poker game, but you can take a few minutes to do some stretches that will allow you a short breather. That breather can help you to return to the table and stay off tilt.
- Meditation. Go a step beyond yoga and start full meditation routine. The best thing about it, is that it will help you to remain calm during your everyday life—that includes time you spend at the poker table.
- Gratitude. Practicing gratitude is a great way of getting out of your head and focusing on what you do have. It helps if you learn to practice being thankful throughout your day because it works with your mental state. Like meditating, it offers you benefits long beyond just the time you spend actually purposely surrounding yourself with it.
- Set a loss limit. Sometimes getting emotional at the table can be a result of losing too much too fast. You can offset this by setting a loss limit for yourself before you get to the table. Decide how much you are willing to lose and never go beyond it. That way you’ll prepare yourself for the worst, but if it happens you won’t be too devastated.
- Breathing. Part of yoga and meditating is breathing. It allows you to calm your mind and settle your emotions. Use different breathing techniques at the table to stay off tilt. The best thing is that you can do it relatively unnoticed as you face off.
- Clothing. You know how some poker players wear hats or hoodies? It isn’t just for comfort. They do that so they can close off from the other people in the room and just mentally focus themselves. Use the same tactic to ensure that you are keeping on track with your gaming.
- Avoid alcohol. Sure it’s sexy to watch someone winning big with a large glass of gin at their table, but it isn’t realistic. The truth is that alcohol can exacerbate your emotions and make everything seem much worse than it is. Alcohol can also cause you to make bad decisions. Leave the booze for nights when you’re watching a good game or spending time with friends. Keep it out of your playing habit.