We have all heard the bad beat stories and everyone seems to have one. I know I experinced many and will continue to. With Texas Hold 'em it is a fact of playing the game. When I have a bad beat I don't get upset at my opponent or myself as each challenge is an opportunity to learn and test my skills at emotional control and awareness of what I can personally learn about my self.


We each have our ego, spirit(soul), mind (identity), and we all can also be the observer of our mind, spirit, and body. When we get a bad beat we cause not only a reaction in our mind, but our spirit and body as well. The neurotransmitters in the brain cause the release of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline which gives us a physical reaction in our bodies and mind that can act in a feedback loop that can upset and anger the calmest of players and once caught up in this loop it is hard to stop. Whether we show it or not, it still occurs in our bodies and minds.
This puts your whole game in jeopardy.

 

So what do we do about it? Ya, you got a real bad beat and that Donk shouldn't of even been in that hand. Get over it son.. the first thing we need to do is recognize and have awareness of how your feeling in your body. Are your muscles tense? Are you grinding your teeth? Hands clenched? Swearing and yelling at yourself or the cards? No matter how upset you are if you are aware of the reaction you can then begin to calm down. Take a walk away from the table or computer and go for a short walk out side and breath. Even if you can't leave the table you can do the breathing. Deep breaths and breath from your abs. Let your stomach fill out and come back in with each exhale. Roll your shoulders and neck, stretch you hands and then your arms, stretch out your legs and back. When you feel your more relaxed and calm remember this feeling and be aware of the calm state and then your ready to return to playing. You and your game will be better for it!

 

In Lak 'esh,

 

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