Quick recap for those who´ve just joined us on this blog. Ok so in Lesson 1 we looked at:

·         The Map is not the territory (what you think is real, isn´t)
·         You are 100% responsible for your poker play
·         Your behaviour online or at the tables is tied up with the emotional state you are in
·         You´ve added on meaning to that state

In Lesson 2 we discussed:

·         Our behaviour when we play poker is the result of habits and the unconscious
·         We should try everything in our game and have behavioural flexibility
·         Learn from each experience, there is never failure. It´s just feedback
·         Model the pros, if they can, you can
·         You have all the resources you need already at PSO and if you want more go out and invest in some personal development materials

Today we´re going to look at HOW OUR BODY AFFECTS OUR MIND and ANCHORING and player CatGirl will be testing out my theories for real.


Let´s look at our body´s physiology. This affects our emotions and vice versa. Our heads think through our 5 senses (we think in pictures, sounds, sensations, feelings and self talk). So we need to have something called Sensory Acuity when we play, i.e. a brilliant awareness of our senses in the present moment to be able to pick up upon the tells of other players. Good examples of this sensory acuity are recognising Eye Cues in another or using techniques to establish rapport.

We create emotion which changes our physicality. For example if I am an angry player my chest is tight, my throat under pressure, my head frowning, heart pounding etc. If I´m a relaxed happy player I´m more likely to have loose shoulders, soft neck, peaceful expression, bubbly voice, chest out proud and light and be smiling. If I want to go from angry to happy I can start by changing my body language. Loosen my chest, open my throat, smile, soften my head and neck moving into a neutral state then assuming the characteristics of a happy relaxed body we´ve just described above. Soon our mind also changes from angry to neutral to happy & relaxed as it has to follow what the body is doing. So in situations in your game when you just can´t shake your emotion or change you head & heart, change your body first instead and the rest will follow. Fake it till you make it! Change your posture manage your emotion.

We can also use our body´s Preferred Representational Systems, they will help you communicate better with other players. Most people have one of these PRS that influence more than the others:

·         Visual
·         Auditory
·         Kinaesthetic
·         Auditory-Digital
For example a visual player would use more pictures and visual language (says things like: Look, see, overview, watch), an auditory person speaks in audial language and sounds (says things like: Listen, can you hear, On the grapevine, sounds like), a kinaesthetic uses sensation and experience (says things like I feel, I´m touched by) and an auditory digital talks to themself in their head (says I say to myself, I think, It´s my thought). So find your opponent´s PRS and match and mirror it to create rapport or do the exact opposite to break rapport, whatever strategy you need.
ANCHORING in NLP allows us to change our state or mood and thus our actions and reactions, all essential things for poker players. If you know how to create anchors you can fire them off and be able to access any state of emotion anytime you want during your play. For example you can anchor in states of confidence, competence, strength, courage, tenacity, aggression, intelligence, endurance etc. Here is how
1. Remember a time when you were in that state, for example of confidence. Hold that picture in your mind´s eye. Now step right into that picture. See what you saw, feel what you felt, hear what you heard, think what you said to yourself when you were in this place of utter total confidence now. Then thwack lock it in. You can use a sound; a movement (like clicking your finger) etc to anchor that state and reach it at anytime. The next time in a game you want t access that internal resource of feeling totally confident just remember that scene, click your finger etc. Other good anchors are perfume (smell is a very strong anchor and memory jogger), a colour (lucky blue shirt) or even a taste. Try it can you describe to me what fresh cut grass smells like. How a 99 ice cream cone tastes on the tongue, the sound of an airplane flying overhead, how a kite looks flying in the sky, how the sea feels as you paddle in. I bet when you imagine these scenes in your head they are easy to recreate, I bet you also bring up a few images from childhood too. For me a childhood summer day will always be best remembered by the smell of fresh cut grass, gazing up dreamily at airplanes overhead or dipping timid toes in the chilly sea. My whole reality of summer is anchored in these sensory memories. So think how you can use this technique now in your poker.
Can you anchor in a state of courage when you wobble at the final table? Can you anchor in a feeling of resourcefulness when you make the final? Can you anchor in positive mental states to overcome any opponent´s strategies? Can you anchor in a state to beat any bluff or pick up on any tell? Can you anchor in a winning strategy, how does it feel to be a winner?
Then using what we just learnt about body language and your physicality use your body to empower you to become that state that person that winner.
Let me know how you get on with those 2 tips, next time we'll be looking at Goal Setting  in poker with Strategic Visioning induction / hypnosis timeline therapy techniques and CREATING outcomes we want in our game.
Happy playing