Tommy Angelo is a well-respected poker player, writer and coach. He's best known for penning, Elements of Poker, which addresses the mental side of poker. In Part 1 of his interview for the Strategy with Kristy podcast, he discussed how to begin improving your poker mindset, and also addressed the common hurdles players face during the process. For Part 2, Angelo talks about how to deal with lack of confidence, gives advice for online players transitioning to live poker, and covers mediation techniques.
Here is a snippet from the interview:
Another tactic you use with your students is meditation. I think that word is a little scary for most poker players.
[Laughs] Very scary.
Is it because it's so unknown? What is it about meditation that frightens players?
Well, actually you hit on the classic right there. What we fear is the unknown. The reason people have fears and misconceptions built up about meditation is simply from lack of knowledge, lack of understanding. The way I go about it in poker coaching is that I try to draw on practices that I think a person can do in their current state. So for most people, the act of doing a formal sitting meditation takes multiple exposures over a long period of time before someone can even get to the point where they are non-resistant enough to even try that. That's rarely where I start with my clients.
It's usually a case of getting them to do the act of sitting up, making yourself still, and calmly being aware of your own mind and body. Observe your own thoughts. That's called mindfulness.That practice is something anyone can do and anyone who does that at the poker table, I believe, is going to make more money than if they didn't.
I look at what the smoothest possible slope of entry is when I'm introducing these kinds of concepts. I find out what anxieties they have about it, or what fears and misconceptions. And then I say, 'If you just do this simple thing, I think you'll make more money.' It's very, very easy to prove or disprove this because all you have to do is try it for a while, and come back and tell me what happened.
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