Playing in the Light
by Cyndy Violette
Gone are the days of poker in smoke filled back rooms with shady characters casting their shadows over darkened, grease stained tables.
Poker has come into the light. If you want to be successful nowadays, you need to be playing in the light as well.
I have been a professional poker player for the past twenty years. In my travels, I have garnered many victories, most notably winning an event at the World Series of Poker.
In my life, I've always been interested in a healthy lifestyle. I've been a vegetarian for 15 years, read countless books on spirituality and transformation, followed astrology, and practiced yoga. Most importantly, I know you can create your reality based on what you focus your thoughts on. Most recently, I have become interested in Kabbalah. Every time I mention Kabbalah the only thing people can say is. “ Isn't that what Madonna is in to?” But Kabbalah is so much more. It's a technology for your soul. It's about being proactive rather than reactive. Kabbalah is a tool to eliminate chaos and help bring light to any situation.
But what does Kabbalah have to do with poker?
Kabbalah has been teaching me about ego. I am also learning to be more disciplined, something that I have struggled with my entire poker career! I know I am not alone here....
But, it is not the only way to get yourself in the right frame of mind. Whatever method you choose, it's essential to have a technique to shift into positive energy if you are going to be a master poker player.
Let me share a little story about playing, at of all places, The World Series of Poker.
Over the previous year, I had been feeling blocked from winning any major tournament. I'd come close but I hadn't allowed myself to break through. It had been one of my goals to win a bracelet that year and work on whatever was holding me back.
There I was at the final table of the Seven Stud Hi-Lo. It seemed like in no time we were down to just two players: myself, and an older gentleman named Pete. I could almost smell success. But believe it or not, we played head-up for over 4 hours! Every time I had him down, I felt myself slipping, and he would make a comeback. In my mind I was in a constant battle the whole time with my saboteur. There was a part of me that wanted to just blow the game and not get my victory after all. So I had to keep working on shifting my energy and not letting any negative thoughts or feelings enter my mind, and replacing them with positive ones. The tides shifted again and we were both about even. We were given a choice of a 10 minute break or a dinner break and I knew it was the perfect time for a long rejuvenating break for me so I opted for a dinner break. I went to my hotel room and listened to a meditation / visualization tape called “Clearing Blocks”, ate some healthy food, took a quick bath and came back feeling totally positive. In no time at all, I ended up winning. This was a major breakthrough for me. I won in every way, all because I shifted the energy.
We can all use a shift of energy from time to time. Being able to remove the negative stimulus that blocks our play is a skill that EVERY poker player needs in order to be successful. My column here will focus on the spiritual side of poker, giving you tips, techniques and ideas to make you happier, healthier and wealthier.
Make a commitment to take care of yourself. It is just as simple as that. Did you think I was going to have you sit in the lotus position and hum? I see and talk to many of poker player friends who don't take the best care of themselves. Make a commitment to treating yourself better this month. Below are a few suggestions:
there is always a healthy alternative to greasy cheeseburgers and chocolate shakes.
(I will save my recipe for Miso Soup for next month.)
Make sure you spend at least 30 minutes a day exercising. Just think about it. You spend hours sitting at the poker table. You can take a a half hour out to take a walk. In fact that is the most natural form of exercise you can do. It's good for your body, mind and circulation.
Treat yourself to a massage:
The hotels and casinos we play in all have beautiful spas. When you're sitting so long you may need help getting energy flowing again. A massage is the perfect solution and it will help you play better the next time out.
Get more sleep:
This seems like a no brainer but so many of us are sleep deprived. Even if you play and all night poker session, leave time for your body and mind to recuperate.
Try it, You'll be happier and wealthier for it.
Peace – Cyndy Violette