Playing in the Light - 2
by: Cyndy Violette
“I'm good enough, I'm smart
enough, and doggone, PEOPLE LIKE ME!”
Whenever I mention that I use positive
affirmations to improve my poker play, people usually think of Al
Franken's Stuart Smalley character from a sketch on Saturday Night
But positive affirmations can get you
the results that you're looking for. A positive affirmation is a
great tool to bring into reality what we envision and want to create.
A strong positive statement that something is already so, is a way
of making firm that which you imagining.
Let me tell you a little story.
The first time I started learning about
positive self-talk was in 1986 when I ordered a set of tapes from
Shad Helmstetter. I listened to them a lot right before I won my
first major tournament, the Gold Nugget, Grand Prix of Poker, with a
first place prize of $74,000. When I won the tournament I told the
reporter that these tapes had a lot to do with keeping me in a
positive flow. Listening to positive talk re-programs your
Lets face it, words are power. Every
thought you think is creating your future whether you say them out
loud or not. Writing affirmations is very powerful too. You can
write down what you create.
I have heard so much negative self-talk
at the table. Leave the self-deprecating humor to the comedians.
There is no room in a poker players life for negative thoughts or
words. Your subconscious mind doesn't know if you are joking or not.
Choose your thoughts and words wisely.
Even when you say something to another
player at the table like, “I can never seem to beat you”
or “When you're at the table, I never win”. That just
gives away your power. Don't give any opponent your power, by saying
something like that, either out loud or in your head.
Here is another one that I have seen
many times. After someone draws lucky, a player will actually say to
the player that drew lucky. “ Wow, you are so lucky I can't
Don't ever tell another player that
they are lucky. They might actually believe you.
Words can create a self-fulfilling
prophecy at the poker table and in life. Words have the power to
As you put it out there, you are
creating it. Some things to remember about affirmations are they
should be in the here and now and not in the future. Phrase what you
want to create as if it already exists as a “right now
reality”. Our subconscious mind accepts whatever we think and
say. By making your affirmations positive and in the present tense
they can manifest in your external reality.
Before every tournament, I spend some
time in my room going over my poker journal that is filled with
positive affirmations. Some of the things I read:
- I am playing well
- I am prosperous
- I am making good decisions
- I deserve to win
- I give myself permission to win
- I am focused
- I feel very lucky
- I am flowing and positive
I hope you notices something about
those affirmations. The power of “I AM” is a very
The majority of the affirmations I use
all begin with those two simple words that carry so much power: “I
Ignoring the obvious biblical
reference, “I AM” carries so much power because it is an
affirming statement. You are not saying, “I hope I'm focused,”
Or “I wish I will make good decisions.”
By saying “I AM” your
calling “it” into being, whatever “it” is
that your are affirming. The simple act of saying, “I AM
focused” makes me so focused I can't even begin to tell you.
Keep in mind the power of “I AM” when you are applying
positive self-talk to your poker game.
Before I wrap up, I want to address one
last thing. As odd as it sounds, many players don't give themselves
PERMISSION to win.
Inside of all of us, is a little
self-doubt. All of the negative words about ourselves that we hear
all through our lives seems to be stored in a “little vault”
in the back of our minds. Whenever adversity strikes, that “little
vault” has a tendency to pop open and some negative thoughts
and words may spill out affecting your play.
Keep it locked! Better yet fill all
those shelves in your vault with positive thoughts and comments that
you hear about yourself. It isn't easy. It reminds me of that scene
from the movie Pretty Woman.
Julia Roberts is in bed with Richard
Gere and she says, “You hear something enough times and you
start to believe it. The bad stuff is always easier to believe..”
CYNDY'S KNEE JERK AFFIRMATIONS
Getting sucked out on the river:
I am still playing great. (Look at the
big picture. It's only one hand)
A tough player sits at your table:
I am ready for any challenge. I love
challenges. I love playing tough players.
Misplaying a hand or making a
I learn from my mistakes. What I've
learned her is..... What I' do differently is..... (Don't beat
yourself up. It's part of learning to make mistakes. It's key to
remember this because this is where a lot of players get tripped up.
If you beat yourself up you'll lose your positive energy.)
Someone says or does something
I am focused on why I'm here. (Don't
give it too much energy.) You get moved to a different table: I'm
always in the perfect place at the perfect time. (Don't
automatically think this table is wrong or I'm at a disadvantage.
You've been moved and there's a good reason. Maybe the new players
are easier to beat at this table.)
It doesn't have to be that way, but it
will require a little work on your part. Give yourself permission to
win. Say to yourself over and over, “I deserve to win!”
Even if you make a bad play or a bad
read, follow it up with “ I STILL deserve to win.” Put
it behind you and focus on the now.
What I just described above is what I
will call a “Knee-Jerk Affirmation.” You need to develop some Knee-Jerk
Affirmations at the poker table so when certain potentially damaging
things happen, you can respond automatically with positive self-talk.
Practicing some of these Knee-Jerk
Affirmations will go a long way to improving our game.
Positive self talk can energize and
lift you to incredible heights. If you are constantly filing your
mind with positive thoughts, you stand a better chance of having
positive things happen to you so that you are always “Playing
in the Light”
Peace --- Cyndy Violette