Tempered confidence in Poker is an asset



Confidence is an amazing thing. In whatever walk of life you travel, if you believe in yourself, believe in the process; magic can happen.

On a recent trip to Vegas I experienced the confluence of confidence, mindfulness, and being present on a three-day poker excursion. I had never had a “run” like this before. But, I have no doubts it will happen again.

While stacking chips at my table after winning yet another pot, I wasn’t surprised, amazed or even questioning what was happening. I was confident in the fact that I was just better than the people I was playing with, regardless of whether I had the winning cards in my hand. The cards were ancillary. They didn’t really matter. The more I won, the better I played.

There is a fine line between that feeling of invincibility and just straight confidence. It is very easy to slip into that impenetrable zone at the table. That is why “tempered” confidence, a rational confidence is what best serves the “tune-in” player.

At no time did I feel I was going to win every hand. I never pushed my chips, when I was in “hope” mode. I pushed when I knew I was going to win. It wasn’t an ostentatious feel, it wasn’t cocky. It was a knowing confidence, with an awareness of self and fellow players. Channeling that feel, where you are  mentally aware of your surroundings can lead to great results.

The more people at the table came after me, the more I backed off. I had no problem folding a marginal hand when out of position when someone wanted to flex their muscles. In my state of mind, I wasn’t thinking about past failures, or future riches, all that existed was the present. Being so acutely aware of what is happening RIGHT NOW, not only in poker, but life can only serve you well. Your mind will tell you what to do. You just have to clear the clutter and mentally tune in to your soul.

This may sound a bit philosophical, new age or even a bit ” out there.” It is “out there.” One has to shelve their pre-conceived notions. You have to train your mind to forget what you have been taught about feeding negativity in your life. Embrace the moment. When you embrace the here and now and are in tune with your thoughts, centrally focused on a task at hand, and attack a task with tempered confidence and enthusiasm, you will be tough to beat in poker and in life.

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