The Zen Of Poker - Part III - How To Use Zen In Your Poker Game
But this does not mean that you cannot benefit from Zen wisdom to improve your game and even your outlook on life.
These are some Zen proverbs that will hopefully help you on the way to becoming a poker master! "The tighter you squeeze, the less you have" Try to remain emotionally detached from the game, so you can always make the best decision.
Think of chips as just chips instead of worrying about their money value - if you worry too much about money perhaps you should play lower stakes for a while until your bankroll allows you to play without thinking about it.
A clear head and a serene mind will be your best weapon at the table.
"No yesterday, no tomorrow, and no today" - Sheng-ts'an In Zen, there is only one moment: this moment.
Focus on the present hand as if it were the only hand.
The fact that you saved the last hand on the river should not make you reckless, nor should the fact that you just sustained a horrible bad beat affect your play.
Take each hand on its own terms, and play it in the best way.
If you manage to internalize this, you will be better equipped to deal with demanding tourney play and make it to the final table with the same focus that you had at the start.
"To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders" - Chuang-tzu It is easy to overthink your play and end up embroiled in complicated maneuvers that don't take you anywhere.
Instead, try to get in tune with your instinct and listen carefully to what it tells you.
Your instinct is not just a "new age" notion: it is another name for a complex interaction of perception skills and experience that you build up through many hands (and many years) of play.
How many times have you gone against your "gut feeling" only to find yourself losing? Next time, try to silence your mind and you will be better able to follow your poker instinct.
"Sitting peacefully doing nothing, spring comes and the grass grows all by itself.
" Sometimes the best thing to do is just to do nothing and let things take their own course.
Many martial arts moves are based on the principle of using your opponent's force and momentum against them, and you can apply the same principle in your tournament play.
Do not expend unnecessary resources entering hands that are not worth it.
Instead, be patient: let your opponents battle each other while you wait for the right moment to make your move and conquer effortlessly.
From a Zen point of view, you win by letting everyone else lose.
"When walking, walk.
When eating, eat.
" A very important lesson you can learn from Zen is to do what you are doing wholeheartedly, whatever it is...
and then, when you move on the next activity, do it just as wholeheartedly.
When you are at the poker table, don't think about the mortgage or the football game.
When at home, give your undivided attention to your family and not to last night's tourney.
By focusing on what you are doing in the moment, you will not only become a better player but also a better person.
"When you get to the top of the mountain, keep climbing.
" Finally, keep in mind that the road to becoming a master is long.
Even if you think you are an accomplished player already, keep your curiosity and passion alive as you strive to become a better player every day.
May your journey to mastery be a happy and fruitful one, and may you never stop learning!