The Power of Zen Poker

How to Use the Power of Zen Poker

Zen is a Buddhist discipline that is focused on empowering the mind to achieve incredible results. Zen Poker is applying the principles of Zen to break down your poker game and then transform the way you think about Poker. Players like Andy Black and many other professionals use the systematic approach that Zen Poker recommends to achieve good results at the poker table. Zen is basically the art of achieving peace through understanding and self control, a powerful thought for anyone prone to tilting after a bad beat. If you have ever negatively reacted to anything in poker adopting the Zen approach to poker may be worthwhile for you.

In poker players can often lose the point of reality about why a bad beat has occurred. Rather than blaming the random nature of the shuffle that placed that particular card in that particular place in the deck, some players believe that something more sinister is going on. Some players believe it is their own personal bad luck causing the beat and that the Universe is punishing them for something. Some believe that they are not worthy of victory, hence their loss. It is human nature to try and find reason in the face of random occurrences and often even a bizarre conclusion feels better than admitting it is simply the run of the cards. Many players needing to dodge a king for example in an all-in situation fully expect to lose even when a heavy favourite. Many of them then look surprised when they win the hand.

Superstitious players can go to incredible lengths to try and avoid taking bad beats. Some will wear the same clothes, always follow the same routine at tournaments and follow a variety of bizarre rituals in an attempt to avoid bad beats. Zen poker is a technique that offers a calming of the stress but it has a deeper benefit as poker players are often highly charged individuals living an unhealthy lifestyle both mentally and physically.

Every Texas Hold’ em poker tournament you enter has a large first prize in it compared to your buy-in. Any player taking part could win this tournament. Every single time, it could be you and this is exciting for any poker player. But after, for example, thirty attempts at winning a big prize and constantly getting bad beats and unlucky moments and never winning this prize you can begin to become paranoid that something is stopping you from winning. This can become a deep set conclusion that the world is against you and in extreme circumstances can change your personality.

Zen poker makes you step back and understand each part of your game, breaking it down into digestible chunks and keep a realistic perspective at all times. Rather than berate yourself over a bad beat it teaches you to appreciate that there is always another tournament and that luck is just part of the game we must accept, even embrace; because that same luck could see us win next time. Imagine a series of letters like “AGHRI WMCOP WOICN OWMEO CMFJR”, how long would it take you to memorise this sequence? Now try and remember this series of letters, “Poker players are very cool”. It has almost the same amount of letters as the jumbled sequence yet we can remember it because we recognise the patterns from everyday speech. Breaking down and learning about poker in this way really helps, and Zen Poker teaches you how to do it.

The popular book “Zen and the Art of Poker” by Larry Phillips teaches you to become an unemotional person in respect to poker and this helps you get over bad beats, overcome the fear of both winning and losing and maintain a healthy perspective in regards to poker that eliminates the many stresses involved. If you are often affected by either large losses or even wins this book can help you find balance. I would recommend this book as a good addition to your poker library as it is something different and has real benefits for a player learning the game and players like Phil Ivey have a real advantage over opponents in part by their calm approach to poker.

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