The Poker MindSet That Stops You at The Poker Table May Also Stop You in Life?

Poker Mindset Thought for the Day…

Confessions from a Poker Mindset Coach: My mindset was my undoing during the 2007 World Series of Poker® Main Event Championship. Despite the fact that I finished in the top 4 women out of nearly 6,400 players, there is still a part of me that feels like a failure.

It’s not that I busted out that haunts me. That just simply sucks. It’s that I felt a flash of fear that made me weak.

And I hate feeling weak.

So what happened?

Despite the fact that it’s been many years, I remember the feeling in the pit of my stomach the moment I felt that fear.

The specifics of the hand are unimportant. What is significant is that in that moment I became frantic and feared I would bust out. I know my heads-up opponent literally smelled it, just like a dog smells the fear from a cornered animal.

It took him a long time to call my all in. I remember he went into the tank for several minutes before he made his decision to call my big, naked Ace with his pocket fives.

My story didn’t make sense to my heads up opponent.

What’s so interesting to me about competing in poker events and at live cash games, is that we must become good story tellers. Every move a poker player makes is to tell a story. Some are to get us to call. Others are to get us to lay down.

For the previous 4 days in that WSOP® Main Event Championship, my story telling skills had been spot on. Yet, when my energy shifted to fear, that was the end of that run.

Once when I wrote about fear at the poker table, a hypnotherapist contacted me and suggested that in order to get rid of a fear, we had to be able to define it. I believe she was right.

MindShift Exercise

  • Take a moment, get still, and take three deep cleansing breaths.
  • Ask yourself, “What am I afraid of?”
  • Settle into your calm.
  • Listen to the answer from your small voice inside.


Getting your head in the game is often a matter of getting out of your own way.

Until next time, remember my mindset motto:

“Play the cards life deals you as if you’ve already won.”

Donna Blevins
Poker MindSet Coach &
Dean of Poker MindSet Academy

BTW, please a comment and tell me about your fear. Sometimes just ‘fessing up takes the power of that fear away.

Oh, one more thing, if you enjoyed what you read, please share it on Facebook and tweet it.

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