“If you don’t like the direction that you are going in, change it” I wish I had come up with that clever statement. Deborah “Soft Touch” Garcia did. Simple really, just do something different from that which is not working for you.
Casino games create a stimulus for excitement and pleasure. I play for the excitement and I take pleasure from those times that I am able to survive the casino edge with a win. No two games are ever the same. If you play enough games, though, you will begin to recognize similarities.
A few weeks ago after finishing 6th in a Texas Hold’em tournament, I saddled up in a $4/$8 low limit game. Everyone in the game was well acquainted except for me. That was my first clue that should have alerted me to be on my toes and I ignored it.
I had very few starting hands in the two hours of play. When I did enter a hand, I was astonished that when I raised the bet pre-flop that I had so many callers. At the Cities of Gold Casino, the poker game goes by the name “No Fold’em Hold’em”, which explains all the callers staying in the game. I soon found myself hearing a familiar voice. The voice of experience whispered in my ear, “not here, not now and not tonight”.
Had I been playing blackjack or craps, the message would have been crystal clear and easy for me to accept and act accordingly. However, as I am in the early stages of becoming a skilled poker player, I could not bring myself to admit to the perception that I was sitting in a lousy card game. Instead, I hit the override key and countered with “I came to play and play I will”. I refused to take in the information and change my course of action.
The element of “energy” which I teach and preach about, provides even more of an edge when playing poker. Without the house edge as the silent foe, perceiving the energy of a poker game is much easier to do when it is player against player.
During this session, I recognized the situation of it not being my night and not my game. I consoled myself with, “Hell, I am here. It’s the only table open. What else do I have to do? I am going to play!” I reconciled reality with my desire to play no matter the outcome. Eventually, I did not have enough chips in front of me to play, even if I drew a winning hand and the outcome became “Y’all is done for the night mate.”
I lost and I should have quit much earlier, back when I first became aware that I was playing a losing game. I’ve had that perception of fighting a losing game enough times to know better. There was no denying the information. There was only me ignoring it in denial.
Why does change have to be so hard? Why hold fast to a fantasy of better cards or dice yet to come? Why repeat the same pattern of misery, instead of trusting the truth found in perception?
Comfortable, relaxed, successful people, trust their perceptions and then act upon what they have perceived. What is the obstacle that prohibits walking away from a negative game? Is it fear? Is it ego? Is it stubbornness? Or, is it simply not knowing, what to do?
My ol’ teacher, Stuart Wilde, use to say, “If you don’t know what to do, then do nothing.” The idea behind this is to still the mind rather than make a random move. By doing nothing, eventually you will become bored enough and eventually become motivated to take the appropriate action to change it.
What does it take for you to change? What motivates you to take a new course of action? Each one of us is different and we each have our particular path of life. The one thing we all have in common is our ability of perceiving reality. That perception comes to us as a feeling. How we feel about life affects us more powerfully than how we think about life. The difference is in how we take action. Doing what you “feel” to be true is healthier than doing what you “think” is true or worse, want to be true.
When it comes to gaming, play with more feeling and less thinking. Play in flow and in alignment with your feelings. Play with an open sense of what is really going on. Have a willingness to change directions if things are not going the way that you would like them to go. You do not have to pay for every lesson by riding out a cold streak and kidding yourself that the dice and cards might eventually improve. You reduce your losses by keeping yourself out of the loosing situations. Keeping yourself out of the loosing situations could mean that you may have to change the way you play the game. Like Soft Touch says, “If you don’t like the direction that you are going in, change it.”
Copyright © 2005 Michael Vernon