Years ago, I played in a Friday night all girls poker game. Naturally, the radio played non-stop Top 40 tunes. And, all of my opponents talked in their obvious ‘a guy is around’ girl talk. It was absolutely the most fun I have ever had playing poker. Except for one problem, I never won. I guess that is why they kept inviting me back. I really was trying to win. Really. But, what guy can think about poker while surrounded by all of those distractions?
Whether we are at home or in the casino, the poker scene is usually the same. One distraction after another. In fact, most of our lives are spent in a state of distraction. I am distracted right now. Let’s see: I am writing this article, worrying about my email backlog, thinking about bills to pay and errands to run, there is some loud noise outside, and I am munching on a snack while the coffee is brewing. My mind is literally awhirl with all sorts of unrelated thoughts competing for center stage.
In this age of multitasking, one might think that they are being more productive when they tackle several tasks at once. But more than likely, they are not. Even today, the human brain is still only capable of thinking about one thing at a time. Should I repeat? Your mind can focus on only one thing at a time. If your thinking is scattered, then you are ultimately less productive.
When we are in our usual wide awake, active mental state, known as Beta, we are typically in a state of continuous distraction. This is also, usually, the state of mind we are in when we play poker. See the problem?
The cocktail waitress, the TV, the dog, the loudmouth – they really are not conducive to achieving peak mental poker performance. After all, poker is a mental sport. So, how can we possibly maintain the level of focus required for peak mental performance with all of those distractions bombarding us?
If you were tied for first place in the last leg of a marathon, none of those kinds of distractive thoughts would be allowed to enter your mind. If they did, you would not be tied for first for long. Why then, do we allow distractions to enter our minds at the poker table? Perhaps, there is a real simple answer – we do not know how to block them out. There are many methods for blocking distraction in order to achieve focused concentration. This article is about one called brainwave entrainment music.
Ideally, If we could induce the right amount or mix of Alpha (intuitive), or Theta (relaxed) brainwaves while we play poker, then we could block the distractions. Because, these are the brainwave states of higher concentration. We all know the importance of playing while relaxed, playing intuitively, and maintaining focus. Don’t we wish we could summon and maintain this state of mind every time we play poker?
Some music, especially that with lyrics, can be terribly distracting. While, some music can actually induce concentration. The right music can do wonders for your poker game. If you are unfamiliar with the role that music can play in concentration, then hang on. This could be as big an eye opener for you as it was for me.
Everyone is unique, so I am not going to attempt to lay down a preferred, standard music list. And, even though this is a discussion about what works for me, we all appreciate that everyones’ brains are each wired differently. So, what works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. But, this information will give you something new to think about.
The most successful forms of music for me are a few Classical, and a few New Age selections. They remarkably improve my concentration while playing poker. I have loaded the respective CD’s unto my MP3, and play them continuously during a game, online or offline. Several of the New Age selections are designed by their composers to induce certain mental states, such as increased creativity, or relaxation, or focused concentration. The process of inducing these mental states is known as brainwave entrainment.
The best brainwave entrainment effect is obtained by listening with a headset. Distractions will tend to fade away, ushering in a much desired state of focused concentration. Load your MP3 and you can use this type of music while playing live or on-line. For an effective mental prep, I will even listen while driving to a game. Then, when I arrive at the game, my poker mind is ready for ignition.
Awhile back, I played a lot of limit hold’em in a casino. My standards for play and bankroll management were rigid. This required a great deal of concentration, especially with some sessions lasting ten hours and longer. Distractions simply could not be permitted, but it was near impossible to maintain the level of focus that was needed.
Then, I discovered brainwave entrainment music. My MP3 was loaded and played my favorite selections continuously, hour after hour. I quickly learned to carry lots of extra batteries in my pocket. In the months to follow, the dealers came to know me well. They began to call me the player who never lost.
The effect of brainwave entrainment music on my concentration is simply amazing. There is no other technique that I can employ, while actually playing, that helps as well to achieve and maintain my ‘A’ game. I am certain that you will have the same experience.