I am writing now as I play in a Texas hold’em poker tourney. While playing, a thought came into my head: poker is truly a litmus test of your emotional and mental state.

For those of you who are or aren’t famiar with poker, it is a game of skill with about 20% luck factored in. Why a game of skill? This game is geared towards playing against other people, being very observant of other people’s behaviors and betting patterns.

I’ve noticed that when I’m not in an optimal emotions and mental state, I SUCK at poker and find myself grasping at straws. However when I’m totally at peace with myself and remain very observant, I play winning poker.

Therefore, when I see a good game or tournament at a casino, I constantly look within myself and ask myself if I’m in the right state to play. Sometimes I ignore what’s going on and end up losing then I would reflect on my session and realize it is my own downfall, to play in a poor state.

Therefore, I take great care now to meditate and bring myself to a state where I can think clearly, play correctly, and accept if I get beat then move on to the next hand.

I’ve played for about seven years and am known to be a formidable player at times. Other times I play like a fish and that’s only because I was in a bad emotional or mental state.

So in summary, I strive to be at my best with peace in myself in anything I get involved in. Therefore: poker is always a good litmus test for what mental/emotional state I am in.

For those of you out there, I encourage you to go out and try the game of Texas hold ’em !