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EdmondDantes says

Couple of things...

1) Congrats on your finish. For me, those four hands would've happened around the 2nd level.

2) I definitely think you should post the non-poker happenings. I'm sick of reading Nath-related events second-hand in the Austin police blotter or on TMZ.com.

3) At the Van Halen concert last night, I was sitting next to a robo-babe. Fortunately, I remembered your post and said, "I'm not sweating because you make me nervous. I'm just excited a the thought of playing with you at the highest level." She was impressed by this show of confidence but what came out was "Ewww. Gross." What's the play when you're opponent doesn't have the confidence to admit similar anxiety?

12/15/07

Anonymous says

Good advice, sir.

Plz just write all of your thoughts down in your blog & I will read them. Then I will still bug you on AIM anyhow.

12/17/07

harlem says

Love the non poker shit, cause it's all relevant!!
As for the line about getting excited when you're nervous, I'll mention it to my wife. She's more nervous then a steroids dealer in a clubhouse.

12/20/07

pfkaok says

Good blogs man. As for the sports psychology stuff, you're 100% right. Also, have you read "Blink"? I remember a ZeeJustin post from a while back where he talked about it, and I read it after that, and its good. There was a section in it where it talked about how really good police and I think maybe armed forces have been taught to really know when they're in the zone, and fully utilize it. Also in there it talks about how guys in sports like Jordan, or Tiger, who most consider to be clutch as naturally possessing this ability to force themselves into the zone. It really is cool shhht that should be researched more for sure.

02/29/08

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donkaments, life, psychology

nath I final tabled my second consecutive UBOC event on Wednesday night (I didn't play Monday or Tuesday's events), taking 8th in the PLO8. Obviously 8th is a frustrating result-- especially since I won a big pot when the FT started to take the chip lead with 9 left. The next four pots I played where money went in post flop, I got 0, 1/4, 0, and 0 from. I may have overplayed some hands, but I'm pretty sure in a split-pot game that counts as running bad. (Speaking of running bad, I had dodged some bullets and stealthily skulked around with a short stack in the FTP 55k last night, to get into the money, and then the servers crashed. The way I was playing I felt sure I would win it. Oh well.)

I've been considering returning to the live circuit in 2008. I feel like I'm playing well, when I trust my instincts and the reads I make. I almost owe it to myself to try for another big score, and this fits well when the plan I've laid out for my life in the next couple of years.

(Speaking of all that, part of the reason I don't write more is that I tend to stick with poker themes here. I have other stuff going on in my life, and other important decisions to make. Do you, the reader, want to hear about those? I can write more about my life beyond poker if that interests you.)

Here's something that may help your game:

One thing I noticed (because I found it happening to me lately) and remembered recently was something I was told in a sports psychology class in college. In big games, in high-pressure situations, we tend to feel nervous or anxious. Our body is producing a higher level of energy than normal, and we're not sure what to do with it. So we call it nervousness and try to calm it down. But this is incorrect. The energy is not nervous-- it is our body's response to what our mind knows is an important situation. Our mind has told our body to produce extra energy to prepare for this important event, to play it at our highest level.

What you misidentify as nervousness is your body entering a heightened state of awareness for the upcoming challenge. You don't need to calm down-- you just need to harness and focus that energy. Remember, don't be nervous, be excited.

Pretty good advice in any area of life. Don't be nervous, be excited. The difference is a matter of your own perception and control.

nath Bio/myhome

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