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Breathing in, I am aware that I am breathing in.

Breathing out, I am aware that I am breathing out.

In this way, I train myself.

Breathing in, I am aware that I am sitting at a poker table.

Breathing out, I smile to the poker universe.

Breathing in, I watch the cards being dealt.

Breathing out, I observe the players on my left.

Breathing in, I look at my cards.

Breathing out, I fold.

Breathing in, I watch the hand play out.

Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.

Breathing in, I am aware that air is entering my body.

Breathing out, I notice my fingers.

Breathing in, I am aware that a player is thinking about his decision on the river.

Breathing out, I watch him call.

Breathing in, I watch the called player turn over the nuts.

Breathing out, I hear the caller curse briefly.

Breathing in, I am aware that I understand the cause of the caller’s discomfort.

Breathing out, I send him some ease.

Breathing in, I erect my spine and I know that I am preparing myself to receive the next hand.

Breathing out, I am perfect and I notice the sounds of poker.

Breathing in, I am aware that I am breathing in a short breath.

Breathing out, I am aware that I am breathing out a short breath.

Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in a long breath.

Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out a long breath.

Breathing in, I calm my mind.

Breathing out, I calm my body.

In this way, I train myself.

Breathing in, I look at my cards.

Breathing out, I know that one is an ace and the other a king.

Breathing in, I move chips from my stack across the betting line.

Breathing out, I await and observe the decisions of my opponents.

Breathing in, I see them folding.

Breathing out, I see the player on my right raise.

Breathing in, I call.

Breathing out, I see the dealer thumbroll an aceless, kingless flop.

Breathing in, I watch the player on my right prepare to bet.

Breathing out, with anticipation, I time it so that at the moment he bets, my lungs are empty, and I dispatch my cards into the muck with the tip of my thumb, expending the least possible energy.

Breathing in, I am completely aware that I am breathing in and that my lungs are inflating.

Breathing out, I know that right now I am breathing out.

In this way, I train myself.

Breathing in, I post a big blind.

Breathing out, I see the player on my left post a straddle.

Breathing in, I hear the cards coming off the deck.

Breathing out, I look at my cards and I determine that I will fold when it is my turn.

Breathing in, I am grateful for this opportunity to relax and be still.

Breathing out, I fold and I notice my own gratefulness.

Breathing in, I see a player bet the flop.

Breathing out, I see the other players in the pot fold.

Breathing in, I hear the winner’s remark and a reply.

Breathing out, I intentionally shape my body as I please.

Breathing in, I post a small blind.

Breathing out, I watch the dealer’s hands deliver the cards.

Breathing in, I look at the big blind as he looks at his cards.

Breathing out, I look at my cards – 9-4 off-suit.

Breathing in, I decide to pay close attention to the action and to not decide yet what I will do at my turn.

Breathing out, I watch a player raise. Breathing in, I decide now not to reraise.

Breathing out, it is my turn, and I fold.

Breathing in, I pay attention to my in-breath at my nose.

Breathing out, I make my out-breath even and long.

In this way, I train myself.

Breathing in, I am aware that I have the button.

Breathing out, I perfect myself, I hear the poker sounds, I look at my cards – 8-6 of clubs – a vulnerable player limps, I look to the left as the action approaches me, I raise, the small blind calls, the big blind folds, the limper calls, the flop comes, they check to me, I bet, the small blind calls, the limper folds, the turn comes, the small blind checks, I check, the river comes, he bets, I call, he says “You got me,” I show my cards, he mucks, I hear someone say “He’s a moron,” the dealer’s eyes smile at mine as I tip, the next hand is dealt, I’m in the cutoff, I look at my cards – A-5 off-suit – the same player limps, I look left, the button indicates that he is folding, I raise, the button folds, the small blind folds, the big blind reraises, the opener folds, I fold, I sit back, and…

Breathing in, I notice that I have not noticed my breathing for a while.

Breathing out, I remind myself to remind myself to do better at reminding myself to remember to remember to remember to, ah, to remember. With each aware breath, I rejoin, I recombine, I become a member again, I re-member.

Breathing in, I know that I am breath taking.

Breathing out, I know that everything is breathtaking.

Until death do I live.

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Want more Tommy? His book, Elements of Poker, contains his best advice in his distinctive style. Buy it from Amazon or personally inscribed from his website at www.tommyangelo.com. Also at his website you can read Tommy’s blog and all of his old articles, and find information on his one-on-one comprehensive coaching program.

photo by √oхέƒx™

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About Author

Bill Rini has been working in the online poker industry since 2004. He was a product manager for poker at Full Tilt and was the poker room manager at PartyPoker. Currently, Bill is the Head of Online Poker for WSOP.   Bill has been blogging about online poker since 2003 and is considered one of the leading authorities on the online poker industry.   "I like What Bill Rini said in his blog" - Doyle Brunson   "In other news, we had Bill Rini write an absolutely home run blog." Daniel Negreanu   "Industry insider Bill Rini has one of the most popular blogs in poker, with thousands of subscribers and fans regularly coming back for his universally respected insight into the industry" - Barry Carter (News editor for PokerStrategy, Co-Author: The Mental Game of Poker)

(1) Reader Comment

  1. I should take some serious notes on this. Recently I have been having a heck of a time controlling my emotions at the table and have been trying to figure a way for myself to be in the moment while playing.