Stress relief from within

One of the keys to success as a poker player is keeping your emotions under control.

Going off the rails is always a danger and it can be very expensive. That's why I want to learn more about meditation.

Lots of people have preconceived ideas about what meditation is or isn't, but I've heard some poker players have spoken highly of it so I'm willing to give it a shot. Supposedly meditation can help to control tilt, how upset you get during poker tournaments. Overall it's well-regarded for a stressful lifestyle.


I've talked at length about some of my swings over the last year. Poker is obviously stressful because of swings like that, and I'm not immune to it. It doesn't matter whether you're playing for pennies or for millions. If you have that competitive drive, you're prone to tilt and stress. Controlling that stress is important for any poker player.

I certainly get upset, just as anyone does. I don't know if I tilt per se, but I'm sure I lose emotional control to some degree at times. I get upset. What I'd like is for poker to become something that doesn't put me through so many emotional swings, and I feel like meditation could be a good path towards that.

I tried meditation a few times when I was younger. Those times were in a class setting but nothing serious. I remember enjoying it a lot. It was very relaxing. It made me feel at peace - but for some reason I never got into it. I've always wanted to find a reason and a good opportunity to do it.

Thanks to ElkY, I have that opportunity now. He's friends with someone who owns a resort in New Zealand. Well, it's not really a resort, but it's a small, exclusive, private getaway. You go there and you tell them how you'd like to spend your time - you tell them what you want to get out of your stay there and they help you with it.

One of the things that they specialize in is teaching meditation. When ElkY mentioned to me that we'd been invited down to the resort, I got very excited about it because it sounds great. So, that's where I am right now.

There's lots of stress in life, even without trying to play poker for a living. It seems to me that the people who manage that stress the best are the ones who are happiest with their lives. That's incredibly appealing to me.

Besides - who wouldn't want to be as stress-free as possible?

Eugene Katchalov is a member of Team PokerStars Pro

Eugene Katchalov
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