Do you know a poker player can become a disciplined and accomplished player following the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddism? Yes, it’s true! Buddhism, sometimes mistaken as a religion, is a practice that focuses on the spiritual development of a being. It stands by a guide namely the Eightfold Path – a path that helps an individual to live life practically. This Noble Eightfold Path covers 8 areas which if practiced by heart help you to become more organized and productive as a person. These 8 noble paths can also be used to improve the poker skills of a poker player. Here is how-
Right View: This path teaches us to overcome change and suffering to be the happiest person in life. Similarly, you have to overcome the bad beats in poker and continue playing the game patiently. Hence, you should always try to be controlled and accommodating to be a better human being and a good poker player.
Right Intentions: Here, intention means to dedicate self in all conscience to this path. You as a person should commit your mind and soul to this path, and in case of disunion, you should motivate yourself by meditating, reading inspirational books, etc. Similarly, poker players should play poker passionately, and during bad days should keep reading books and practising the game. Like Buddhist monks, even poker players can meditate and read books to motivate themselves.
Right Speech: Speech signifies speaking the truth – basically communicating with confidence and being amiable. Speak the truth, however, hard that may be, speak it graciously to foster honesty and bravery. Likewise, poker players should be confident about themselves and their play. They should graciously accept their winnings and failures.
Right Action: According to the precepts, a person should live and lead an ethical life. Every action that you perform should be done with the right intention. If you work with a negative state of mind, there will derive a negative reaction to it but if you work with a positive mind, you will garner fruitful gains from it. In the same manner, the actions of a poker player on the table impact their gameplay. If you are cheerful and optimistic, it will be reflected in your gameplay; and if you are depressed and negative, then your opponents can easily take advantage of it.
Right Livelihood: Every person should follow a righteous lifestyle. In other words, you should avoid doing tasks that may hurt the people in your environment. For instance, we should not harm the humans, animals and environment we are connected to, or maybe we should not use weapons, drink alcohol and eat tobacco. In a similar manner, poker players should avoid habits such as drinking, smoking, and mindless eating that can affect their gameplay. Such things gradually impact your health and ultimately your poker career. Instead, you should exercise regularly, eat healthy food, etc. to keep yourself energized the whole day.
Right Effort: As a human being, you should try to control your thoughts. In your journey of life, you must have experienced a situation when you may find yourself in different states of mind at that very moment. Such a dynamic state of mind impacts the decision-making power of a person. You should always try to stay positive and make efforts to control your thoughts and emotions. Similarly, poker players should control their emotions (tilt control) while playing the game for fair returns. If you play poker emotionally or thoughtlessly, you may end up losing more than winning.
Right Concentration: Concentration, though hard to achieve if practised well helps a human being to develop pure wisdom. It usually involves training the mind so that one can think clearly and positively. Correspondingly, poker players should also practice concentration in order to keep themselves focused on their gameplay and prevent their minds from diverting.
Right Mindfulness: A person should forever be familiar with himself, the people he is living with and the place he is living in. You should be well aware of the world around you. This self-awareness and people-awareness help you to live in the present and keep transforming if the need arises. On one side, it enhances your knowledge about the people and the world, and on the other side inspirits you to live in the present. Likewise, poker players should always observe what’s going on around the table. They should observe their opponents, study their betting styles and then make their moves accordingly.