The Mindful Poker Player


There is not much distinction between an average player and a great player. The average player can do much to improve his mental game. Never underestimate the power of your mind.

Meditation can be very beneficial before you play. I like to meditate at least an hour before the tournament.  This helps me to be in tune with what I want to accomplish.

What I will tell you can help you to prepare for the WSOP in 6 weeks and may even help you become a world champion.

The most important thing is to prepare your mind. Take charge of the mental part of the game to reach your goals. I promise you a well-prepared player is hard to beat.

A negative person can’t beat a positive person who thinks he’s going to win. The one who planned his way to the top will beat the one who is just wishing to be there or trying to get lucky.

The person who has a goal and a plan will kick your ass at the table and in life.

Being mentally alert will give you an advantage over most other players. If you are not a naturally positive person, then you must reprogram your thoughts. Progress requires change.

You must get rid of all thoughts that are not focused on the task at hand. You have to bring your mind into laser focus. Focus on your power and think, “I play better than my opponents. They will make mistakes if I have the patience to wait and take advantage of every situation. “

You can erase all thoughts around you and just focus on your opponents and what information the game is giving you. I teach players to watch a game before playing or when you enter a game, to relax and take deep breaths and just watch and take in as much of the information the opponents are giving you.

This will put yourself in a poker state of mind.

You can study, read books, watch videos or television to gain knowledge about how to play from position to hand selection and when and where to play. But is it very hard to find information on how to turn knowledge into wisdom.

Winning comes when you apply the knowledge you have into wisdom.

One story I like to share is the best player in the world cannot choose the winning hand among three hands if he chooses first. For example, say it’s Ace King versus two fours or a Jack Ten of clubs. If he takes the Ace King, then you take the pair of fours. If he takes the fours, you take the jack ten suited. And last, if he takes the Jack Ten, you take the Ace King.

Even the best player can be presented with a no-win situation. That shows you how close a good player is to a great player.

In the end, it’s all about mindset. The choices you make will resonate not only in poker but in your life.

See you at the final table of the World Series.

Robert Turner is a legendary poker player and casino/billiard marketing expert. Robert is most well-known for creating the game of Omaha poker and introducing it to Nevada in 1982 and to California in 1986. He created Legends of Poker for the Bicycle Casino in 1995. He also helped create Live at the Bike, the first live gaming site broadcast on the Internet in 2002.

He has spent over 30 years in casino marketing and player development. He has served as an executive host at the Bicycle Casino and MGM.  He is currently working as a casino consultant.

Robert can be reached at for consulting, marketing and coaching. Find Robert on Facebook at and on Twitter @thechipburner.


5 thoughts on “The Mindful Poker Player

  1. Great article Robert! Thanks for sharing your insight. I hope to meet you this summer here in Vegas!

    I’m reminded of this quote:

    “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” ~~ William James


  2. Robert, I LOVED this article! I have always believed in what you are saying.And yes, not only in poker but in life as well. Attitude and mindset play such an important part in ones success as well as failure. So many people miss this, and life, as well as poker become impossible to win at. Thanks for articulating what I have felt and known for years.


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