Poker playing… and actually winning! What a metaphor for life!
As I mentioned in previous posts, I happen to have a unique profession that allows me to do things like spend 4 days meditating with 24 very inspiring and powerful people (that was this January’s SyncCreation workshop).
I also have the opportunity to go to Las Vegas… to gamble… and meditate… as part of my job. About 4 times a year SyncCreation hosts its Las Vegas Adventure. 3 days of meditation, throwing the dice, and practicing affecting the physical with our energy, while in an intense environment.
While many people practice being inspiring creators and in the comfort of their own environment. The SyncCreation folks, as Dr. Joe Gallenberger says, “see how fun it is to light a candle in the darkness”. In other words; practice creating intentions and manifesting them amongst the chaos (lights, smoke and noise) of a casino.
The last time I went to the Las Vegas adventure was this summer and it was one of my most fun experiences of 2009. I met people that could get slot machines to go (by go I mean give them money) by just getting in tune with them. I saw, felt and experienced being in tune with the dice as I rolled long runs at the craps table.
The Las Vegas Adventure is a highly enjoyable experience and it as also very powerful. It gave me the opportunity to test my ability to be in tune with my intuition on a minute by minute basis. It changed my beliefs about money. Heck, it showed me my beliefs about money and because I was finally clear what they were I had the choice to change them.
While describing all of the things I learned at the Las Vegas Adventure and sharing every detail might be fun (for me at least) I did title this Poker Playing and Actually Winning for a reason. I have played electronic poker (online and off) as well as poker (Texas hold’em to be specific) with my friends for years. I really enjoy the game. I find it an exercise in willpower, strategy and reading other people’s energy. All things I find to be very valuable skills.
Before I went to the Vegas Workshop I had never played poker in a casino. Doing so was on my list of things to do way before I die. I had some good runs on the dice table and the group was done for the day so I thought I would give it a try.
I went in the room with the intent to be present, in the moment and focus more on listening to my intuition and feeling the game then trying to out strategize the other players. I sat down in the last spot of a full table. As I got started in the game I overheard talk from a few of the players about making sure they were logging in enough hours of playing for the casino. I could tell they were regulars.
I started out with five dollars. I played for about 20 minutes. I could feel the energy build, I could decipher between the nervousness of my first time and the flow of the energy as it moved from player to player. I could feel who was going to win and when I should bet.
I rode my intuition all the way to winning $68 dollars in 20 minutes and then I felt a shift in energy. I felt my energy pull back from the table and pull in the direction of the door. I got up, cashed out, tipped the dealer and left… $68 dollars in 20 minutes… not bad for a first timer.
Before that week, when I played live poker with my buddies, I would usually be one of the last 3 or 4 people left (out of about eight people). I had never won. Since the Vegas Workshop I have played 3 times and I have one every time (or ended the game with some version of the split pot due to the time).
I think I have found a sweet spot, a balance between strategy and intuition (this is something Joe teaches at the craps table as well). Sometimes I find myself relying more on one while starting to ignore the other. When this happens my game starts to tank.
If I maintain my strategy, constantly check in with my intuition and start the game out with a clear intention to win (I usually couple that with intentions of having fun and deepening my relationship with my friends)… I win.
Will this happen every time? I don’t know. What I do know is that poker has just taken on a whole new level for me. It has become an opportunity to practice my intuition and stay in tune while maintaining the will power to follow my strategy. And yes it has also inspired me to practice that in life as well.