While visiting this year’s WSOP, I had the opportunity to share a meal with Elliot Roe. Elliot is a professional hypnotist who is building a business in Las Vegas, working to improve the performance of poker players and UFC fighters. What he had to say made sense to me. So, I asked Elliot to share some thoughts about hypnotherapy and poker. – JDW
What is hypnosis?
Contrary to the mysticism and theatrics seen on television and stage shows, hypnosis is a natural state produced frequently in the human mind. We enter this state many times during the day, usually unnoticed. An example: whilst driving on the freeway, you suddenly realize you can’t remember 20 minutes of the journey. Another example: a vivid daydream about a meal where you can imagine the food so vividly, your mouth begins to water. A competent hypnotist can help you reach this state through guided meditation; once in the proper mental state great changes can be made. Evidence of the power of this state can be seen in the many hundreds of serious operations that have taken place under hypnosis rather than anesthesia. Hypnotists have also demonstrated considerable success in the cure of many phobias, psychological issues and physical symptoms such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and even eczema.
What makes hypnosis so effective?
Many people want change in their lives, maybe to lose weight or to quit smoking, but they are unable to effect that change. The reason is really quite simple; though we consciously want the change, our subconscious is fighting against us. Much of the way we act is determined by what we have learned in our childhood and absorbed by habits. Although we may rationally understand the negative impacts of our actions, we continue to be inhibited. As most of us are well aware, creating those positive changes can be very difficult.
Once in a hypnotic state, the subconscious can be communicated with directly. The hypnotist might use a suggestion technique, speaking directly to the client with a series of suggestions each encouraging change. An alternative is hypno-analysis, where the hypnotist asks the client to remember back to the initial sensitizing event of the issue and resolves it directly with the subconscious. This direct communication with the subconscious means the resistance to change is removed and positive progress can be made quickly and easily. Many hypnotherapists believe that work which would take many years using a traditional Freudian psychological approach could take as little as a couple of months if hypnotherapy is utilized.
Hypnosis and Poker
Poker is a game that- once you have mastered the mathematics of the hands – is fought primarily in the mind. Many poker players believe tilt can be the difference between being a profitable winning player or a complete failure at the table.
Hypnosis can help provide support for many of the skills needed in the game. Suggestion can be used to improve focus, patience and awareness at the table and also to create triggers to reduce stress and tilt. For more ingrained tilt issues, regression therapy can be used to help resolve long held issues and make peace with the ego. The result is a poker player with a much deeper level of emotional self control.
Imagine knowing each time you sit at the table or log into your poker account, you will be in the perfect mindset, ready to play your “A” game. Imagine sensing tilt kicking in after a bad beat and being able to stop tilt in its tracks with a simple clench of your fist or a deep breath. These situations are possible with hypnosis and I have clients who can provide testimony.
I believe hypnosis to be the fastest and easiest route to controlling tilt in poker and expect hypnotherapy to be a tool utilized by many successful poker players over the coming years.
Elliot Roe DHP http://www.poker-hypnosis.co.uk/