Why mental health should not be Ignored by Poker players

Playing close attention to mental health is necessary to lead a long, fulfilling life. Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington’s tragic passing represents a stark reminder of how depression, if not treated, can ruin people’s lives. Recently, in a series of tweets, Tesla founder and billionaire Elon Musk revealed that he faces ‘unrelenting stress’ at times, even going further to suggest that he might be bipolar.

“If you buy a ticket to hell, it isn’t fair to blame hell ... I’m sure there are better answers than what I do, which is just take the pain and make sure you really care about what you’re doing.” Musk further tweeted.

This demonstrates that even the most successful, affluent individuals can suffer from mental health issues.

That’s not all..

People plagued by mental health problems are viewed badly by society. Lack of awareness with regards to the gravity of these illnesses is the chief problem. But, in light of recent events, society’s perception to mental health is changing for the good, with people becoming both more aware and accepting.

Athletes and sportspersons have been troubled by bouts of depression too. English cricketers Marcus Trescothick and Jonathan Trott are notable examples of players who have had their respective careers derailed as a result of mental illness.

Poker players can also go through these phases too. Even the most seasoned enthusiasts of poker in India endure rough patches where winning can be elusive, which in turn, sends them on a downward spiral. At this sensitive juncture, it is absolutely crucial to remain focused and not to let losses get the better of you. You might be walking with a cloud over your head, but remember the Sun will come out sooner or later.

There’s more

Till now we’ve discussed only one part of the spectrum. While dealing with depression is important, it is equally pivotal for poker players to manage tilt. To those unaware of the term, tilt is a state of mental or emotional confusion that often results in less optimal play. In most cases, it is directly associated with anger. A player loses their cool, ends up making a play that is reckless, and loses a lot of money in the process – a very common story in poker. Anger can cause people to make bad decisions. Not letting your emotions influence your moves is an important lesson to all budding poker players.

Poker is a game based on logic involving an innate understanding of mathematics. Having a mind free from the shrouding influence of emotions is your ticket to success. How would you deal with your emotions on in the poker table?