Playing poker requires a player to concentrate and focus. Being a competitive poker player means also handling a lot of stress and varied emotions. However, you can now say goodbye to stress and anxiety which can hamper your game and decision making skills. You can use different relaxation techniques to improve the state of your mind and thereby your concentration and focus.Today, poker is highly competitive and there are many skillful players around who compete at different tournaments. The way a poker player observes another player’s tells and then makes an effort to modify his tells makes all the difference between winning and losing. A player who can put aside all the distractions and regrets is the one who is most likely to win and have a competitive edge over his or her opponents.Meditation is one way a player can channelize his thoughts and concentrate on the game. Many famous poker players use the art of meditation to achieve results. They favor Zen Buddhism that teaches meditation and focus. However, there are many Eastern philosophies that practice meditation and you can learn any form of meditation as long as it has a positive effect on your game. Meditation has proven to be highly effective in enhancing a player’s ability to concentrate, leave a previous bad hand behind and focus on the hand that he or she is playing. Meditation makes the mind sharp and keeps the player attuned to what is happening at the table. It, therefore, improves a poker player’s power of observation while helping him to keep calm and focused without portraying his tells.Another relaxation technique that seems to help some poker players concentrate is hypnosis. This method can make a player relaxed, enhance his concentration and focus, and help a player improve his emotions. It is believed that some poker players use hypnosis as a way to bring out the best in them at poker tables. It helps them to stay positive, do away with fear of failing and invokes motivation.Neurolinguistic programming is another form of relaxation and concentration that is quite similar to hypnosis. It is often referred to as NLP and it is believed that this self-help tool can improve a poker player’s power of observation, ability to listen and provides him with a knack of discerning other players’ behavior, gestures and verbal communication. So, a poker player through NLP can sharpen his mind and pay close attention to what is happening at the table rather than getting distracted by things on the sidelines. Many poker players use NLP to lead an opponent on. Most of them do this unconsciously by letting an opponent doubt his hand and getting him to fold. Basically the opponent starts associating certain gestures that a poker player uses repeatedly. On the other hand, NLP can also be used by a player to bluff that he has the best hand when he does not.The fact remains that there are many methods that can help a poker player improve his concentration and focus. It goes without saying that these methods make the brain sharp and enhance the player’s ability to make the right decisions. Of course, any relaxation technique that a player adopts needs practice. Without practice a player will not be able to get the desired results. However, slowly but surely the player will notice an improvement in his playing abilities and concentration.It is always best to start with the basics and start incorporating them in your day-to-day life. Once the relaxation technique becomes a habit, a poker player will automatically start using it at the poker table to get a winning edge. At this point it is important to stress that no amount of relaxation will help you become a better player if you do not also have strategies of playing poker. While relaxation techniques give you a mental edge over your opponents, strategies help you win the game.When it comes to playing poker, a player is always required to sit and focus for extended periods of time. This can become a pain if a player does not have the ability to relax and focus. So, besides having the necessary skills to win at poker, a player also needs to have confidence in his abilities. This is where relaxation techniques help players. They learn to put aside mistakes and focus on what is happening at the moment and give it their best shot. Meditation or any other relaxation technique teaches a poker player to be self-disciplined. They learn to believe in themselves and use various psychological tactics to help benefit their game.