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Mind Over Poker: Sprezzatura

by David Apostolico |  Published: Apr 29, 2011


Baldassare Castiglione was a 16th-century Italian humanist, diplomat, and author. His most famous work is The Book of the Courtier, in which he advocated that one should preserve one’s composure and self-control under all circumstances. He also preached the practice of sprezzatura, which, loosely translated, means to conduct all things in a nonchalant manner that conceals all artistry and makes one’s actions seem uncontrolled and effortless. While this seems like sound advice for most of life’s pursuits, it is dead-on for one’s behavior at the poker table. First and foremost, you should always maintain your composure and self-control at the poker table. That means more than just not going on tilt. It means having patience and discipline and the ability to stay focused on everything happening at the table, so that you are ready to exploit any opportunity while minimizing your mistakes. The second part of Castiglione’s advice is more ...

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