When it comes to poker, I have a very Eastern philosophy. Some people think that getting better at poker is all about studying hand histories and opponent’s “ranges” and things like that. That’s part of getting better, sure, but there’s only so far such dedicated, logical study can take you.
Over the years I’ve experimented with transcendental meditation, hypnotherapy, yoga, asceticism, “contemplation of the horrible”, tantric sex, and organic juice fasts. Some of these admittedly had more application to poker than others. But I think all of them added to my strength and success as a well-rounded poker player today.
I’ve always been curious about “urine therapy” (the drinking of one’s own urine for health/wellbeing purposes) but had never gotten around to trying it. Recently, after a particularly bad run of cards (two years), I started thinking about it again and decided maybe it was time to try something new. Call me superstitious, but when things are going wrong for a while, I think a big change can “reset” your psychic energy and restore your equilibrium with the universe. (This is the reason so many great players know to ask for a new deck of cards or switch seats when they’re having a bad session.)
So I decided to drink my own urine for five days and play poker every day (mostly $2-5 NLHE).
For those of you who don’t know about the healing effects of drinking your own urine, I direct you to the Wikipedia page for urine therapy. (Basically, ancient and wise people have been drinking urine for millennia. There are sleep chemicals in your morning urine that make you feel relaxed; this helps with meditating and staying focused and calm.)
After drinking my own urine for a week and playing poker, I’ve got a few tips for anyone who wants to try it. Everyone’s urine and poker strategy are different, so what works for me may not work for you. But all I can do is try to educate others and share my experiences.
1) The ancient cultures say to capture the mid-stream urine; this is the urine with the most melatonin in it. So pee a little bit into the toilet and then put out your cup to catch the middle-stream urine and then finish peeing in the toilet.
2) Stay hydrated and drink plenty of (non-urine) fluids. The more you drink, the clearer your pee will be and the smoother it will go down. (Don’t go overboard, though; you don’t want to be drinking weak, watered-down pee every morning.)
3) Make sure you brush your teeth after drinking urine. The first day, I drank an ounce of urine (used a shotglass) at 6 am, then drove the hour to the casino. I realized after I sat down at a $2-5 NLHE game that I’d forgotten to brush my teeth. I may have been a little paranoid but I think people noticed. Eventually someone offered me a stick of gum. I didn’t notice much of an effect that day and I thought I should up the dosage. (Ended up losing $650.)
4) That night, I didn’t sleep much and was tired the next morning. I drank 2 shots of my own urine, brushed my teeth, and headed to the casino. I was tired already, though, and the melatonin in my urine had a sleeping-pill-like effect on me. I found myself falling asleep in the middle of a hand. I had KK in a 3-way pot on a 7-8-2 rainbow flop. Next thing you, I’m waking up on the river, not sure what’s going on. (Guy had J9o and rivered a straight lol.) I was way too tired and had to go home after just playing a couple hours. (Lost $400.) So make sure you get a good amount of sleep because the urine will tire you out.
5) On Day 3, I started getting into a routine. Drank 2 ounces of urine, brushed my teeth, headed to the casino and sat down at a $2-5 NLHE table. I felt remarkably relaxed. Like I used to when I was regularly meditating and engaging in tantric sex. I took a few horrendous beats (I had AA on a 23K board and guy calls me down with 46o, lol, then check-raises me on the river when he hits his gutshot. Can’t put him on a hand so he stacks me lol) but the beats basically bounced right off me and I maintained a great calmness and preternatural clarity. I did lose $1150 but it didn’t even bug me. After reviewing the session, I think it’s possible I was too calm. So my tip is: Don’t get too relaxed from drinking the urine. Maintain focus.
6) The fourth day out I got up nice and early, and made a big bacon, eggs, and toast breakfast accompanied by a juice glass filled with 3 ounces of my own “pure water” (as the Sanskrit text the Damar Tantra refers to it). It went down smooth and easy; it felt like I’d been drinking my own urine my whole life. Nothing much to report for that day but I did feel more calm and focused than I can remember recently. I guess my tip would be: Keep drinking the urine and don’t give up. (Lost $375.)
7) On the fifth day, I drank 4 and a half ounces of urine. I think I must have overdone it because I started feeling sick on the way to the casino and turned around and ended up not playing that day. My tip here is: Limit your urine consumption to around 2 or 3 ounces.
All in all, I think the experiment was a success. I definitely learned a lot about drinking my own urine. I believe that it does lead, as all the ancient wisdom says, to improved clarity and calmness of mind.
However, I probably won’t be doing it again any time soon. My wife didn’t like that I was drinking my own urine and refused to sleep in the same bed with me or engage in any sort of intimacy with me during that time. (Some people aren’t very open to Eastern wisdom; she had a similar reaction during my tantric sex week, which I ended up doing mainly alone.)
If you’re a poker player, I wholeheartedly recommend that you try drinking your own piss sometime. Report back and let me know how it went for you.