A Poker Soundtrack of Rockin’ Proportions

Music to get you pumped up at poker games

Whether people are aware of it or not, music has a profound effect on people’s moods. One need only watch any of the recut trailers littered on the Internet – most notably the one where Stanley Kubrick’s seminal psychological horror film The Shining gets turned into a romantic comedy – to see how the power of music can affect the overall atmosphere.

Many poker players have taken to wearing headphones while playing their rounds. Some might argue that having music blaring at your ears might affect your concentration. On the flipside though, players who do sport headphones see music as more of a secret weapon of sorts, putting them in the right frame of mind when the game calls for it. In fact, this “mood control” method might even help them in misdirecting their opponents if they’re really good at taking full advantage of music’s capabilities.

Poker is a game that requires keeping close tabs on its progress, even if you’re playing online. Betfair Poker’s many tournament challenges like the Jackpot Sit&Go and the VIP Club Bonanza may not have quite the same atmosphere as playing on the floors of the MGM Grand, but the discipline of maintaining composure all throughout a game session is still an imperative; and music might just be your key towards learning that discipline.

If you’re looking to add the element of music to your poker-playing, the following musical cues could come in handy for your inaugural session soundtrack:

1. Ratatat’s “Loud Pipes” has that blues guitar touch to an electronic-based percussion whose synth isn’t too overpowering; just subdued enough to let the melody shine through. It gives the listener that laid back feel without being too relaxed. In other words, it’s the perfect musical opener to a soon-to-be-heated poker session.

2. Although Modest Mouse has since achieved some semblance of mainstream fame in recent years, many fans still remember their earlier days when their sound was rawer and more intimate in an acoustic hall sort of way. The track “Polar Opposites” from their 1997 indie album classic The Lonesome Crowded West probably best sums up the whole feel that they were going for: taking it easy while on a long journey. That’s “in-between mood” in poker terms.

3. As the game wears on, and the stakes get higher, the competition is sure to heat up. To get your gameface on, post-punk band UK Decay’s “Decadance” should do the job. Its steady cadence is backed by a guitar riff that gradually increases in intensity and provides just the right amount of rush to pull you through towards the clutch.

4. Finally, any track from now-defunct band Rage Against the Machine’s debut album should psych you up into giving 110% to come out with the win. “You gotta take the power back,” as Zack de la Rocha puts it, and take it back you will with this alternative metal classic bringing out your A-game.

The relationship between music and mood has long been known by adherents of the art form, and this psycho-aural connection is a major factor that great masters consider when crafting their work. This connection can be utilized by poker players to their advantage. All that’s needed is in figuring out which ones fit which occasions.

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