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Calming Nerves

I'm in the midst of packing for my trip to Denver for the NABC. This is the first time I will be traveling alone (I’ve only travelled to Chicago for the NABC — and only played in side pairs and regional event once there); and this is first time I will be playing in a NABC event (albeit a lesser event, the mini-blue ribbon pairs).

What I find particularly unnerving is my nervousness. I was a litigator…I don’t get nervous (or I didn't realize that I did), I thought I thrive on it! At least that was all I knew. My partner, with 4900 MP, clearly has more experience than me…and he knows it, but has elected to play with me nonetheless. My query for the advancing player: how do you deal with your nervousness?

Experience has taught me that I do SOOOO much better when I have to play defense for the first 3 boards or so…defense, to me, is so much easier to see. But I must play the cards I am dealt. So my query: how do you deal with your nerves? I am tempted to play on BBO for a few tourneys before the REAL tourney starts, because those players sharpen my observations. But am really looking for what others do and have experienced.

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