With or without feeling
Hello all. I caught some cold during the holidays and wasn’t able to start grinding properly yet and was thinking doing something useful. So while trying to sleep I came up with examples and ideas about tilt control. Even though the internet is full of much more educated articles etc. I figured, saying it in own words might help some.
With or without feeling.
Everyone has experienced some kind of tilting while playing poker. Others have got better dealing with it as others.. well its a sad story.
Tilting or in other words letting our emotions take control of our action is something thats quite common in poker. After all we’re used to show our feelings in everyday life. Tilting can make you lose alot of money or even worse.
Depending how bad it gets. But no worries I’ll share a few key thoughts on how to better deal with emotions in poker.
Negative thoughts are the worst. You shoudn’t ever think negative in poker. Because it will only get worse like the snowball effect. I Read about it somewhere can’t remember the context exactly but it’s quite self explanatory, if you’re always negative about everything you will feel bad and depressed, always fearing the worst possible outcome. So dont worry be happy
Second thing I’d like to point out. Whether or not poker is your only source of income or you’re just a casual player playing for fun or because of the love of game. Keep in mind there’s always a regular 9-5 job out there(atleast often). If poker goes bad, or you’re going busto (aka lose all your money). Having a backup plan or even just knowing you could get a regular job from a grocery store or a building site or anything with a regular paycheck, will help you with the pressures of making a steady income. Which poker, no matter what form, will not always be. So always finish your education and have a backup plan incase you aren’t making money anymore from poker.
Then I’d like to issue the difference between “average joe” (nothing personal to all Joe’s out there) and an experienced poker player who rarely tilts. Let’s take for example the feeling when you’re driving on highway and someone passes you and cuts back on the road just infront of you instead going little further before getting back on the normal lane. You all can imagine the feeling or anger it makes or on the other hand if you dont own a car, then lets imagine our bicycle tyre goes flat. Anyways the feeling can be compared in poker world for example. Let’s say you’re allin with one other guy preflop with Aces vs Pocket deuces. And board runs something and river is a deuce. You’re furious, you had the best possible hand in nlhe poker and you lost it because some idiot got it in preflop with pocket deuces.
What you should be doing instead of getting mad. Is to not use your feelings at all. But instead focus on the stuff you’d normally be doing when playing your A-game (at your best). Something like this. “hmm okay, the player just went allin from early position with a shortstack. Lets see , WEEE, I have pocket aces. Im crushing his shoving range there so I insta call him. PERIOD. Thats really all the thinking you will do on the hand. The rest that happens isnt in your hands and theres no way you can affect how the board will run out. But you can take a note of what the early position allin guy had. Like if he was lighter than you had thought he’d be , or if he was tighter. You can’t really be sure of the latter until a bigger sample size but if he’s too loose you’ll notice it and can call him lighter aswell.
We can take another poker hand example. I’m sure you all loving the hand stories Lets say we have the mighty american airlines (aces) again. And we open it and get called by one guy. again (preferably a donk) and flop comes jack,ten,8 rainbow (JT8r) and “average joe” would be like OMG. WTF. He’s got me beat again if not at the moment he’ll definitely outdraw me on later streets. See what you’re doing wrong. Youre thinking negative. And the feeling is just going to grow street by street and on the river, guy shows up with a straight holding eight,seven offsuit (87o) and river had been a 9. You’re so furious, even more furious than if someone had passed you on highway. But why ? Because you started with negative thoughts and made more of them as the board got worse and because when you just think negative, you will remember all the bad stuff. Because lets face it you only focus on them, cause your’re Ned the Negative. So once the river comes you’ve remembered all those times you’ve lost with aces and even if thats just like a couple times and you’ve won more timesthan lost. You won’t remember the wins because you just focus on losing the hand and getting outdrawn.
What we should be doing, is ” Hmm we have aces nice, I make it 4x preflop.” Flop is dealt. ” Hmm theres JT8r rainbow,the flop hits well our opponent range so we will get lots of value from his draws while we beat alot of Jx,Tx and 8x. How much should we bet so that he dont fold but also that he will call with most of his range.” Turn is dealt. ” That didnt bring any new draws and didnt affect the flop range at all, so how much shud we bet.” River is dealt. ” River definitely brings all draws there and we might be bluffed out of the pot, I shall check it to him and see what he does” Guy checks behind and shows a straight. (cause he was weak nit scared of KQ) “Hmm so he will call with a low end of gutshot on flop and chase it all the way, good to know. Noted.”
See what we did there again. We didnt use feelings at all, we based everything on the facts we knew and got from past experiences with the guy etc..
Fourth thing, I’d like to state, is that you should always make sure you do all the important stuff before you start playing poker. For example, take the dog out, pay your bills(pills), go to grocery, take a shower, go to bathroom, eat etc.. So that when you start your session you will be able to shutdown everything from your mind and just focus on the facts and information on the poker tables and taking notes when you see something that can be used to your advantage in the future.
I had one more great (read:bad) example how “average joe” thinks compared to experienced poker player. So Joe looks at his bank account and realises he dont have much gas left on tank. And starts to feel depressed. Elsewhere a poker player looks his poker site account balance and sees he don’t have much money left there. He instantly knows what to do. Because hes been told so etc. He knows he have to move down in stakes and thus his feelings will be still neutral instead of feeling depressed that he will go broke soon if he doesn’t win something big.
example 2 the tyre goes flat. “average joe” would be pissed and poker player would take it more calmly. He knows he can get a new tyre and some spots from the store. And wont feel bad.
I think we covered some of the more important concepts here. But again, in a nutshell, shutting down everything when playing poker is one of the key things in becoming tilt-free. You don’t have any feelings when youre playing youre A-game, you have the facts and info which you guna use for getting the money from worse players. You don’t think or feel anything more than necessary. Like once you call a preflop allin you know that you did the best you can with the available information. And adjust/take notes if you were wrong.PERIOD.
Im not saying you shoudnt feel anything while playing poker. Same as in sports you wanna be able to enjoy what you doing and not be too critique of yourself.
If you play good, bluffed your opponent, made a good laydown etc, be happy bout it. and know you did the best option you could. But dont beat up yourself too much.
So until next time, enjoy the new year tilt-free after all Rome wasnt built in a day. Everything takes time and lot of practice. In poker too.