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Poker Mental Game & Planning

Tilt in Poker - 7 Unknown Factors: Part 2

5,532 Views on 30/4/15

Part 2 of our 'Tilt in Poker' series covers some other less known key issues, including stress and depression. Let's build our #MentalPower

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So lastpoker tilt time we talked about four factors that you may have overlooked and could tilt you and possibly destroy your game, and today we will be talking about the other three and some things that you can do before and after your sessions to improve your game by 200%.

I cannot stress enough the importance of preparing for a poker session the right way, having your mind clear by casting away or at least diminishing other thoughts that could distract you from the tables. I sometimes get that too. I’m thinking more about that college paper that I need to finish until Monday than how to play my AQo versus a raise from the BTN and a SB reraise from a pretty 3bet-happy LAG

I can understand these needs, but if you keep playing while thinking of other things (that may be important, I agree), you will end up missing a lot of value spots and sometimes even not making the correct calls/laydowns.

This distraction and these mistakes often lead to loss of BB/100 hands and sometimes when you’re running bad lead to tilting and not playing your A-game, not exploiting your opponents enough and if you don’t stop you might just donate a few stacks of high society left and right.
If you keep playing while thinking of other things, you will end up missing a lot of value spots and sometimes even not making the correct calls/laydowns

So, what can we do to counter that ? We’ll discuss this at the end of this article, in part 3!
Now, without further ado, I bring you the next 2 things that could get you all tilted up:

5. Stress from work/classes

The worst enemy that you can have in this life is stress. Sometimes it’s inevitable, because you value more your job or your deadlines than poker and that’s perfectly correct and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

You will be thinking more about that deadline at work ( I’m a programmer, I know what I’m talking about ), than your hand at the poker table, and stress makes it even worse because if you lose a few pots and you’ll also have the exterior pressures from work, you’ll start thinking that everything is going bad for you lately and fall into anger/depression/confusion, and we don’t want any of that.

Just look at this list of medically and statistically proven effects that stress has on you:

... On your body

... On your mood

... On your behavior

·         Headache

·         Muscle tension or pain

·         Chest pain

·         Fatigue

·         Change in sex drive

·         Stomach upset

·         Sleep problems

Anxiety

Restlessness

Lack of motivation or focus

Irritability or anger

Sadness or depression

Overeating or undereating

Angry outbursts

Drug or alcohol abuse

Tobacco use

Social withdrawal


The solution for this is simple but at any poker player will tell you that it’s hard to do. But with a little mental practice and willpower nothing is impossible.

Just stay off the tables and work hard for your projects until you’ve finished them, and stay off the tables until you do.

I know we all leave our projects for that last 100 yard dash –night before- type of thing but it’s really better that you finish them earlier than last-minute, so you have time to enjoy life and also hop on them tables and book some sweet winning sessions.
This type of stress is also a cause of factor 6, which is:

6. Depression

Depressionpokerimage doesn't only mean sadness or laziness of mind, it can also leave you the feelings of anger, irritability and agitation. These feelings, when mixed together with bad beats at poker tables, can explode into a humongous tilt problem which may not even be on one session, it may become chronic. 

I have had a friend that was a clear winner at NL50 for over 5BB/100 hands and he hit a really really bad swing that made him a 3BB/100 hands loser on about 50k hands. Or so did he think because after reviewing some of his latter sessions, I saw some really weird checkraises on rivers, and bluff shoves that he could only explain by saying “I guess I was tilted in that spot, couldn't do anything else”. So I took this 50k hand sample into my arms and the conclusion baffled me.

He was on chronic tilt. The first sessions that he had, they were really excelently played, but filled with bad beats and coolers. That’s it, it happens, but my friend took the -20BI a little bit personal and he started questioning, is my game good?

It doesn't matter how many obstacles you meet in your way to victory, you have to climb them all and keep pushing forward
He was winning 5BB/100 hands over 300k hands, and the 3 losing sessions were kind of dreadful for his thought process, he fell into depression/chronic tilt, so he started altering his winning game to a losing game, being aggressive in the wrong spots and sometimes checking back aces on a safe board just to “keep the bad beats out of the way”.

The answer to this is: It doesn't matter how many obstacles you meet in your way to victory,you will you have to climb them all and keep pushing forward, you can’t afford to be depressed because there’s a beautiful world out there and you know it.

This makes me remember that amazing morning in my childhood when, after several years of fighting all the time my parents split and I was left alone with my mom, and I was depressed all the time, not talking to anyone and just sad all around for a few years.

Just about when I thought nothing could solve my problems, I just jammed my eyes into this beautiful sunset and I was just purely loving the fact that this beautiful star was warming up my eyes, my face and my world. This world is full of light, it only matters if you see it or not.

Next time when you’re thinking of yourself lacking confidence and being good-for-nothing, check our master Bruce Lee’s saying:
You know what I want to think of myself? As a human being. Because, I mean I don't want to be like, as Confucius says, but under the sky, under the heavens there is but one family. It just so happens that people are different. Bruce Lee
Don’t think others are more important than you, you’ll probably be a kick-ass poker player and more if you dedicate time and will to it! So keep going and push forward, and do it with a smile on your face! Let nothing affect you!

I think that’s about it for now, thank you for reading! The next article will contain the last and final chapter, ways of dealing with tilt like a ninja, and the most dreaded, important and unknown-to-most factor that can cause your brain to get haywire while playing poker! 

This is the root of all evil and we’ll destroy it in Part 3 which is coming really soon, don’t worry!

Tilt in Poker - 7 Unknown Factors: Part 1
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