March 06, 2011
The answer: When your mental state is balanced whether you win or lose is a key indicator of a winning player. I remember that for my first few years that I played poker that the highs and lows were so much more pronounced than they are now. This seems kind of ridiculous seeing as I was playing $4.40 sngs and donking around in 50nl. I would get so excited when I won, I think the 180 man sngs paid 240 bucks and I would be a ball of fury when I went on a downswing. I was alwyas berating people in the chatbox. I got my chat banned in 2009 and never asked for it to be reinstated; that is very plus ev. I can remember when I first had a go at 100NL (properly rolled) in the Winter of maybe 2008. In retrospect, I had gone on a massive heater and hardly knew what I was doing. I went on a humungous downswing (even in retrospect). I remember feeling helpless as my money I'd been boasting about evaporated before my eyes. If I didn't end up in tears, punched my bed in a rage, I was damn close. Last week, I had a day where I lost $1400, followed by a day where I won $1800. My girlfriend didn't even know, not because I was being secretive, but because I didn't let it affect me either way. It happens and I've learnt to deal with it. Is it kind of disgusting to lose that much money playing a card game? Maybe. Do I want to be in a position to lose 10x that much in a day at some point? Yes. This may sound stupid, but I know that if I am capable of losing that much then I must have got up to 20/10 or so (properly rolled). Which means I've been crushing. As for now, I'm getting close to taking my first shots at 400nl, hopefully I should be able to by the end of the month, which would be amazing. Winning and losing 2k in a day will be standard. My mum would flip if she knew! Not for stacks but mentally.
I am not saying that I am now a tiltless buddist. I still curse and get frustrating at times but I really seldom let it impact upon my game. I sit out until I am back in the right space mentally. If I can't get my mind straight, I'll quit for the day. Sounds so simple, but it took a lot of losing to get to this point. I also think tilt often comes from frustration at not being able to beat the game. You want to rationalise the fact you're getting crushed by complaining about EV, coolers, suckouts etc. Quit whinning and buckle down and work. They even themselves out. Once you get to the point of being a good winning player, you really can take most runs, except maybe the most monstrous downswings in your stride. Why? You know you can win it back, without having to rely on luck. It may take a while, but you know it is coming back.
I'm not saying I'll never feel the rage again or berate someone's play to my poor brother, but I am confident that I won't let it impact upon my play.
So, what inspired this pious post? A super fun hand where I lost $682 of EV in one hand and I barely flinched. I sat out. Giggled. Started to grind and pulled out a hard fought +$300 session.
Here is the fun hand in question: Villain is 3 betting 11% (15% from blinds) I ginned it on the flop. I smirked on the turn. I did a double take on the river. I insta sat out.
Full Tilt Poker $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em - 6 players - View hand 1218288
DeucesCracked Poker Videos Hand History Converter
Hero (BTN): $361.15
Pre Flop: ($3.00) Hero is BTN with K 8
3 folds, Hero raises to $6, 1 fold, BB raises to $20, Hero raises to $44, BB calls $24
Flop: ($89.00) 8 K 5(2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $55, BB calls $55
Turn: ($199.00) 8(2 players)
BB checks, Hero bets $100, BB raises to $698.05 all in, Hero calls $162.15 all in
River: ($723.30) A(2 players - 2 are all in)
Final Pot: $723.30
Hero shows K 8 (a full house, Eights full of Kings)
BB shows A A (a full house, Aces full of Eights)
BB wins $720.30
GL all the_sphinx1