I have told myself that the reason for not moving up was tilt.
I worked a lot on my mental game because I was a tilt monkey myself.
I do think tilt affects your winrate but don't let it be an excuse that tilt is the reason you are not moving up.
I think the strongest way to improve your C-game, is to become really good at the fundaments of poker. What really happens when you go on tilt is that you start doing the things that have not become 'unconsious competence'. Tilt is a great way of showing you where your game is still leaking.
Once you check/raised shoved the turn as a bluff and got called by a fish who has TP, its easy to wake up from tilt, get angry and tell yourself: If only tilt was out of my game.
In this situation: You don't have a clear idea when it's good to check raise shove as a bluff, you have a bad idea of players tendencys and you don't have a strong grasp on ranges.
I remember a Phil Galfond series where Phil Galfond was on his C-game. I even think that was the name of his series. He was playing like my AAA++++ game.
There are leaks in your game that come above the surface whenever your tilt. So work on your fundaments.
Civstar has a great post and he says: Work on the right things.
Don't focus on check raise bluffing, but focus on the right opening ranges if you tend to open to loosely of to tightly when you are on tilt. Don't focus on 4-bet bluffing if tilt shows you that you have a tendency to become really loose or timid when it comes to 3-btting.
All tilt does is showing your weak spots. I also like the analogue of box training where a newbie start sparring for the first time. He is holding his hands up, he is watching his defends and what not... but then he gets punched and gets mad. He defends drops and he becomes an easy to hit target. All the things he learned so far has not become unconsious competence.
If your C-game is break-even and your A-game is winning, than its not nearly as bad as being a +3 bb/100 winnar that goes on tilt constantly, where your b-game is a -4 bb/100 C-game is a -12 bb/100.
THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT YOU SHOULD NOT WORK ON YOUR TILT,
Things you can do:
- First of all: Make your life as good as it can get. We all know the person thats in line of a store and gets annoyed and misserable just by being in line. Do you think an ultra happy person would feel this way in line? He wouldn't. If everything in your life is solid and you have lots of other things you enjoy besides poker it becomes harder to lose enjoyment when playing poker.
which brings me to the second most important thing:
- Enjoy poker. Have the right reasons for playing this game. I loved poker in home games, I went on-line ans was super happy I could now play it every day instead of once in 3 weeks. Then I found books and could study it.. WOW 2p2!!! ... and triple-wow ..deucescracked!
Then I saw how much money there could be made with poker. I started to grind, the love became less. It became a grind. All my goals where wrong and i stopped enjoying it.
- Set the right goals! Dont set a goal that can't be achieved or started in the near future. Getting to high stakes when playing 2nl is a loooong road ahead, so don't set that goal. Doh. But even a goal like 'valuebetting thinly more often' can be a hard goal if you already have trouble with getting value from your strong hands. Set your goals right. Work at 1 thing at the time and don't go overboard
- Make poker friends and don't whine versus them. When I was in my biggest tilt fase my ratio would be 20% poker stategy, 80% whine... In the end, I only talked strategy. I slipped a couple of times, but never as much as I did. Focus on the things you have control over, don't focus on the things you can't control. You can talk about people about your tilt, but you are prehaps better of talking about it when you have:
* Taken a walk: Clearing your head by taken a walk is great
* Written about what happened and how you are feeling
* meditating about it
* By doing something you are sure it will take your mind of things: Be careful with this one because it might trigger bad habits (like... hmm cocaine would do me pretty good!)
Then talk about with others what happened.
- Meditation is something that sounds super mystical but all it really is is watching your breathing and staying in the moment. Feel whatever you feel, focus on it... watching what you are saying, but don't get involved in it. See your thoughts and feelings as a waterfall where you are sitting on the side watching what happens. Even the 'aha-moments' when you meditate should just be observed. There can lots be found on the internet about meditation. I personally love to listen to Eckart Tolle. Great philosopher.
- Take a break. Its never good to play poker in a bad mindset. Whenever you start a session with the idea you are going to lose because you are on a downswing, you lost. But a break is also really being away from poker. I nowadays take ritalin for my ADHD so I have my thoughts better under control but I remember the days where I NEVER had a break from poker. I was always thinking about it, and unfortunately not on things that would actually improve my game.
Guys that get really good do math calculations about poker in class, I was thinking about that hand I lost because of bad luck. Still, take a break.. find things you enjoy also. Its a tough game to play, you need things that are easy for you that you really enjoy doing. This can be fitness, this can be reading books, this can me writing,... this can be whatever you feel like doing..
- Excersise. Excersise is good for your health, for your brain and gets you really into the moment. There is lots to be found on the positive effects of excersise
- Nutritrion; Stay away from sugar. Eat clean. Sugar jacks you up.
- Move down. If you have a 100 bi's bankroll for a limit, would a 10 bi downswing bother you? If you only had 20?
- Quit: In the end poker might just not be the game for you. I highly doubt its a game for me. I am on a break now for atleast 1.5 year. I want to get my degree and want to keep all my focus on that. If poker is getting so important for you that you are neglecting other things in life it will be on the side of gambling addiction. If poker is on your mind constantly and you feel misserable about this game, take a break ..or quit if it keeps happening.
In the end, it should be a hobby if you are not a pro. Don't neglect your carreer and close ones. Bringing a bad vibe to your family because of poker can already be considered as dangerous imo.
Jared tendler - The mental game of poker
The poker mindset
Eckhart tolle - the power of now
Kabat-zinn - Mindfullness (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nwwKbM_vJc)
The eightfulpath of poker enlightenment
might be some good places to start
I am probably forgetting a thing or two to tell you, but this is what I came up with