Tilt Control

Tilting, or losing your mind, at a poker table can be a destructive force to your bankroll.  You need to recognize a few things about…
…tilt so that next time it happens to you, well you don’t blow your wad.

First:  Everyone has losing sessions.

If you play primarily sng’s or heads up matches, there can be a lot of variance in those games.  Somedays you’ll be flipping coins a lot, and not winning.  If you are highly competitive this can create some problems.  You think, ‘well I can’t possibly lose another flip’ and begin or continue gambling in high variance situations.  Often when you head is not clear, you will take the higher risk situation.

B:  Going on Tilt in a Cash game is expensive

Tilting in a tourney or two, will cost you at most your tourney buyin’s.  The problem with cash games, is when you tilt there the rebuy is always so convenient and appealing.  This can lead to busting your online roll, or worse, maxing out a credit card or two.

The important thing to recognize is when you are tilting.  It is due to a change in emotional state.  You are no longer thinking about the game objectively, and you begin to chase money, or gamble excessively.  Sometimes this works out, the cards turn around, and you win.  But it is an awfully bad habit to continue playing when in most cases you are making worse decisions.  Your table image is shot, because you’re playing like a maniac, leading people to play and stack off much lighter against you.  All these things do is create more variance.  So if you’re tilting because you’re running bad, it’s easy to see how things can spiral out of control.

How to stop it: we recommend taking frequent breaks.  Go eat something.  Go for a run.  Watch a movie.  Punch your bed.  Whatever you need to do to release some stress, and perhaps anger.

Stop Gaps:  Often you’ll read about players using a stop gap measure.  This means if you buy in for a game X times, you’ll stop.  Generally, we use a 3 buyin max rule.  After that point, our decision making processes change.  And we are no longer a winning player (in that context).

Recognize Games Change:  Sometimes the donkey to your left just has 9 lives.  Once he’s built up a chip stack, he’s now tougher to play against.  Just because an hour ago you knew all you had to do was wait around to get him, doesn’t mean the situation is still there.  Prevent your ego from getting involved.

Sometimes, writing a blog helps.  In fact, it’s keeping me distracted from the gambol gambol sickness I was developing today. : )

GL @ the tables.  You grind way to hard, to give it all back in a day.

Oh, and one more thing.  When you are losing….DON’T DECIDE TO MOVE UP LIMITS.  That is not the time to take your shot.  It’s risky.  And more often than not, results in you going broke.

Cheers.

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