Monday, February 16, 2009

You can't delay the inevitable

I cracked. I feel good though because I'm cooled off now and can take a completely non results-oriented point of view towards my day yesterday.

Don't want to make this a long post, so to put it simply, this happened:

Started the day off well. Stacked AK vs a very aggressive reg's backraise all in with 86s and I held. Some other minor hands, and unfortunately I'm feeling the effects of expecting a big day. Then the slide started, and I made all types of bad bluffs and call downs in between the monster pots:

And one semi tilt-induced/semi reads-based shove:

At this point I gave up completely on all my little reference cards and note-taking and was just plain steaming. I haven't tilted like that in quite a while, mostly because I haven't run that bad in so long and I just couldn't take it. Surprised that my $10 keyboard somehow survived my punches. My knuckles sure didn't.

Today I came back and played a decent session with one massive mistake and the rest of the session played well, I think. I 5bet shoved Q8s in an ok spot but really you don't need to ever really do that, so I'm not happy about that. Didn't set out any goals or anything today, just played more for fun than anything. Yesterday was the problem.

So I failed. It's not the end of the world though - just as Jared pounded into my brain, I have to look at this as an opportunity to improve. Review my hands, learn from my mistakes, and learn from my mental game mistakes as well.

So, let's go over my goals for the session:

1) Play 6 or fewer tables - check

2) Play until 10:00, take at least a 15:00 break, think about playing more if you're still on your A-game - Played 'til 10, took a 5 minute break, then played til the wee hours of the night chasing losses. Fail.

3) Recognize the triggers of tilt and write them down - Losing a half dozen coolers in the span of a few minutes really got me steaming. I realize those are hands that I played completely standard given the dynamics and everything, but it stung. The key thing is I lost money, and that hurts. Realize those plays will reap a profit in the long run though.

Getting outplayed by my opponents also hurt. I have a massive ego and I hate losing. Solution? Learn to accept losses. Like many have said, namely Tommy Angelo on the inside of my book, "To win at poker, you have to be very good at losing". Assess the table conditions objectively, figure out if it's more profitable to find a new table or to stick around, and act accordingly.

4) Constantly assess mental state. Be aware. DO NOT CROSS THE THRESHOLD. - Fail. I guess I was paying attention to my mental state for the first half hour or so, but the next two or three hours I didn't even care. I just wanted my money back.

There you have it: confessions of a childish poker player. I still have the same mental problems I had back when I first started playing. Pinpointing them and running through this process can only help though.

Tomorrow, maybe I'll head over to the gym in the morning, then no doubt I'll be on the felts again to keep pushing along.


Anonymous said...

The gym is a great idea, I think. Much better place/way to work out frustrations.

Keep at it. The mental/emotional part in particular will really reap rewards imo

Patman said...

Ouch, those beats hurt! Good to see that you have recovered and are working through the situation. I also like to go to the gym and work out after these sorts of things happen.

WVHillbilly said...

After I lose it, I like to watch Jared's Stox video to calm down from tilting (I think it called like Dealing with Tilt in Real Time). I find it a great way to relax through breathing and to get my emotions down on paper while I'm still steaming. After watching it I generally try to watch a movie or do anything other than think about poker.