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  • Mental game.

    Hello all. Can you tell me how you handle the emotional swings?

  • #2
    lol I'm having one now. Getting back to the table works for me. Sadly I have nothing scheduled for the next 2 weeks.

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    • #3
      Massive lack of respect for money.

      Well, joking aside, not playing above bankroll gets you about the same results. Also, not taking any of it personally. Preparing away from the table so that at the table I feel confident in my own game so that whatever happens variance-wise doesn't matter. Knowing walking to the table that variance is part of the game and I should expect to see some horrific shit. Years of playing and having seen a ton already and knowing it's all in the past and doesn't affect me now, so why should anything in the moment affect me in that moment? Realizing that I'm not the best in the world but I'm trying to be the best me I can, and that's enough. Working out and eating well, strengthening your body strengthens your mind.

      Also, not playing when I don't feel like it. Stepping away from the table if I need to, or away from the game if I need to. I had a period of my life where I played every day for 10+ hours a day. I had a period of my life after that where I didn't play at all, nor even think about playing, for years. Poker isn't everything. If you're feeling off, go do something else. If you're not able to take a horrific beat, go take a walk, even if it's in the middle of a tournament, who cares. Better you miss getting Aces then freakishly misplay them because you're on tilt. Any one little moment just isn't that big a deal. But if you let the difficult moments build up and seep into your veins then that is a big deal and effects things outside of poker as well.

      So, just do your best, study away from the table, go in and make the best decisions based on what knowledge you have, have fun, and let the gods handle the rest.
      ​​​​

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      • jamtay317
        jamtay317 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you very much! So I've noticed that I've had losing sessions the past three times that I've played because I've gone on tilt. For me that is a problem I don't think that it is about the money, it could be, but I believe that do to something that's happened in the game. Last night I lost a big pot with KK. Not telling a bad beat story, I just played them wrong. After that, I got stacked two hands later with a hand that I should have folded because I was three-bet. I'm blaming tilt for this.

        With all of this said, if you've noticed your self upset, you get up from the table?

      • reeeeeeper
        reeeeeeper commented
        Editing a comment
        These days I usually only get up if I'm upset over making a particularly bad play. The last one I remember was in a tournament where I knew this kid had a big pair and went for a checkraise on a flushy-straighty board when I should have known he was just going to check behind. I needed the chips at my stack size and just let him off the hook. I was so upset with myself I got up and took a walk for a few minutes. If I get a bad beat though, I usually just tighten up for a round because I know the perception will be from other players that I might be tilting and they might call me down wider. I've had some doozies, flop top set, call a jam, they backdoor a straight, that sort of thing. Doesn't really matter, the play was good.

        You should just read Jared Tendler's book The Mental Game Of Poker, that should have everything you need.

    • #4

      oh come on ... game's made me both a maschoist and a sadist at the same time... ( and you see that in the poker players ... you do ! )


      whoever saying it doesn't matter isn't being truthful Even if you're federal reserve, u put in time, right ?

      Say you have infinite bankroll, what u do ? play till you're sick ?? or lose $$ like u don't care ,

      even if u can manage to not care ... losing is no fun. ( and that's time you could have spent doing anything else... anything else )


      Last edited by CrazyEddie; 08-11-2019, 02:22 AM.

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      • reeeeeeper
        reeeeeeper commented
        Editing a comment
        This is a good point. Schadenfreude and competitiveness are a part of it too. If you're competitive and realize that tilt only helps your opponents, then it helps keep you from tilting. So you're not exactly emotionless, you feel joy over winning and get upset over losing, but don't let it seep into your game and decision-making process. If you work on your emotional control and see others who haven't, you can definitely feel some joy and amusement when they lose it too. Not going to go out of my way to make it happen though.

    • #5
      The mental game is an important- and commonly ignored- aspect of poker. It shapes everything. Just consider any 2 people at the table- they will have very different approaches- one might be a nit, the other a maniac. That difference is based somewhere in their psyche- either their natural motivations or their emotional responses to things in their life. I would make more money if I simply spent the time playing poker working. Add in the time I spend working on my poker game, and put that into improving my work skills, that might bring further promotions and pay rises! So it would be wrong to say I play poker primarily for money. I'm at completely the other end of the scale to Reeeper- I play once a week- maybe twice when on holiday. So I rarely feel unmotivated or burned out. But then I will also play when very tired, because if I don't, that's it for that week.

      You can get some very fast and easy answers to your problem. You can get some very fast and easy answers to how to play poker. Imagine you came on here and said "I want to learn to play poker- what do I do?". You would be pointed towards, say, mastering small stakes poker or something similar. That doesn't fix your problem. The work you put in afterwards, with the book, does. Fixing your mental game is exactly the same. Reeeeeper has pointed you in exactly the right direction. But it is important to build in regular mental game work into your whole poker training plan. Do this and you will improve. Buy the book and sit it on a shelf- or buy the book and read it in a day- that won't do you any favours.

      Funnily enough I was dealing with an issue myself recently, went back to the book this week and did some work. It made a big difference. In fact I would go so far as to say I played my best poker in a long time yesterday as a result.

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      • reeeeeeper
        reeeeeeper commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh, I don't play that much any more. Only about one day a week these days. That was back when I was trying not to get a real job.

        And you're right about actually doing the work Some people think just buying the book is enough. Or just reading it is enough. You actually have to do the things the book proposes and figure out how to mold them to work for you. Every time you move up in stakes it gets harder again, so you have to work through it again and keep working on yourself.
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