Joined: Feb '09
Age: 40 (M)
We have all been there before. We are playing our local small NL stakes poker game in which we usually dominate. However, tonight, despite the game having the usual weak suspects, we are getting creamed. We get in spots where our full house loses, our pocket kings get all-in with pocket aces pre-flop, players are sucking out and worst of all, most of our stabs at pots and other plays to get dead money have been failing.
At first, we are cool. We understand that this happens in poker and are very understanding of our losing session. However, after the third full buy-in, our temperature starts to rise and our mind starts to get fuzzy. We take a walk, and give ourselves a pep talk. Again, we have been to this dark place many times, and know that this happens. We know very well this is just Mr. Nasty Variance making his routine appearance.
We get back in the game and yet lose another full buy-in. We then start to do the unthinkable. We start to get frustrated and react to it in our play. We tell ourselves many things to justify our future plays, however, we know deep down inside it is negative EV. We turn on our hyper aggressive mode and start raising in bad position with marginal to bad hands. We two and three barrel in bad spots and start making bad calls when we are played back at. When our internal poker alarm goes off and warns us that we are making a bad play, we say screw it, it can’t be any worse. When we leave for a quick bathroom break, the table talks about how we are seriously stuck and playing horrible. We have become the fish. After losing six full buy-ins, we finally waive the white flag and storm out of the casino.
In the car ride home, we go through our anger stage. We start blaming people, different situations and luck. After a few minutes, we finally get a little clarity. Our intelligent poker self springs to life and reminds us how bad we actually played. It lets us know that early in the session we did play well and did get unlucky. However, by getting frustrated, we turned a three buy-in loss to a six buy-in loss. Those three buy-ins is about a few days earnings. We then go back to to the anger stage. This time, we get angry at ourselves.
To be a winning poker player, it is very important to always strive to play our best. We have studied the game and put much time and effort to play at a higher level then our competition. If we continue to go through meltdowns while we are having a bad session, we clearly have a serious leak in our game that can prevent us from optimizing our profits. It is of utter importance to figure out how to stop this from happening. As important as it was to figure out how to optimize a hand in certain situations, it is just important to put time in to figuring out how to un-tilt ourselves. We are unique, and only we can tell ourselves how to fix us. If we don’t know how, we need to spend however long it takes us to figure it out. Our poker winnings will continue to grow if we do.
Joined: Mar '11
Age: 50 (M)
Nice description of going on tilt indeed. Have gone through this 3 days ago I guess, lol. Luckily I only lost 3 buy ins and because I am playing with careful bankrollmanagement it is not dramatic. But Iam still trying to stop that leak in my play.
Joined: Oct '09
Age: 56 (M)
Went through one of these long tilting periods myself recently. How to "Untilt"? Guess i learned some things in this long process, and hopefully, I will react better to it on the next run of destructive Varience. (destructive only if you let it be...)
Joined: Apr '09
Age: 39 (M)
Everyone knows that a good player stops playing after the third full buy-in, no matter the amount you play. This is in the books, its a rule! I have a friend who plays very well, with a recognized effort on the net in some of the bigest online poker rooms (ex-FTP included) that just started playing sponsored by a wealthy friend, and they defined some rules so that the rich man's money wouldnt go all in the first night of my friend's work. And this was the first. If it happens, he just have to light a cigar and go home walking (he lives near the office ).
------------ Everyone knows that a good player stops playing after the third full buy-in, no matter the amount you play. This is in the books, its a rule! I have a friend who plays very well, with a recognized effort on the net in some of the bigest online poker rooms (ex-FTP included) that just started playing sponsored by a wealthy friend, and they defined some rules so that the rich man's money wouldnt go all in the first night of my friend's work. And this was the first. If it happens, he just have to light a cigar and go home walking (he lives near the office ).