Even Jesus goes on tilt
First of all, excuse me for my english, iīm from Chile
and i donīt speak english very well (and babelfish translates word by word, so it doesnīt works for a long text).
Like 3 months ago i was playing a little tourney with friends (we were like 8, and the buy in was like $5). Iīm recognized as a very tight player by my friends, but there was one who had never played with me before. It was the first hand of the table (we played with $2000 in chips and the blinds started $10/20), and i really donīt like to play many hands at the beggining of any tourney, but i was dealt KK and had to play them. I was on middle position and raised like $80. A tight friend (his name is Cristobal) and the one who was playing for first time with us (his name is Tamil, and he was on the button) called . The flop came J 3 X, two hearts. I checked, Cristobal checked and Tamil bet $100. Me and Cristobal called. The turn came blank. I checked (i knew that Tamil would bet again), Cristobal checked and Tamil bet again $100. I raised $250 and both Cristobal and Tamil called. At that time i knew that Cristobal had something like AJ and i guessed that Tamil had something like middle pocket pair, or bottom pair or something like that. The river was a blank, and i bet like $350. Both Cristobal and Tamil called. Cristobal showed AJ. I was happy, i thought that i had won the pot, but then Tamil showed J 3 suited (not hearts). I knew i still had chips but from that moment i played the worst poker ever on my life. I went on tilt and finished like 7th.
The point is that this kind of things doesnīt have to affect your mind, or you would end like me, playing pots without thinking and losing them. The best thing you can do is to forget that hand and start thinking on the next one. If you start thinking: Why I dindīt raise enough? Why I dindīt fold? and stuff like that, you wonīt be able to play focus with all your skills on the next hands. That questions you have to answer after the tourney ends, not in the middle of it. You can committe a lot of mistakes (even more if you are a newbie like me), but the key is to learn and take them as experience, because it will help you on similar situations on the future. You can do that afterwards, so in the moment it happens you have to do something like breath deeply, drink water, think in anything else, talk with friends or anything that helps you to relax and forget that hand.
What about really bad beats? On another of those friendly tourneys, i was heads up and we were playing like for 8 hours. I was chip leader and my friend at that time was frequently going all in preflop, and i didnīt have hands to call him. I told him: "With AA Iīm gonna catch you". And it happened. I was dealt pocket rockets. I was on the button, and raised like twice the big blind. My friend said the words i was wishing to hear: "Iīm all in". I called inmediatly, and i was glad to see K7 offsuited. The flop came K X X. I was trembling, fearing that 5 outs that could beat me. The turn came K. I almost started crying. I was playing the %&$# tourney for 8 hours to lose with AA against K7. I remembered what happened on the other tourney when i went on tilt, so i just layed there in my seat, trying to blank my head and forget any thought i could have. It took me like 2 minutes to forget that hand and i was prepared to played the best poker i could, as if nothing had happened. The end of story was that i made a came back with $900 chips against like $15100 and finally i won the tourney.
The point is that yes, itīs always frustrating to lose a big pot or have a bad beat, but if you go easily on tilt, you will lose more pots. Is true that the only thing you need to win is a chip and a chair, you just have to trust in your skills and focus on the hand youīre playing at the moment.
Well, thatīs all. I have to say that iīm not trying to teach anything to anyone, because iīm a newbie at this game. Iīm just telling an experience and saying what i think you should do when you could go on tilt, because all poker players are able to have a bad beat.
*This thread is specially for tourneys, when you cannot just stand up after a bad beat and leave the game. In cash games, maybe it could be a good idea to stand up, relax, and return when you think your head is cold and you can play at your normal level.