Detaching your emotions from your game
While buying my HoH books downtown, I was reading some other books and in one of them I noticed this was one of the key elements to playing winning poker that the author mentioned.
We as humans go into 'survival mode' when money is involved. Whether you realize it or not, we see it as something essential to survival (which it pretty much is in today's world). I think that's why you see people get so angry when they get their aces busted by some monkey playing junk that hit 2 pair on the river.
The best poker players have learned to completely detach these emotions from their game. I mean I don't even think that they get happy when they win a pot; it's just a part of their job, and just a part of their profit.
Me personally, I've always been really, REALLY emotional about the things I'm passionate about. One thing that comes to mind is hockey; I consider myself a good player, and put everything I've got into every game just like I do with everything I'm passionate about. I used to get so emotional in games; if I were to miss a shot or blow an opportunity, I'd flip. In houseleague, this resulted in many a time spent in the sinbin (penalty box for you yanks ) for unsportsmanlike conduct and freaking out. Call me crazy, but that's how passionate I am about things I love to do. Anyways, in the end I still play hockey now, and am still extremely passionate about it, but have somehow lost the rage I once used to get. Maybe this is from switching from houseleague to select (contact lets out muchos stress), but somehow I've lost the rage, and am at a controlled level of emotion in the game.
This is something that I can't bring myself to with poker. I still have my emotions strongly attached to my game, which is very very bad for my play. I go on tilting streaks when the common bad beat happens, and end up losing multiple games in a row. I've found a half-solution in taking long breaks and forgetting about the stress, but as soon as I come back and get bad beat more than once in a row it comes right back. It just kills my confidence, which is something I need every game.
The reason I post this is because I'm on the worst tournament streak I've ever had. It's largely in part to my tilt, but I've also taken some pretty ridiculous beats that have put me out of the tournaments to make me tilt. I'm now taking an extended break for however long it takes me to once again forget about the stress, and come back feeling relieved.
I'd appreciate some feedback with this, as I know for a fact (see the bad beat board) that others experience the same emotions I do, and was wondering what you guys do aside from take breaks to deal with it.
I can only imagine what kind of stress a professional player goes through. Imagine having to play through the stresses we all get when playing for your next rent cheque? Too much for me.
I dunno; in conclusion I just think detaching your emotions from the game is something essential. If you're able to play a tournament, take a terrible beat and come right back to play another one with the same strong game you did the first time, then you've got it locked down. I haven't yet come close to achieving that, nor have I an idea how to, but I'm definitely looking into it because the tilt is getting ridiculous for me.