Detaching your emotions from your game

ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
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. :eek: 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.
 
RiverNoHelp

RiverNoHelp

Rock Star
I hear ya chuck.. I sometimes have problems with my emotions though I haven't had any huge blow ups.. It's very strange how we want people to play badly against us because that's where we make money, but when they do play that way and it effects us we get so irritated.. Like I mentioned on a previous thread when I had Pocket Aces and I made a big pre-flop raise, my buddy calls with King 7 and flops two pair to crack them.. I was pretty upset when he busted me however in hindsight I want him to make that call every time.. It's tough when you believe you know the correct way to play and your opponent doesn't play accordingly.. You just have to look at as this:"We have the same amount of chips at the start", "He can do as he chooses with those chips" "If he wants to donk them off calling big raises out of position with inferior hands then so be it".. In the long run the good players benefit from this type of play..Just be patient and try to avoid tilt.. I know easier said than done!
 
Welly

Welly

Guest
If Bad Beats are the cause of your tilt then there is only one real way to deal with this - reduce the amount of bad beats.

And the only way to reduce the amount of bad beats is to reduce how much is left to luck/chance.

And, how do you do this? A:- Get in amongst the cards more.

It may seem obvious, but sometimes its worth being reminded,

Good Luck, Welly :hello:
 
Stick66

Stick66

Legend
Did that book say anything about detaching my emotions from CardsChat, Chuck? I could use that advice right about now.
 
twizzybop

twizzybop

Legend
It is the nature of the beast chuck.. people like to compete and when competition hits its highest or lowest points the emotions come out.

Just some people can control thier emotions better then others.
 
medeiros13

medeiros13

Rock Star
Chuck, I can relate to your situation in a number of ways. While you're a hockey player, I was a football player with the same issues. Instead of getting sent to the sinbin, I was often flagged for personal fouls when I lost my cool. It took me a LONG time to get over this on the athletic field. It took my last coach in college to get me to realize I should take my passion and instead of getting frustrated myself...to make the opponent frustrated. In hockey terms, become a Darcy Tucker or Ken Linsman if you go back that far.

How this relates to poker...I had similar bouts with tilting that you do. It took awhile for me to get over it. How did I do it...honestly it just took time. The more hands that I've seen, the more bad beats I've taken and have learned to roll with the punches. While writing this response, I've already taken two bad beats but I haven't let it affect me. I've learned from experience (and watching Chris Ferguson in the wsop) that as long as you have a chip to your name, you've got a shot. Ferguson (if you're not familiar) was down to a single chip in a WSOP event and turned it into about 300K before finally bowing out. It was a rather impressive show of mental toughness.

I also have a phrase that I use quite a bit..c'est le poker. that's how I explain bad beats...it's my way of saying that's poker; shit happens.
 
twizzybop

twizzybop

Legend
medeiros13 said:
Chuck, I can relate to your situation in a number of ways. While you're a hockey player, I was a football player with the same issues. Instead of getting sent to the sinbin, I was often flagged for personal fouls when I lost my cool. It took me a LONG time to get over this on the athletic field. It took my last coach in college to get me to realize I should take my passion and instead of getting frustrated myself...to make the opponent frustrated. In hockey terms, become a Darcy Tucker or Ken Linsman if you go back that far.

How this relates to poker...I had similar bouts with tilting that you do. It took awhile for me to get over it. How did I do it...honestly it just took time. The more hands that I've seen, the more bad beats I've taken and have learned to roll with the punches. While writing this response, I've already taken two bad beats but I haven't let it affect me. I've learned from experience (and watching Chris Ferguson in the WSOP) that as long as you have a chip to your name, you've got a shot. Ferguson (if you're not familiar) was down to a single chip in a WSOP event and turned it into about 300K before finally bowing out. It was a rather impressive show of mental toughness.

I also have a phrase that I use quite a bit..c'est le poker. that's how I explain bad beats...it's my way of saying that's poker; shit happens.


LOL I can remember a little further back but however kenny baby is now the t.v announcer for the bruins games.
 
I

IProbablyHaveUrMoney

Guest
Chuck,
I am going to give you the biggest tip on making money playing poker online.

Keep in mind I have consistently made low six figures for since before 2000 playing strictly online.

The reason I can detach myself from my own emotions tied to money is something that is unconvetional. I have 12 one-hundred dollar bills ripped in half taped to my wall above my monitors. Each represents a losing week that I have had.

How does this detach me from emotion? Its because it keeps me focused that I AM playing with money. Contrary to popular belief, we get in trouble when we lose our focuse that the number below our name represents a cash value.

I would advise that you use some cash taped to your wall or something like that (you dont HAVE to rip em ;)) to give you the true sight of what you are playing with. That is the secret...not FORGETTING that you have money at your tables.

Cheers,
Chris
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
Thanks a bunch for the input, guys.

Chris: I think this may be one of my biggest problems; I've made my bankroll without putting a penny in, and I think I've grown to see it almost as a video game instead of putting money on the line. I haven't even made a withdrawl yet, and still only see it as numbers on a screen and I think you're right in saying that you should remind yourself what you're actually playing with.

Another thing is that I'm still a relative newbie (<2 years) to poker, so I haven't yet seen the full spectrum of how often bad beats happen, and maybe as medeiros mentioned, you just get used to it the more experienced you are.

Thanks again for the input, fellas.
 
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