The Underrated Mental Game (Day 24 Course Discussion)

Debi

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In the Underrated Mental Game chapter we learn that a single tilt session can make the difference in being a winning player and losing a chunk of your bankroll.

If you have not yet read Day 24 and watched the video for Day 24 - take a few minutes now to do that and then come back here to discuss it:

The Underrated Mental Game

All poker players will tilt to some degree at some point. Controlling how often you tilt and to what degree will be one of the most important lessons you will need to learn to be successful.

Katie and Collin have some good banter about tilting in the video - but then they get down to business and discuss how important your mental attitude is when playing. Let's discuss overcoming tilt and ask Collin and Katie for assistance in this thread.

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Polytarp

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This is a tough topic and it can happen anywhere, anytime but not to everyone (it's an easy way to pick out the sociopaths and psychopaths in your game...they don't even blink!). Have you ever seen an entire table on tilt? I never have..maybe three people at most (and these people weren't faking it for potential gain) at a nine-ten seat table. When I lose my marbles it's because the concept of fairness has disappeared and no matter what rational course of action I take to address the issue nothing works as I watch in sheer amazement. At one time I would go play Badugi or 5 card draw after such episodes but that still required thought and I couldn't play well. So I turned to slots to watch pure luck in action .. yeah...I'm not proud of it either..BUT..bad luck at poker sometimes brought good luck at slots and my karma remained balanced. Slots are completely mindless and if you can afford a variance of +/-$200 in your bankroll then your mental health should be restored within an hour or two...just think of it as the cost of professional therapy if you lose BUT without the hassle of appointments or the stigma. And if your win, well .. the balance of the universe has been restored.
On a more serious note, Katie encapsulated it well when she said she would prefer to minimize a loss leading to a more perfect game strategy than maximizing a gain with an Achilles heel.
 
pljosko

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"The problem is that it is much easier to lose money than to win money.", "When you feel the onset of tilt, end your session." These two sentences tell us a lot. "Cooling the head" is the only cure for going back to level when our decisions make sense. Unless we patch a hole in a damaged ship - it will sink.
 
Debi

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"The problem is that it is much easier to lose money than to win money.", "When you feel the onset of tilt, end your session." These two sentences tell us a lot. "Cooling the head" is the only cure for going back to level when our decisions make sense. Unless we patch a hole in a damaged ship - it will sink.

Yep - yet many poker players just can't do that and it ends up being their downfall.
 
Collin Moshman

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This is a tough topic and it can happen anywhere, anytime but not to everyone (it's an easy way to pick out the sociopaths and psychopaths in your game...they don't even blink!). Have you ever seen an entire table on tilt? I never have..maybe three people at most (and these people weren't faking it for potential gain) at a nine-ten seat table. When I lose my marbles it's because the concept of fairness has disappeared and no matter what rational course of action I take to address the issue nothing works as I watch in sheer amazement. At one time I would go play Badugi or 5 card draw after such episodes but that still required thought and I couldn't play well. So I turned to slots to watch pure luck in action .. yeah...I'm not proud of it either..BUT..bad luck at poker sometimes brought good luck at slots and my karma remained balanced. Slots are completely mindless and if you can afford a variance of +/-$200 in your bankroll then your mental health should be restored within an hour or two...just think of it as the cost of professional therapy if you lose BUT without the hassle of appointments or the stigma. And if your win, well .. the balance of the universe has been restored.
On a more serious note, Katie encapsulated it well when she said she would prefer to minimize a loss leading to a more perfect game strategy than maximizing a gain with an Achilles heel.


Haha no I've never seen that actually, sounds like an amazing situation to be in with literally an entire table on tilt :)
 
cferdi

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"The problem is that it is much easier to lose money than to win money.", "When you feel the onset of tilt, end your session." These two sentences tell us a lot. "Cooling the head" is the only cure for going back to level when our decisions make sense. Unless we patch a hole in a damaged ship - it will sink.


Here, here!

It is always difficult when you feel your negative emotions rising up - (just now - the allinner at our table, finally gives just a single raise UTG with 86s, I get my chance with 22 in BB for a cheap call. 3A3 flop. I KNOW he hasn't an A or pair or he would have been allin. I bet, he raises me allin (not that much as I've been slowly losing chips in blinds and antes) and think - yes! So what happens, turn gives him 6! - I get that FFS feeling rising up).

But it rarely lasts long. I take a few deep breaths and remember something I heard once from a guy called Sydney Banks who talks about 'Mind, Consciousness & Thought' which basically reminds us that we only feel what we think. So after those few deep breaths, and a shake of my snow wolf snow-globe to help re-centre my thoughts onto something less painful/destructive/negative and onto the beautiful snow; I feel myself calm down and ready to face everything anew. A fresh cup of coffee can help too ;)

This work for more than just poker, btw. Keep smiling :icon_rabb
 
Debi

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Here, here!

It is always difficult when you feel your negative emotions rising up - (just now - the allinner at our table, finally gives just a single raise UTG with 86s, I get my chance with 22 in BB for a cheap call. 3A3 flop. I KNOW he hasn't an A or pair or he would have been allin. I bet, he raises me allin (not that much as I've been slowly losing chips in blinds and antes) and think - yes! So what happens, turn gives him 6! - I get that FFS feeling rising up).

But it rarely lasts long. I take a few deep breaths and remember something I heard once from a guy called Sydney Banks who talks about 'Mind, Consciousness & Thought' which basically reminds us that we only feel what we think. So after those few deep breaths, and a shake of my snow wolf snow-globe to help re-centre my thoughts onto something less painful/destructive/negative and onto the beautiful snow; I feel myself calm down and ready to face everything anew. A fresh cup of coffee can help too ;)

This work for more than just poker, btw. Keep smiling :icon_rabb

Great tips!
 
Phoenix Wright

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Daniel Negreanu suggests (among a few other ideas) simply taking some deep breaths and then identifying your feelings (sadness? joy? anger? etc.) and then consciously changing your state of being to what you want to feel (relaxed, focused etc.)

 
Collin Moshman

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Nice tips by Daniel, I like this concept and also taking deep breaths always helps to feel better!
 
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Day 24 -The Underrated Mental Game

I think all the tips in the video are valid and I usually do them all the time.

First I stop playing, then I think if I'm in my A-Game (for me, my A game is the one where I'm always ahead of the villain even if I lose later), then I move on to tilt.

But tilt for me is a bit unavoidable in the same league that I took a very uneven play, like once I lost my tournament life with AQs to a 39th junk :mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:. And oddly enough it occurred several times in the same day.

So it is to analyze your hands (alone or on the cardschat forum) and if, you are still in your A game your head will be fine and will tell you to move on.:icon_thum:icon_thum:icon_thum
 
belizebum

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Oh the dreaded tilt. Sadly, there are so many things in life that interrupt your A game. To be able to block these things out takes skill. There are a lot of times I have been playing and my mind wanders, usually when I am not in a hand, thankfully. But I have to do a quick regroup and focus on the game.
 
Katie Dozier

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Oh the dreaded tilt. Sadly, there are so many things in life that interrupt your A game. To be able to block these things out takes skill. There are a lot of times I have been playing and my mind wanders, usually when I am not in a hand, thankfully. But I have to do a quick regroup and focus on the game.
Being able to recognize when you're on tilt and know that you need a quick regroup is a great skill in it of itself! :) In my experience there are players that don't even process that they're tilting at all until they make an overtly spewy play to bust a tournament or lose a huge cash pot.
 
Luvart

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Finished Day #24.

Emotional control is a concept of utmost importance for a winning poker player. It takes some practice, because every person is different nad has its own specific character individualities. Emotional control + good bankroll mangement are mandatory for a successful poker career.
 
PsychoVas

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I play alone in my room and that gives me quite a lot of slack in expressing my emotions. Most of the times a rampant - and highly creative - cursing and yelling that ends with a bitter laugh is all it takes for me to vent it out and reboot my old grey matter pentium processor.
In rare occasions when I catch myself making "tilty" moves after that, I take a break.
 
redboy23

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Hello CCers,

Ever felt like you got information one day too late?

Well last night I burned through a couple bucks just because I did not want to stop until I was back up in winnings, even after loosing and coming back up and breaking even.

I convinced myself that I wanted to punish the players for the sick jokes before!

In the end, I punished myself :(.

Point well taken. On a brighter note, if I was the same player before, I would have gone to a higher stakes and tried to go double or nothing!

Oh the memories of those disasters!

I will continue to work on those leaks.

Great advice from the chapter and hopefully it sinks in this time! (talking to myself :) smh)
 
redboy23

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Thank you for sharing.

Some common messages shining through.
 
freddydr87

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Peaple tend to understimate the mental game,but as a human been u are u have fealings and thouse fealings afect all aspects off your life and all desitions you made. And poker is very based on fealings,sometimes you have the fealing you are getting sploited by folding to mush,some times you have the fealing that everyone knows wath you have and just call you with the good ones. It is up to you to adap to thouse fealing and use them in your favor and not to self destruction.
The concentration is also fundamental in the mental game,because poker need your 100% attention. Im baby seating my son and i have noticed than he is wake up my seasons are worse than when he is sleeping, Thats normal because i have to play with one eye on him and the other eye on the screem, so when he is sleep i play half tables i use to play.
 
Bozovicdj

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A very underrated topic as well :)

I would like to point out the "verbalize your thought process" which has a huge positive impact on my game. I tend to sometimes talk out loud during a live hand even, if I am last to act of course. It helps me sort the thoughts and reach the best possible conclusion.

I also like to verbally go through my strategy before starting a session, especially a live one. It would be small things like:
"Do not open early with KJo, it just looks pretty cause of the pics, but it's not a great hand" or something like "play simple early, try to spot out bad players, whales and others who you can be aggressive against".
Great and important topic altogether!
 
Collin Moshman

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Hello CCers,

Ever felt like you got information one day too late?

Well last night I burned through a couple bucks just because I did not want to stop until I was back up in winnings, even after loosing and coming back up and breaking even.

I convinced myself that I wanted to punish the players for the sick jokes before!

In the end, I punished myself :(.

Point well taken. On a brighter note, if I was the same player before, I would have gone to a higher stakes and tried to go double or nothing!

Oh the memories of those disasters!

I will continue to work on those leaks.

Great advice from the chapter and hopefully it sinks in this time! (talking to myself :) smh)


Haha thanks Redboy we appreciate that!
 
Yanko57

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My biggest leak from my early days in online poker and if I'm not too careful, it isstill a weakness fo me up to this day.

I strongly believe when I started poker that I mastered better than most players on the micros some poker fundamentals. I was playing very low buy-ins on Everest poker and had a pretty good ROI. But at the end of the month, my bankroll was showing very little profit if not 0 at all...

Reason was pretty simple: I had 90% days on the + side, but the 10% days I was on the - side chew up all my profits. Only because I couldn't stop trying to regain what I've lost. My weakness was only in my head...I had to stop trying bigger buy-ins to regain my losses.

One day I was at my local library and found THE book that changed my life: The Poker Mindset by Ian Taylor & Matthew Hilger. It focusses on everything outside the poker maths and it's exactly what I needed at that time.

From borrowed, this book was soon bought from me. I consider it as an essential for any poker player. I still have it and read it when I'm in a bad streak just to cool off. Winning will come again. Bad streak happens... and will again in the future. How much you lose from it is up to you.
 
Debi

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My biggest leak from my early days in Online Poker and if I'm not too careful, it isstill a weakness fo me up to this day.

I strongly believe when I started poker that I mastered better than most players on the micros some poker fundamentals. I was playing very low buy-ins on Everest poker and had a pretty good ROI. But at the end of the month, my bankroll was showing very little profit if not 0 at all...

Reason was pretty simple: I had 90% days on the + side, but the 10% days I was on the - side chew up all my profits. Only because I couldn't stop trying to regain what I've lost. My weakness was only in my head...I had to stop trying bigger buy-ins to regain my losses.

One day I was at my local library and found THE book that changed my life: The Poker Mindset by Ian Taylor & Matthew Hilger. It focusses on everything outside the poker maths and it's exactly what I needed at that time.

From borrowed, this book was soon bought from me. I consider it as an essential for any poker player. I still have it and read it when I'm in a bad streak just to cool off. Winning will come again. Bad streak happens... and will again in the future. How much you lose from it is up to you.

That was a great lesson to learn and one many poker players never learn.
 
Katie Dozier

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My biggest leak from my early days in Online Poker and if I'm not too careful, it isstill a weakness fo me up to this day.

I strongly believe when I started poker that I mastered better than most players on the micros some poker fundamentals. I was playing very low buy-ins on Everest poker and had a pretty good ROI. But at the end of the month, my bankroll was showing very little profit if not 0 at all...

Reason was pretty simple: I had 90% days on the + side, but the 10% days I was on the - side chew up all my profits. Only because I couldn't stop trying to regain what I've lost. My weakness was only in my head...I had to stop trying bigger buy-ins to regain my losses.

One day I was at my local library and found THE book that changed my life: The Poker Mindset by Ian Taylor & Matthew Hilger. It focusses on everything outside the poker maths and it's exactly what I needed at that time.

From borrowed, this book was soon bought from me. I consider it as an essential for any poker player. I still have it and read it when I'm in a bad streak just to cool off. Winning will come again. Bad streak happens... and will again in the future. How much you lose from it is up to you.
Super impressive that you managed to identify and solve your leak all on your own--that's very rare to do. Well done! :)
 
johnnylawford

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I feel personally attacked by the anecdote in this chapter for so many reasons...

In all seriousness, I find my own problem is that I end up playing too tight when I tilt. Usually I'm triggered by a number of 2-4 out situations, which puts me in the mindset that the only way to win is AIPF with premium hands. I end up over adjusting, then just get too short and have no fold equity.
 
Collin Moshman

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I feel personally attacked by the anecdote in this chapter for so many reasons...

In all seriousness, I find my own problem is that I end up playing too tight when I tilt. Usually I'm triggered by a number of 2-4 out situations, which puts me in the mindset that the only way to win is AIPF with premium hands. I end up over adjusting, then just get too short and have no fold equity.

We promise we didn't have you in mind when we wrote this chapter :D


And don't worry, there are many worse possible adjustments than nitting up for a while! The key thing is just to play a straightforward game while you're feeling tilted and you'll definitely recover the confidence soon.
 
zam220

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My problem is that I often cannot stop when I start to lose! Previously, I increased the limit and either won back (very rarely) or lost the entire bankroll! Now I have found a way to handle this, I have set a limit on the responsible game, and it helps a lot!
 
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