Monday, August 08, 2005

Some Thoughts On Tilt

I read BadBlood's latest post on tilt and personality change and was posting a comment to it so long that it became its own post. So if you want the following to make more sense, read that first before reading this.

This is a topic I have been putting a lot of thought into myself.

It is clearly the biggest leak that I have identified in my own game (particularly in my B&M game), and I am also seeking to change my own reactions to negative stimuli at the poker table. At the very least, I am focusing on recognizing when it occurs and taking steps to address it.

A radical step that may be bluntly effective is of course getting up. But while this may be the optimal choice when your only alternative is to go on tilt and throw bad money after good--and I have done this--I think it is only a stop gap approach and literally leaves money on the table, particularly in two situations:

1. You are tilting because some idiot made a terrible decision and still got lucky on your sad self and the sight of your stacks sliding on over is enraging. In this case, in an ideal world you would not tilt because you want to continue to sit at the table with an idiot.

2. You are tilting because you yourself made the idiot move and are berating yourself for it. Ideal here may sometimes to stick around with an understanding of the mistake you made, particularly if you think it gave off some temporary table image that can be capitalized upon while the blunder is still in the other players' memories.

So I relate completely with the goal of "changing personality" as a better solution. I am also attempting my own version of the "setting limits". Not for me is the arbitrary stop loss (I have that anyway as I like to come the club with a two buy-in roll--the one and only time I went through both, I was not in a mood to go to the ATM).

My limit is temporal, a "poker time out" if you will. For one dealer push after an offending event, I am consciously limiting myself to very premium hands. This assures that I will not be playing many hands until I cooled and that when I do my decisions will be relatively easier. Obviously, this is still not ideal as good players may recognize the pattern and I am potentially throwing away some value in those unplayed above-marginal, below-premium hands, but my hope is that it can be superior to getting up.

I hope over time to gradually reduce this time frame and possible start to expand the range of hands I play after a bad experience. Ideally, the rational response process that I hope will become reflexive will itself reduce the tilt itself to nothing but a very bad feeling between two otherwise unlinked hands in that life long session we are all playing.

4 Comments:

At Mon Aug 08, 05:04:00 PM 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Mon Aug 08, 05:26:00 PM 2005, Blogger BadBlood said...

I think we all can find our own solutions that work for us. It's always good to talk about it and share ideas. Thanks for reading and posting on the idea.

 
At Tue Aug 09, 09:47:00 AM 2005, Anonymous War said...

One would think that as a Red Sox fan, you would be used to negative stimuli and shouldn't go on tilt as easily. :)

On a serious note, there have been times where I thought you were going on tilt after your opponents misplayed a hand but got lucky and I never quite figured out why you were taking it so personally. They messed up, they got lucky, long run it's a EV+ situation for you if it encourages them to continue playing like that.

It also seemed like to me that you were tilting a little bit after my pocket 7s cracked your pocket kings that one time (which in of itself is something not worth tilting about but I won't get into that now). I'm not necessarily the most perceptive guy in the world so if *I* sensed that, I'm sure that others did as well and would attempt to exploit it as much as possible.

 
At Tue Aug 09, 02:02:00 PM 2005, Blogger SoxLover said...

Indeed, I definitely went on tilt after your sevens hand (read two posts ago, last paragraph). I did, however, succeed in restraining my tilt that time by forcing myself to restrain my play until I had calmed down--this is in fact what I am talking about, a conscious response to other occasions where I hurt myself, twice fairly badly.

 

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