Mental Game issue, Nerves/Emotion Control

JustKiddinJustKiddin Red Chipper Posts: 5
edited January 2017 in General Concepts
Hey guys,

I play mostly MTTs and my problem is that anytime Im close to the final table where there is significant money up top, my nerves and emotions take over. My mind goes blank, hand reading, value betting and flop play all go out the window and all I end up playing is the two cards in front of me at a real basic level. I end up playing really passively because Im afraid that Ill get knocked out. Things like flat calling a wide opener when I should be 3betting and check folding flop when I miss. Or not value betting my hand because Im afraid he might have one of the few hands that beat me.

It only happens when there is big money for the winner, if its small money up top I don't feel that I've missed out on any big score and am able to play my normal game. Any advice on how to handle this?


  • DrTriciaDrTricia RCP Coach Posts: 190 ✭✭
    I have a few thoughts for you!

    First, if you don't talk to yourself, your self will talk to you. You are probably telling yourself all kinds of things (what the money means to you, how it would change your life, or things like don't screw this up, don't look like an idiot). All this sets you up for a bad outcome.You need to come up with a mantra that you use (I always play my best or My next play will be my best play or I always show up as a champion - whatever you like - just come up with something to crowd out those negative thoughts).

    Second, practice centering breathing when you get in these spots. Breath in through your nose for a count of 5 - count it out slowly - hold for 2 counts and breath out your mouth for a count of 7-8. Then repeat your mantra to yourself. Take as many of these centering breaths as you need to in order to calm down and get re-focused.

    You could also imagine what your favorite player would tell you to do in those spots and do that.

    You may want to work with a mental game coach to process these self-sabotage issues.

    Let me know how these tips work for you!


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