Embarrassing but need to post this.

ROI RUINERROI RUINER Red Chipper Posts: 214 ✭✭
edited March 9 in General Concepts
I’ll try to keep it short. Posting this in the hopes someone can relate.

I have a major mental game leak. It’s a form of tilt. As I stated several times I play in a very fishy online environment. 40%vpips are not uncommon in the games I play. Sometimes they get rewarded for their play of course otherwise they wouldn’t play.

Well I had a session where I just happened to be experimenting with increasing my aggression.

It just seemed like no matter how I played my opponents with their wide ranges were just nailing flops and I was missing everything, none of my good draws were getting there, my overpairs were running in to 2 pair hands you wouldn’t even think of (Q6s in a 3bet pot is one I recall vividly) etc. Then when I would get it in good the math just wasn’t my friend that night.

So I think what can only be called “entitlement tilt” started to set in. I started getting fancy play syndrome against players that didn’t get in the game to fold. As the night went on my play got worse and worse. Then to chase the losses I moved up in stakes and was playing with half my BR out of frustration. Pulled what was a good bluff for 1/30th of your BR but not half your BR with the nut flush blocker and got called by a real flush in a 500nl game and my BR went from $1800 to $400 in one night.

I grinded that up from a $250 deposit so I’m feeling deflated and mad at myself. My moves and thinking made no sense whatsoever. It was like my common sense left me and I just thought these “bad players” shouldn’t be beating me and I tried to compensate the lack of cards with aggression or something along them lines.

I’ve read about this form of tilt in The Mental Game of Poker and have read stories online about it. I’m wondering if anyone here has 1st experience with and found themselves able to address it and overcome it.

I know I can be good at poker. I have big samples of great winrates but it seems I have a serious mental game leak that I need to address because I can tilt and ruin months of hard work. This is my first time even talking about it publicly in this much detail. For some reason I’m very embarrassed talking about it.


  • kytmagickytmagic Red Chipper Posts: 204 ✭✭
    I think most of us have gone through something similar at some point. I think maybe I've just gotten older and have had it happen to me too many times in the past. I'm super disciplined now and follow my BR plan to a tee because I feel the pain of the rebuild too much. I just think of all the buy-ins I'd have to recoup at a lower stake and it makes me think twice.

    I've also had your type of tilt when someone who plays a super wide range is running hot on me but now I take it a bit easy, realizing that even loose players aren't as aggro as I thought. For example, I've played people who PFR a lot but they don't actually 3-bet/4-bet that much, so if I just look at VPIP/PFR, I might assume too many things and want to battle this person extra hard.
  • WassenaarWassenaar Red Chipper Posts: 48 ✭✭
    Just make sure to learn something of it when it happens.

    I never been much of a tilting player but I've had my sessions as well. Just don't let it effect your play in the means of breaking your own rules. You spend a whole lot of time off-table studying the game. Which includes how to play in more senses than just a given situation. Never ignore what you've learned.

    Some tips that work for me:
    - Approach a session with a plan. How much are you willing to risk tonight?
    - Play on a clock. Beforehand a session I am telling myself that I will cash out at a given point. It doesn't matter if I just won a massive pot or lost one. I would need much better reasons than that to stay at the game after I planned.
    - Respect opposition. This can really help you not tilting when they win. I'm not suggesting to praise their play, just know that they don't play optimal which is a good thing. Don't get angry with them winning. It will happen...
    - Respect variance. It's a huge part of the game and the reason we need a solid BRM. Variance can be absolutely insane. Avoiding that as a fact, is enough to wreck you alone.
    - If you find yourself on tilt. Leave.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yup, probably happened to all of us. It takes discipline to increase your skill and knowledge of the game, and then purposefully dumb it back down. Part of being good at anything is knowing when to keep it simple. There are times I don't put much money in for 3 or 4 hours and when I do they still call. I've seen guys in some of these games that literally wait for AA or KK, and they *still* get all the action they want. It makes me want to pick people up by the head and shake them, because I don't want the money in the super nit's pocket.

    I agree with @kytmagic about the 3- or 4-betting with some players. I remember one hand from years ago like it was yesterday. There was a maniac at the table and I just couldn't get a hand or a flop. He was raising like crazy, and calling raises all over if someone else raised. Finally I got QQ and that was my chance. I raised, he reraised, and I shoved. I was pretty excited when he called because usually the average hand was 96s or A4o. But of course, he had KK. Where did I go wrong? He had never reraised anyone in the entire 4 hours I had played with him.
  • RyanH1995RyanH1995 Red Chipper Posts: 84 ✭✭
    This definitely sounds like entitlement tilt and is something almost all of us and myself included have struggled with. Based on some of your previous posts you seem to emphasize how weak your player pool is. Even with a huge difference in skill level, variance will crush you at times. Whatever happens over a few thousand hands or a session or two doesn't matter. If you are a long term winner you will continue to be even if you get crushed a few sessions in a row.

    By playing vs weaker competition and doing well for a certain period of time I think you expect to win whenever you play. When you don't it is extremely frustrating and can lead to nights like these where you chase your losses. Trying to view poker as just one long session may help. If you can find a way to remove the expectation of winning the losses won't bother you as much and I think it should help you focus on playing optimally at all times.
  • ROI RUINERROI RUINER Red Chipper Posts: 214 ✭✭
    Thanks guys (and/or) ladies. The good news is I can afford to reload and didn’t need the money I lost as much as it sucks to lose it.

    I’m studying mental game today. I played some 10nl and was playing lights out good and won $12!!!! Only $1385 to even again! Lol. I felt solid again.

    I added a journal to one of the notebooks I use to study poker. It’s now part of the end of my session and possibly something I may do right before a session.

    I feel I have to focus more on my mental game than I do and prevent the damage of tilt in future sessions. I was reading about tilt carrying over and showing up in a session that could be in the future because you don’t acknowledge it and deal with it in a previous one.

    I’m getting better and better playing poker as a math/strategy game and understanding those concepts but there’s definitely a mental aspect as well. Expecting the 85% equity to win 100% of the time isn’t real. It isn’t how the math works. Being ok with the 15% is the goal. It’s not personal it’s math. So I’m going to be proactive and try to confront this issue.
  • kytmagickytmagic Red Chipper Posts: 204 ✭✭
    @jeffnc Your example is definitely similar to experiences I've had in the past. Once you start thinking they always have it, it's time to take a break. Look at the Galfond challenge, even one of the greatest players of all-time needed multiple days for a reset.

    It's good that you can afford to reload but at the same time, I do wonder if it's actually better for you to view it as a big deal in order to avoid the scenario again. A lot of times, I tell myself "I can just reload if I have to" which might actually be bad.
  • ROI RUINERROI RUINER Red Chipper Posts: 214 ✭✭
    edited March 30
    Thought I’d report some good news.

    I was so bummed out about this when it happened. BR is currently sitting at $1083. Not going to play beyond 30 buy ins for cash and 100 buy ins for MTTs and SnGs.

    Grinded out $600+ playing within my BR limits and binking an MTT helped out a lot.

    Something that really helped me was Multi-way Pots by Ed Miller in The Course. I’m getting better playing with a bunch of recs that want to see the flop and following the two major rules. Play tight preflop and don’t pay people off. I’m making lay downs I definitely wasn’t a month ago. I know these bad players aren’t exploiting me. They just lucked up with their 92 and T6 suited hands.

    I want those hands in when I’m playing a better range. Yeah it sucks when they get there but in the long run they won’t. Just focusing on that.

    I’m also making my game a lot simpler. Regulated American Poker plays like 2nl up to 30nl. Tons of fish and recs and I stopped trying to recall solver work and doing stuff like check raising the back door nut flush draw on the flop and am focusing on exploiting tendencies and getting value. With the Coronavirus lockdown in PA the games got even more fishier.

    Sitting at 20k hands and winning at 4bb/100 even after losing that large chunk of my BR.
  • ROI RUINERROI RUINER Red Chipper Posts: 214 ✭✭
    Grinded my way back to 50nl. Bankroll is at $1503.01. That was a grind and a half but I got there. Putting in a lot of volume during this quarantine.

    Biggest areas of improvement have been in regards to tilt and multi-way pots.

    Can’t wait to get in the games tomorrow night. Leaving 30nl with a 11.42bb/100 winrate. Running 2bb/100 below EV.
  • PokerPascPokerPasc BelgiumRed Chipper Posts: 24 ✭✭
    I'd be very interested in helping you find ways to prevent this from happening again.

    Here are some tips:
    1) Find out what your triggers are. What makes you tilt?
    2) Is there anything you can do to prevent these triggers? (Unlikely)
    3) Set up a pre-defined action or set of actions you will take when one of your triggers happens.

    For example, a trigger could be losing to a two pair hand that should have never been in the pot in the first place after you 3bet pre.
    So once you see this happen, set up a pre-determined action that you HAVE to follow. No matter what you think or feel at that moment.
    This action could be, leave the table immediately and relax for 30 minutes, maybe meditate a bit.
    After those 30 minutes, if you think you're still on your A game, you can continue playing, if not, go home.

    It's important that you ALWAYS follow this action, since you will not be capable of telling if you're tilt or not in the moment.
    Find your triggers, FORCE yourself to take a break when you recognize one of them, even if you feel completely fine!

    Send me a PM if you'd like some coaching on this!
    I'd be willing to do this for free for you.

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