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PL/NL Texas Hold'em >> Micro Stakes

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DaycareInferno
veteran


Reged: 06/15/07
Posts: 1286
Loc: wot u say
The psycology of tilt
      #12990511 - 11/16/07 03:05 PM

I have been giving a lot of thought today to what factors separate highly tilt-prone players from those players that struggle with tilt less often. I often feel bad, because a lot of friends of mine are severely inhibited by tilt, and I wish that I could at least help them start down the right road towards managing this problem. This is my attempt.

First let me say that there are big differences between recognizing a problem, understanding a problem, and managing a problem. While there have been many attempts, both by amateurs and seasoned professionals, to help people with this particular problem, most of these attempts that I have seen are somewhat misguided, because they lack a certain fundamental understanding of human behavior.

If you missed an easy layup at the buzzer of a high school state championship basketball game, and your mother approached you and told you that it was okay, and that it's just a game, would you jump up and yell "Yay! Let's all go to McDonald's!"? Probably not. If your old man told you that you should stop smoking cigarettes because they are bad for you, would you say "Golly. I guess you're right, pops." and never pick up another cigarette again? Probably not. Things just don't work that way. Logic does not override peoples' hard-coded responses and urges. Fear can override them. Conflicting responses and urges can override them, but for the most part, logic isn't much help in the now. In order to use rational thinking to help manage your problems, you must work hard to condition yourself while you are thinking rationally. Having a mantra, or a cliche, or a picture on the ready for when you're thinking irrationally just isn't going to cut it. It will lose its effect, just like an ill conceived New Year's resolution.

Ok, so how do we go about managing the problem? Well, first we should understand the problem, and not just look at the end effect. When it comes to poker related behaviors, this can be very hard to do, because there are so many unique factors in play. If a person that has problems with tilt control were to go to a psycologist, that psycologist would probably come to the conclusion that he/she was compulsive, addiction prone, egomaniacal, and displayed strong tendencies of any combination of various personality disorders that you can think of. Guess what, though? That same psycologist is going to draw similar conclusions about a high percentage of poker players that aren't as tilt prone, also. The fact of the matter is that these tendencies are very common among all poker players, whether they're tilt monkies or not.

So, what is it then that separates players with regards to tilt? Well, for the most part, its simply a matter of anger levels and how conditioned an individual is to managing their anger. If you are very prone to tilt, think about how you would react in the following situations. If you are not very prone to tilt, think about how someone that you know well, and is every prone to tilt would react in the following situations:

Your favorite football team throws an interception in the last minute of a close game that is returned for a game winning score by the opposing team.

You get cut off in traffic.

An old lady in front of you in line at the grocery store insists on sifting through change for 5 minutes in order to pay an exact ammount.

These are the moments that bring to light the levels of anger within a person, and the people that lose it in any of these situations, tend to lose it in all of these situations, and tend to lose it at the poker table as well. If you're the guy that screams at your television when your team loses, you're going to have a real uphill battle with poker.

Something else that should be added to that, is that although a marginal ammount of self control will suffice in those situations, its not going to do you much good when you're involved in something as intense as a game of poker, as opposed to sitting on your couch and eating potato chips. Don't think that you're going to be okay, just because you're not the type to lash out in those sorts of situations. If you're the type that just boils on the inside, like the guy from "Falling Down", that anger is still there, nonetheless. Your approach might keep you from getting punched at Aldi's, but it won't help you much in poker.

What can you do? Well, you shouldn't go off the deep end just yet. You might be reading this and thinking "Oh my god! That's so me!", and maybe it is, but its everyone to a certain extent. There is no one that doesn't get mad, in life, or in poker. The easiest way to assess the severity of your problem, just like with anything else, is by the consequences of your actions. If your anger is causing you major problems in your life, then it would greatly benefit you to seek professional help, not just for the sake of your poker career. If your problem isn't severe, but its something you would like to work on, there are plenty of free resources available that can provide you with a foundation for that work. I can tell you right now that it will do you no good if you do not continue to work, though, just like lifting weights for a day isn't going to make you any stronger physically.

Try to keep in mind that while the end result of your problem may surface on an imaginary card table, that does not mean that people that spend a lot of time around imaginary card tables are the most qualified to help you with that problem. As nice as it would be to be able to condition your behavior by taping some fortune cookie [censored] onto the side of your monitor, you'll come to find out that in the long run, these type of solutions aren't really any more effective than a rabbit's foot.

If you're serious about looking into effective ways of managing your anger, get on google, start researching, and be prepared to actually spend some time and effort on it, instead of looking for a quick fix. I'll warn you ahead of time, though. Most online resources for these types of things really aren't very well geared towards younger age groups, and so a lot of them will probably come off as fairly cheesy. Its not that hard to improvise a little bit and put your research into a context that makes more sense for you, though.

Final Thought: Watch more Kung Fu


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Nemesis69
old hand


Reged: 04/17/07
Posts: 1129
Loc: SPARTAAAA!
Re: The psycology of tilt [Re: DaycareInferno]
      #12990604 - 11/16/07 03:13 PM

First. Gonna read now!

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well named
member


Reged: 06/23/07
Posts: 166
Loc: i, -1, -i, 1
Re: The psycology of tilt [Re: DaycareInferno]
      #12990614 - 11/16/07 03:14 PM

There is an interesting overview of psychological risk-aversion as related to tilt in the September issue of the 2+2 magazine that is also interesting.

There is an effect that is not necessarily tied to emotions which is common for most people:

Quote:

Conversely, as people regard themselves to have accrued losses, they tend to be more willing to risk further losses in exchange for the opportunity to have lost less (i.e. they become more risk-seeking). This is because further losses don't hurt as much as the initial losses did.



-- http://www.twoplustwo.com/magazine/issue33/mccauley0907.html

It's useful to keep this effect in mind when evaluating more subtle kinds of tilt.


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derosnec
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 10/11/05
Posts: 6159
Loc: mmmmm chickfila
Re: The psycology of tilt [Re: well named]
      #12990696 - 11/16/07 03:21 PM

yeah that 2+2 article is very good. i liked this line from it:

"someone who sees that he is a huge favorite has already 'mentally pocketed' the real dollars as his own"


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Nemesis69
old hand


Reged: 04/17/07
Posts: 1129
Loc: SPARTAAAA!
Re: The psycology of tilt [Re: Nemesis69]
      #12990698 - 11/16/07 03:21 PM

Let Kung Fu Panda help u!



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DaycareInferno
veteran


Reged: 06/15/07
Posts: 1286
Loc: wot u say
Re: The psycology of tilt [Re: well named]
      #12990764 - 11/16/07 03:27 PM

Quote:

There is an interesting overview of psychological risk-aversion as related to tilt in the September issue of the 2+2 magazine that is also interesting.

There is an effect that is not necessarily tied to emotions which is common for most people:

Quote:

Conversely, as people regard themselves to have accrued losses, they tend to be more willing to risk further losses in exchange for the opportunity to have lost less (i.e. they become more risk-seeking). This is because further losses don't hurt as much as the initial losses did.



-- http://www.twoplustwo.com/magazine/issue33/mccauley0907.html

It's useful to keep this effect in mind when evaluating more subtle kinds of tilt.




i agree with a lot of that article, but i don't agree with the premise. if you make a mental list of the people you know that are very good at excercizing tilt control, and a mental list of people you know that are very bad at exercizing tilt control, you'll see that there is typically a common thread in how those groups of people tend to deal with situations away from the poker table, like the ones that i described above. it is very distinct among the people that i know.


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Gelford
Regular Joe


Reged: 11/15/05
Posts: 6392
Loc: Not mentioning the war
Re: The psycology of tilt [Re: DaycareInferno]
      #12990845 - 11/16/07 03:32 PM

What is the premise of it ?

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kaz2107
Jumpman HOLLA!


Reged: 07/26/05
Posts: 2943
Loc: Hating CO pro sports atm
Re: The psycology of tilt [Re: Gelford]
      #12990859 - 11/16/07 03:34 PM

Quote:

What is a premise?


fyp

nice post tho


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Gelford
Regular Joe


Reged: 11/15/05
Posts: 6392
Loc: Not mentioning the war
Re: The psycology of tilt [Re: Gelford]
      #12990873 - 11/16/07 03:34 PM

BTW ... if anyone start quoting Dr. Al, I am going to go Kung Fu on this thread

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Monster207
enthusiast


Reged: 05/06/07
Posts: 300
Loc: WTF IS JUICE?!?!
Re: The psycology of tilt [Re: DaycareInferno]
      #12990893 - 11/16/07 03:36 PM

wow - really good article and well thought out. I really agree with you on how you broke this down.. I find it interesting that in Live play I'am excellent at controlling my emotions while during online play I become much more prone to tilt. I'm currently trying to find a connection from my live game that can help me fix this in my online game. Maybe looking up other resources like you advise will help out. good post.

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