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Old 11-30-2007, 11:26 AM
Bond18 Bond18 is offline
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Default Things it took me a while to learn, Part 11, Time and Tilt Management

Iíve got some time over the next week before I have to get back to live poker so I thought Iíd get back to writing some of these. A lot of people in the Ďwhat do you want to see from these articlesí thread they were curious about time management (and to a lesser degree, volume) and tilt/emotional management. Neither of these seem like incredibly elaborate topics, so Iíve decided to combine them despite not being all that related.

Time Management: The annoying part about MTT play, is that itís the most restrictive form of playing poker when it comes to time freedom. Not only do the tournaments go off at a time we donít decide, but online tournaments often last 5-10 hours and live ones multiple days.

When it comes to live poker we get very little choice in our time management since we can only one table and all breaks/rests are structured for you. The hardest part about live poker in regards to time management, is staying away from the temptations of the live scene in order to get enough sleep at night to play well. On any given night during say, the WSOP, people will be going out for food, parties, strip clubs, bars, and if your not a social pariah youíll often be getting invites. If youíve got to play the next day at 12 you should probably be up at least a half hour (depending on where your staying) before so you can shower, get dressed and get some decent food in your system before you have to play. I swear to god if another one of you [censored] heads sits down next to me in a live event without showering and smell like [censored] Iím going to punch you in the throat.

For online poker, time management is a sort of juggling act. My personal process goes something like: Wake up, shower, set out breakfast in front of my computer, fire up 3-6 tournaments (depending on what hour Iím starting on) and continuing to register for the next ~4 hours, with my girlfriend helping me out by making some food about 4-5 hours into my shift. My average day normally ends up lasting within 30 minutes of 8 hours, but some might take under 6 or over 10, depending on which tournaments I go deep in and if I stop registering early. I play around 6-10 tables at a time on two screens, and on truly hectic days it can reach 12, but my average is around 7 or 8, which is comfortable at this point. Over the course of the day I probably play roughly 15 tournaments, depending on which day of the week it is, and 6 sometimes 7 days a week (though Iíll take half days so I get off early and get outside for the rest of the day.)

There are various pit falls of this kind of system. What about when you get hungry? Iíd recommend having easily prepared meals around that also arenít junk food, and staying away from things that will make you feel lethargic (booze, turkey, greasy/fatty food.) When it comes to using the bathroom, itís nice to play with someone else in the room in this event (though at this point with the one player to a hand/account paranoia who knows, you could be accused of wrong doing here) or have a laptop you can move all your tables to.

As your day gets longer you should likely concentrate on the tournaments you are deeper in, as it seems a lot of players are auto piloting early in tournaments (as I often am myself.) By the time you reach the money, and certainly by the final table, most players are paying to every hand with at least some level of attention. Sometimes maintaining focus over a day this long can be pretty hard, and I canít fault people who go on semi auto pilot while nine tabling, as long as every time a serious decision comes up you pause and put real consideration towards it. Using PT/PAHUD will also help with this, and I normally prefer to put a couple Ďfeature tablesí up in the most convenient spot for me, normally the highest buy in or oneís Iím most deep in, and pay a lot of specific attention to those two and taking some notes. Iím pretty sure anyone who pays attention and tries to take notes on every hand of every table (while 8 tabling) all day is going to drive themselves insane, but if you have no problem with this kind of focus, go for it.

As far as how many days a week you want to play, I find itís easier for a poker player to play more days since I enjoy my work (some of us donít) but also since we lose zero time to anything but our work. Thereís no commute, no trying to find parking, no homework (I guess reviewing and discussing your game, but thatís hardly homework) and no forced social interaction. If I had to guess, we likely save ~2 hours a day compared to your average worker since we work at home and we can always pick which days to take off or leave early. How many days a week you should play comes down to how much you need the money, how much you like playing, and how many other responsibilities/activities you have in life.

Tilt/Emotional Management: Iíve been lucky in that Iíve never had tilt problems. The last time I can remember really tilting was over a year ago, and I was playing over my bankroll.

The easiest answer to any tilt problem is to play stakes low enough that you never feel a huge pressure to win. Financial instability can be very tilt inducing, and if you really need money playing poker likely isnít the answer.

Next Iíd suggest having a stress outlet. Some people use a stress ball, play with chips in their hand, yell and scream, get exercise, have a cold drink, take some deep breaths, take a break for a few minutes, play a youtube video that cracks them up, etc. Find what works for you, and if itís a healthy outlet, stick with it. We all have different triggers for our stress/tilt, and figuring out what they are and avoiding them is essential to a level head.

The part I would stress the most though, is realizing how pointless it is to get angry over that which you cannot control. Like Iíve said before, you need to make your peace with variance, since youíll likely never understand it and it will NEVER be Ďfairí. Bitching about variance is not only counterproductive, but anyone who does more than a little of it will likely be branded as a whiner and a bitch, and you donít want to be a whiner and a bitch do you?

In the end, all poker that poker winds up being is trying to make optimal decision after optimal decision after optimal decision into infinity, then watching the results. You can control the decisions you make but you canít control the outcome. Since youíll always be able to get into another tournament or game fretting about busting out of this one or that one is pointless. Any special importance you give to a singular event is mostly imagined. ďOh but Bond, I busted out of the WSOP ME, how tragic is that?Ē We all bust out of the WSOP ME (as I find it highly unlikely any WSOP champ is reading this, but just in case, stop being a Dbag Jamie Gold), how tragic can it be if itís that common? In most tournaments thereís normally only one guy Ďhappyí with how it ended, and that is obviously the winner. If you canít handle failing at an enormous frequency, then tournament poker likely isnít for you. Itís okay to tell your occasional bad beat story here and there, but investing a huge amount of emotion into a single tournament is pretty stupid and counterproductive to achieving sick results.

Tilt is simply you being a big baby over variance. Grow up, face the fact that poker will often disappoint you, and do everything in your power to control what you can to reach a favorable outcome.
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2007, 11:28 AM
ZenMusician ZenMusician is offline
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Default Re: Things it took me a while to learn, Part 11, Time and Tilt Managem

Thanks Bond.

-ZEN
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2007, 12:02 PM
Bagonirix Bagonirix is offline
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Default Re: Things it took me a while to learn, Part 11, Time and Tilt Managem

Nice, but it is frustrating when I havent made any significant cashes these two past months.
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:48 PM
levAA levAA is offline
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Default Re: Things it took me a while to learn, Part 11, Time and Tilt Managem

thank you bond.

For me the biggest problem for tilting is when I begin to look at my bankroll and at my OPR-ranking after every tournament I play.

I begin only to play for improving my ranking, and only to grow my bankroll. And then my results begin to get worse, cause I'm no longer making good decisions, as I get to affraid to bust out and so my ranking drops or my BR shrinks.

For me it is most important to forget about rankings and bankroll (sure I have a look at both from time to time), but see these only as a side-effect to playing good poker - which means making the right decisions.
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:31 PM
hitmenotone hitmenotone is offline
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Default Re: Things it took me a while to learn, Part 11, Time and Tilt Managem

Thank you I am ready to be a winner.
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  #6  
Old 11-30-2007, 02:20 PM
Sherman Sherman is offline
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Default Re: Things it took me a while to learn, Part 11, Time and Tilt Management

Good Stuff Bond. I don't want to derail the thread, however there is some research on Catharsis that I think many poker players will find interesting.

For those who don't know, Catharsis is the idea that if you have pent up aggression you should let it out (e.g. hit a punching bag). In short, the research shows that Catharsis actually INCREASES anger rather than decrease it. If you want to know more you can check out this paper:

Bushman, B.J. (2002). Does Venting Anger Fee or Extinguish the Flame? Catharsis, Rumination, Distraction, Anger, and Aggressive Responding. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 724-731.

Sherman
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  #7  
Old 11-30-2007, 06:13 PM
DontRaiseMeBro DontRaiseMeBro is offline
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Default Re: Things it took me a while to learn, Part 11, Time and Tilt Managem

is it important to wear a suit when playing online?
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2007, 09:55 AM
Qar Qar is offline
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Default Re: Things it took me a while to learn, Part 11, Time and Tilt Managem

I played around 40 MTT's with no cashes at all. That was also tough. Lost like 30% of the roll even though I more or less used the 100 x buy-in rule. Just wondering...what kind of cold streaks others have had?

Bond, thanks for the post, elite stuff as usual.
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  #9  
Old 12-01-2007, 06:23 PM
McMelchior McMelchior is offline
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Default Re: Things it took me a while to learn, Part 11, Time and Tilt Management

[ QUOTE ]
If you want to know more you can check out this paper:

Bushman, B.J. (2002). Does Venting Anger Fee or Extinguish the Flame? Catharsis, Rumination, Distraction, Anger, and Aggressive Responding. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 724-731.

[/ QUOTE ]

Hey Sherman, there's a $25 charge to access that paper online ... can't you at least post the abstract, please?
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  #10  
Old 12-01-2007, 07:49 PM
Sherman Sherman is offline
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Default Re: Things it took me a while to learn, Part 11, Time and Tilt Management

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
If you want to know more you can check out this paper:

Bushman, B.J. (2002). Does Venting Anger Fee or Extinguish the Flame? Catharsis, Rumination, Distraction, Anger, and Aggressive Responding. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 724-731.

[/ QUOTE ]

Hey Sherman, there's a $25 charge to access that paper online ... can't you at least post the abstract, please?

[/ QUOTE ]

LOL. Go to his website. Do a google for Brad J. Bushman. Go to his homepage. Look at his selected articles. The article is in there among many others. You can download it for free.

Screw it. Here is his selected publications page. It is about 3/4ths of the way down.

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bbushman/pubs.htm
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