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Tilt: Bad Beats and Variance

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My emotions don't care

For poker players, bad beats and high variance are unavoidable and very real, and nobody with at least some knowledge of the game will deny this.

The PokerStrategy forum is full of bad beat stories and reports of "brutal" variance, which go hand in hand with familiar automatic replies along the lines of 'That's completely normal', 'Playing this hand like this is profitable in the long run', 'variance is part of poker', etc...

The original posters are usually already aware of these facts, but this doesn't improve the situation. We know the facts, but swings and continuous bad beats still annoy us so much - that we are often no longer capable of playing our A game.

Why is this? We understand what is happening on a rational level, but we are still shaken on the emotional level. I am trying to use my intellect to stay in control, because I can rationally understand what is happening, but my emotions don't care about this. They pull me down and crush my spirit.

Therefore, I can tell myself that the downswing is completely normal hundreds of times, but, due to tilt and my bad mood, my play won't improve, not to mention that I also have the monetary losses.


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