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too emotional for poker?

    • belayd
      Joined: 17.03.2011 Posts: 1,021
      I might be too prone to emotional ups and downs to be a successful poker player.

      Is anyone else here an emotional person? If so, how do you deal with your emotions while playing poker?

      And if there are any people who are knowledgeable about poker psychology, can you offer some tips on how to deal with emotional "variance" during poker play?
  • 17 replies
    • Rizdabizniz
      Joined: 08.03.2011 Posts: 38
      I feel your pain man. I had a session and I was getting outdrawn like a mad man. To be honest I am a very emotional person anyway so when I get sucked out on I go into stress mode. But in doing this i remember that if play solidly and dont start tilting then I shouldnt lose much and hope to win some to make me feel a bit better lol (try outdrawing the fish, I love it ;) lol) So just get your frustrations out and move on. Air to everyone in the room hahaha. this F£$%ing idiot look what he re-raised me with, 7-2. SEVEN TWO lol
    • YinYangS
      Joined: 09.10.2010 Posts: 1,077
      Emotions are results of our thoughts. And as humans, we have this ability to control these thoughts.

      I have been practicing controlling my thoughts because i know with that, I could control my emotions as well.

      One way to develop your control is through meditation. Simple meditations that relaxes your mind and the goal is to think nothing. I don't know if you're open to the idea of trying it but it really helps a lot.

      When playing, here's a simple advise. Take deep breaths always, being aware of your breath allows you to relax and focus. If there's a hand or situation that upsets you, go back to your deep breathing, just think of it and relax.

      Hope my advise helps. ^_^

      Good luck on the tables! :f_biggrin:
    • Yordi85
      Joined: 31.01.2009 Posts: 1,248
      You have seen all the pro's?
      They dont have emotions others then the one they need and that is becouse they work on it all the time.
      Read some psychological books and start to improve yourself.
      One thing is for sure and that is that you are starting to change because it all begins with noticing.

      ( sorry for the bad english I'm from Holland. Where the...)
    • NightFrostaSS
      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      I cry while watching How I met Your Mother
    • ro1chwvd
      Joined: 25.11.2009 Posts: 122
      Any other good psychology books out there? (Except The Poker Mindset)
    • NightFrostaSS
      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      Elements Of Poker
    • Darkzzz
      Joined: 28.06.2009 Posts: 184
      The more hands you play, the more you get used to bad beats and the less they bother you. It only gets to me when I lose money because of mistakes I make, but if I get it in in a good spot and get sucked out on it doesn't bother me that much.
    • Darkzzz
      Joined: 28.06.2009 Posts: 184
      I think that's largely because of the All in Expected Value statistic in Holdem Manager. When I get sucked out on I just think "ow well, its good for my AIEV"
    • Vepof
      Joined: 04.01.2010 Posts: 72
      Originally posted by Darkzzz
      The more hands you play, the more you get used to bad beats and the less they bother you. It only gets to me when I lose money because of mistakes I make, but if I get it in in a good spot and get sucked out on it doesn't bother me that much.

      The difference:

      You have AA, you slowplay it and villain hit the straight.

      NOW THIS is a stress situation, you think "OMFG! How many times i did read that you should never slowplay the modafaking AA in NL2, You donk bastard! (Talking to yourself).

      You have AA and hit a set on flop.
      Villain has 33 and also hit a set on flop.

      Both all-in.

      Turn, X
      River, 3.

      I use to smile on those situations, and focus on the next hand like nothing happened.


      Like the guy said above, with time you get used to it (not that i'm a experienced player, no, i a very new poker player trying to beat the micros). But i can tell that losing money had a bigger effect on me on the first 200 hands than it has now.
      And you definetely should read the the book "The Poker Mindset", especially the chapter one, witch is: "Understand and acept the realities of poker".

      Poker is a game of high variance. I think its specially true in NL. You can be 200BB+ now and 350bb- after 2k hands. And then make it back to 100bb+ after another 2k.
    • fmlpoker1
      Joined: 28.12.2010 Posts: 43
    • AleksandarPPA
      Joined: 26.07.2010 Posts: 136
      i promise i wont kill u if u play me heads-up :s_evil: how bout that emotion ! :s_evil: :s_evil: :s_evil:
    • Laggsy
      Joined: 04.09.2010 Posts: 301
      You cant just remove emotion from poker. If you remove emotion you will quickly lose enjoyment for the GAME. We always need to remember that poker is a game and we initially played it for enjoyment. But it is also good for hand reading abilities (more so in live play, we are able to manipulate people's opinions by the way we act at the table).

      Emotion will keep you motivated to learn, play and grow as a poker player.
    • jebozid
      Joined: 15.02.2010 Posts: 31
      When I catch myself cursing aloud (bad beat, unreal call, my bad read, whatever) and feel my cheeks fill up with blood, I found out it's best to immediately turn off the table(s) if playing cash or let the time expire on 2-3 hands (or even sit-out) when playing tournament. Walk to my window, give it a quick thought if I could've played it better, will I play it better next time, or if I did everything right remember I too suck-out at times.
      It's cheaper than smashing keyboard to pieces and blowing a few buy-ins. ;)
    • holnrew
      Joined: 05.07.2010 Posts: 130
      I unconsciously ignore my emotions until they burst out. It's not so bad if I stop playing before the rage/sulk. But I usually have no idea it's coming.
    • belayd
      Joined: 17.03.2011 Posts: 1,021
      Just to follow up since I started this thread, after facing 55,000 opponents (as per my HEM database) and getting some free coaching from a better player, I am much better at handling the emotional ups and downs.

      The only thing I occasionally suffer from is what I half-jokingly call "poker suicidality." No, it's not a desire to commit suicide in a literal sense, just a sudden desire to quit poker permanently--even though I know full well that I'll come back to poker at some point in the future. It hits me quite suddenly after an extended bad run (such as the recent 11-STT losing streak I had) and I deal with it by giving into it, meaning that I do let myself quit poker forever...for a few hours or at most one full day. Once I've recovered my enthusiasm for playing I go back to the tables.

      The one way that poker suicide has affected me in a more durable way is in terms of live play. My last live session was so brutal that I still haven't recovered my enthusiasm for playing live again, and it's been about a week and a half now. Hopefully I'll want to play live again by next weekend.
    • vonki
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 6,091
      Hey there :) I definitely feel with you.

      I am a very emotional personal aswell, and always have been. There are many things that cause me to react emotionally, but there are some factors that are just so much worse than others.

      Low bloodsugar - if and when I don't eat properly I am really prone to react emotionally and in an aggressive "i dont give a crap"-way. So for me, regular meals really help.

      Exercise - when I don't get out much, my mood goes down and I get "sensitive". I will react much sooner to alot of things, so I try to take a walk at least twice a day even if i am in "lockdown".

      Being tired - not sleeping enough really messes alot with my emotions. It can have catastrophal consequenses. I go into a "**** this shit" kind of mood. If I run bad, I start doubting the the f*ck I even play poker to begin with.

      Aceepting the truths about poker - It helped me alot to talk to experience players, and read articles/books regarding the poker mindset. I can recommend you the book "The poker mindset". It can be purchased in the FTP store at a very low cost and it is DEFINTELY worth it.

      Emotions are often caused when expectations aren't met. You have to understand that we as pokerplayers often see the pot as ours when we have 80% equity for example. We get really upset at times when we don't win what we feel is rightfully ours.

      So a very important step, is to understand that strings of bad luck and losing pots is all a very normal part of poker, and that it's bound to happen to you over and over again. The only way to deal with it is to accept it. Start focusing on your plays. How well did you play? Did you make only optimal decisions? Well then, whats to moan about? It's the one thing that matters in the long run. Money and success will come along with it.

      There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and as soon as you decide that YOU are gonna be the boss of you, not your emotions, than you will soon see the light too.

      You can do it! :)

      Kind regards,
    • Cardbender
      Joined: 03.03.2008 Posts: 1,076
      I think I'll get that book.

      I have found it hard to change my mindset over the years. I would have a 100%+ ROI right now if it weren't for my negative thought process during downswings.

      good advice Vonki!