Experienced player needs some help

    • Bashlik101
      Bashlik101
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.01.2010 Posts: 54
      Hi guys,

      First of all about me: i have played around 980k hands over my poker career, i grind micro cash games, and yes Im a winning player, nothing special but winning :)

      And now about my problem: variance is killing me, maybe not variance but my reaction to it, I cant stand to lose 3BI, I understand the math, I know that 3BI downday is nothing, I have had -10BI days. But whenever I lose 3-4 buy ins or more I go crazy. I start swearing, hitting the table, sometimes even myself. It may sound strange but my game barely changes when Im in this state of mind so my winrate doesnt suffer very much, but my mind does, this emotional rollercoaster is killing me.

      I have read the poker mindset, articles on tilt management, none of those things helped me, its as if my body has a reaction to losing and my logic mind cant override it. Please someone tell me how to fix this, how to calm my emotions?
  • 22 replies
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,921
      Hi Bashlik101,

      You're experienced enough after nearly 1 million hands so I'm not sure what you think our members can tell you :)

      Have you tried implementing the ideas from our Tilt articles?

      - Setting stop losses?
      - Leaving the tables, when you know that you are getting too emotional to play the game correctly?

      The next time you start a session, and say you lose 3 BI fairly quickly, then just calmly sit out, shut down your PC and do something else for an hour. Maybe go for a walk, listen to some music, meet a friend. Anything else non poker related and see how you feel then.

      That's the only advice I can give you, however, I feel if you attempt to do this, you will be surprised at how much better you will feel after doing it.

      Chin up!

      This game can hit us hard sometimes, but if we are going to be winning players consistently, we have to act accordingly and not let our emotions get in the way!

      Best of luck,
      Gary
    • LudiCoka
      LudiCoka
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.06.2009 Posts: 266
      Hi,

      well you did say your game doesn't change, so you already mastered tilt management. It's not the absence of tilt (tilt as an emotional state of mind), it's how you deal with it!

      I guess there's a chance to be completely tilt-free if you earned enough money to live your life in luxury without ever worrying (through poker or not). But otherwise - hey, it's one of those things why poker is hard.

      Seems to me you are doing great with dealing with tilt, keep it up! But try some anger management now so to not hit yourself :)
    • kenthmp
      kenthmp
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.04.2009 Posts: 485
      Thinly veiled brag that OP has mastered unconscious competence at the micros.
    • ihufa
      ihufa
      Gold
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 3,323
      Poker probably isn't for you.

      Quit :)
    • Bashlik101
      Bashlik101
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.01.2010 Posts: 54
      Thank you all for your answers, this is a wonderful community :)

      To HollyMichelle- I do these things you suggested and they help me to regain confidence and to become calm. The core of the problem is my instant reaction to losses, I want to fix that part, I want to be able to react calmly to something like 3 suckouts in a row, because the rage I feel is just incredibly strong, because of that I dont move up to stakes where the downswings would be bigger in $ terms. This is really holding me back :(

      To kenthmp- I dont want to brag, I devoted so much time to poker that if I would done something else I would probably have made much more money than I did playing. I wanted people who read my post to know that I am not a beginner who just had his first few losing days and wants to cry about it.

      To ihufa- quitters gonna quit, winners gonna try to overcome the challenges that arise in their life :)

      One of my favorite quotes: "The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard ya hit. It's about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!"


      Please keep the suggestions coming. :) :)
    • ihufa
      ihufa
      Gold
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 3,323
      winning in life isn't the same as winning in poker tho
    • LudiCoka
      LudiCoka
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.06.2009 Posts: 266
      Originally posted by ihufa
      winning in life isn't the same as winning in poker tho
      How about this. Would you say that winning in poker is winning in life? Just question out of curiosity.
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      Originally posted by Bashlik101

      To ihufa- quitters gonna quit, winners gonna try to overcome the challenges that arise in their life :)
      funny that one of the things in poker that good winning players learn is... quitting
    • Kruppe
      Kruppe
      Black
      Joined: 20.02.2008 Posts: 2,144
      maybe you're frustrated that you're still at micros after 1mm hands? maybe you need to get out of micros or quit? aöthough i don't know exactly what you mean by micros

      also, before you start a session you have to be completely ready to lose 3+ buyins. and during the session you have to constantly be ready to lose more.
    • Bashlik101
      Bashlik101
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.01.2010 Posts: 54
      Originally posted by NightFrostaSS
      Originally posted by Bashlik101

      To ihufa- quitters gonna quit, winners gonna try to overcome the challenges that arise in their life :)
      funny that one of the things in poker that good winning players learn is... quitting
      Tommy Angelo is in da house lol, I know that. Player needs to quit when he starts playing badly and that I can do :) Perhaps if you read the thread from start to finish you would better understand my situation and post something more useful.

      To Kruppe- I agree, I think I have too big expectations and feel entitled to win and that brings out a very negative reaction when things dont turn out the way I expected. Its strange that I understand and know what can happen and still expect it to not happen to me. Maybe it really is an ego problem.

      Any thoughts on how to overcome a big ego?
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      Is it in because of how much $ you lose that makes you feel bad or just because you lose to someone?

      Dunno, maybe try not looking at the cashier/graphs etc for a week or so, this should help you get more detached from the short term results and switch your mind more towards long term thinking. It surely helped me.
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      Oh and swearing is fine after losing a bi or so imo, you let off some steam. But try to do it with a smile, like "oh fuck you! you little motherfucker!" and then smile even if you don't feel like doing so, you'll still feel less negativity. :f_biggrin:
    • hackbinder
      hackbinder
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.05.2009 Posts: 618
      Listen, I am no tilt master but I feel a lot better about losing on a bad beat if I know I made the right play. As soon as the bad beat hits, sit out from your tables, and then fire up the hand on HEM or whatever. Examine the hand. If you played it badly then you deserve to lose. If you played it well, you know that long term you should be fine. Ifr you are not sure, post the hand or get a buddy to look it over.
    • Bashlik101
      Bashlik101
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.01.2010 Posts: 54
      To NightFrostaSS- I think its both, and another thought that I often get is that I will need to grind few hours just to get back to even. I should really try not looking :) And I tried forcing myself to smile after losing a big pot, it didnt work for me.

      To hackbinder- well after around 90% of hands it is easy to see instantly if you made the right or wrong play and knowing that doesnt change my emotional reaction to losing.

      Thank you all for the replies :) Im curious how widespread is the use of a stop loss? And does it really help?
    • UPAY4DINNER
      UPAY4DINNER
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.09.2009 Posts: 21,921
      Originally posted by Bashlik101
      Im curious how widespread is the use of a stop loss? And does it really help?
      I would estimate that 100% of all consistent winning players would use a stop loss limit.
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      Stop loss is really good thing, for like first and a half year of my poker playing I did not apply any stop loss and was like "meh, stop loss is for pussies" also would fool myself into thinking that it doesn't affect my winrate much as well, but like you don't really need to start spewing to the left and right or making dumb calls everywhere to start making small unnoticable mistakes winning or losing additional 1bb here and there in 100hands to suddenly turn your let's say 6bb winrate into 0bb, and variance gets brutal as your wr drops.

      But that's not even the main point of stop loss to me, the thing is, I can barely recall the times I got even or into positive, it just doesn't matter rly, but I can clearly recall all the times when my plan of getting even didn't work out and I lost 10/15 etc BI, that soul crushing feeling is much worse than the feeling of getting even. So it's just best to stop when you begin getting annoyed because the "high" of getting even isn't worth the "low" of losing even more.
    • Bashlik101
      Bashlik101
      Bronze
      Joined: 11.01.2010 Posts: 54
      Originally posted by NightFrostaSS
      So it's just best to stop when you begin getting annoyed because the "high" of getting even isn't worth the "low" of losing even more.
      Now this is just pure gold :) I need to get this hammered into my head. What stop loss would you recommend for a guy who mass tables FR? 5BI?
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      Oh that's completely personal, just whatever won't make you feel like punching a kitten after losing it. 3 to 5BI is somewhat standard I guess.
    • 18andabused
      18andabused
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.12.2009 Posts: 5,005
      Allright i will help you ,
      first of all answer in every detail, how do you feel when you punch yourself in the face? Do you feel good? If yes , there's no problem with it.

      You can't stand loosing 3 buyins in a session?
      Maybe try something else poker isn't for you.
      Maybe read the anti tilt articles and get a life, they helped alot - the ones by insomnia.

      Oh yah and get a life is very good , e.g. instead of punishing yourself after loosing 3 buyins , just go to a hooker and have fun.This way you won't feel bad anymore after loosing 3 buyins trust me!

      Btw. I'm kind of scared how you react when you run 20-30 buyin below ev.
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