dealing with tilt, some quick thoughts
Dealing with tilt (ja, ja - i'm a hypocritical tilt-monkey, but I'm down with some of the theory. Practice what I preach, I don't. etc. )
First some definitions
tilt = any deviation from your a-game
tilt = exhibiting or experiencing an emotional/physical state that will have a negative effect on your poker decision making ability
Obviously we don't always play our a-game, and obviously we are somtimes in a state that has a negative effect on the quality of our decisions (e.g. beer-goggles). We just have to deal with it.
1 = recognise tilt
* ask yourself 'am i in a-game shape?' before every session
* ask yourself 'am i playing well?' every twenty minutes
* ask yourself 'am i exhibiting tilt-symptoms?' regularly during a session
2 = avoid tilt before you start a session
* identify then practice pre-game rituals that work for you, routines can be great for all sorts of things.
* maintain a clear separation between life and poker
* don't play when you recognise tilt before the session, or if you decide to play then minimise the impact of tilt (see below)
3 = prevent the onset of tilt while you are playing
* play adequately bankrolled for the games you are playing
* make sure you innately understand and believe in the longterm
* turn off phone/other distractions while playing
* don't review badbeat hands while playing except for note-taking purposes
* smile whenever you win or lose a hand >25bb. Laugh out loud whenever villains showdown something stupid - win or lose
* don't look at cashier, HEM, etc while playing
* smile when you lose a hand (it helps)
* learn to calm yourself. Breathing exercises, mantra, all that hippie shit that works.
4 = minimise the impact of tilt
* drop in stakes if you feel there may be some obstacle to playing your a-game but you decide to play anyway
* identify what happens to your game when you are tilting, focus on these decision spots when you are playing on tilt (e.g. when i'm on tilt I'm likely to play more tables, table-hop more often, call more loosely pre-flop, raise/3b more liberally without thinking it through, make decisions too hastily. Each of these is bad, the cumulative impact of all of them is far greater than the sum of the parts)
* learn to finish sessions when tilting
* Breathe, smile, take a break, do some exercise.