Monday, March 26, 2007

controlling tilt

I went up to the Horseshoe casino Saturday evening and played some 2-5 No Limit. I bought in for $300 and walked out with $800 about six hours later. It was a pretty successful night of poker. I thought I'd mention one interesting hand regarding tilt.

There was a guy at the table talking a lot most of the night. It seemed he wanted everyone to know he's quite the seasoned player. Good for him. At one point during the night he decided he was buying the blinds from the small blind, and raised a pot-size raise with four limpers. One caller from the button, the flop came 89J, rainbow. The small blind makes a comment "Well, if you out-flopped me, you got me." (weakness?), and moved all in for about the size of the pot. The button called and turned up TJs. The small-blind scoffed and turned up K9o. He didn't catch up, and started ridiculing the button's play. "Interesting play. You'll go broke playing like that. Just keep it up." Then someone at the table shook their head, and then he decided to get in their face about it.

The guy is shaking his head because Mr. brilliant raised out of position with K9 and lost his bankroll. Obviously he picked the wrong hand and the wrong time, and it was unsuccessful. But my question, why ridicule the winner?

To be honest, I can't think of a good reason to ridicule another player. If he outplayed you, you make yourself look even worse. If the other guy make a horrible play and got lucky, so what? You want those players at the table! A nice hand sir! is in order! Make him feel good about his chase, he'll give up his money sooner or later. Are you trying to teach something? What for?

OK, we know the most probable reason: tilt. You have to learn to control your emotions. Getting a bad beat can be a tough thing to deal with. The other players know what happened, you don't need to explain anything to them. But the better they see you control yourself, the more respect you'll gain from them. And, it makes you feel better about yourself, and thats a little something that goes a long way to making you a stronger player.