Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The many faces of Tilt

I don't know how this post is going to turn out; but most likely it will end up pretty lame. I'll give it a shot anyway.

A rarity has happened to me over the past couple of weeks. I have actually seen 3 movies in a row that I have thoroughly enjoyed. I was going to make this a non-poker post; but the more that I thought about it, the more I figured I could relate it to poker. Because when you get down to it, can't you relate everything back to poker?... lol

OK.. Here it goes. If you haven't seen the movies that I describe then you may want to pass by it as I may ruin some parts of it... maybe not, though..

1. Taking a shot and losing tilt. The movie that I saw about a week ago relating to this topic is Cinderella Man. Also, I should say that I'm on the Netflix plan of watching movies so I will be way behind the crowd as far as actually seeing movies. This movie came out way back in May of 2005 so as you can see, I am typically 6 to 7 months behind normal people. That's what having a kid will do to you... not that I'm complaining. I wouldn't have it any other way.

At some point in your poker musings, you are going to want to take it to the next level. Whether or not your bankroll can handle this shot is beyond the scope of this post; but obviously should be considered before you take your shot. In the movie Jim Braddock (Russell Crowe) got a title shot for the heavyweight championship. The bad news for him is that he didn't make it and with other circumstances (i.e. the Depression), things went very badly for him after that. It seems to me that he 1 of 2 choices. Feel sorry for himself or keep his integrity and work ethic and move on and all the while still keeping the dream alive of moving back up. Well, he choose the latter and ended up making it back to the top with his integrity in tact. Nice!!!!

A few months ago, I was at that point where I was ready to move up some levels. For me, moving up was moving to 15/30. Well, as I have chronicled in detail in the past, I failed miserably. So, to me, I had three choices. I could pack it in and quit, continue playing at the level trying to "catch up" and not play smartly, or take some humble pie and move back down. I so wanted to keep playing and prove that I could and should be here playing at this level; but ultimately I decided to move back down and reload... all the while not giving up on the hope to get back up to that level. Things, so far, have worked out nicely. I'm not back to the point where I was; but I am getting closer.

2. Incomplete Information Tilt. The movie I saw here was Upside of Anger. This was a movie that starts out with a lady (Joan Allen) going through the trials and tribulations of someone whose spouse has just left them and the unbelievable anger that builds because of that. She went through a period of years being a total pain to everybody including her family. She became a drunk and pretty much gave up. Well, the thing here is that she didn't have the complete information. As it ended up, her husband didn't leave her, he actually had an accident in their back woods and fell into a well and died. This movie really hit me hard because it is so true how we can mis-construe things and make life awful for people without knowing the whole story.

Now we all know that while playing poker, we are going to experience our down sides. We call it negative variance; but what we may not realize is why the other person is playing the way they are. OK, most likely, they are just an ultra loose lemur (as Scurvy puts it) and really doesn't care about how he/she plays; but is it possible that this person is just playing on tilt himself. Maybe this person has an unbelievable bad run of cards and is pushing the issue to get back some of what he has lost. How about that they actually had the odds to draw out on us. Yes, as unbelievable as it seems, others also play their drawing hands hard when the right odds dictate that they do so. We just have to continue to play our poker which to me is based on decisions, not results.

Playing with stereotypical prejudice. The movie here is Crash which is probably the best movie to me out of the three. Here is the plot outline for this movie from imdb.com...
Several characters of different racial backgrounds collide in one incident, The different stereotypes society has created for those backgrounds affect their judgment, beliefs and actions, This in turn causes problems for each of them.

There are many poker tools out there such as Poker Tracker and PokerAce HUD that help us while playing poker get a "read" on the other players. The glaring problem here is the stats that we have collected is most likely just a very small sample of his actual playing time. We build our reads based on these stats and when it turns out that this 50% was actually a solid player, it can cause you to go on tilt. Maybe he just had an amazing run of cards and that was why he was playing so many hands. Or vise versa.. he has solid stats; but in reality he is an ultra loose aggressive type. We need to be able to adjust to real time playing conditions and not totally rely on our "stereotypical prejudice" that we get from our stats.

Truly, online poker is a melting pot of people. Where else can you get together with people from all across the world and play a game. Given this mix of people, there obviously are going to be different playing styles and we can't let it effect our play.

Most likely, for us commoners, tilt is an unavoidable part of playing poker. Maybe understanding why we go on tilt can help us the next time to avoid it or at least combat it easier next time. Taking a shot and losing isn't the end of the world and shouldn't cause us to play bad poker. Just move on. Don't just assume that the person is a bad player when they draw out on you. Take a look at the big picture and adjust accordingly. And finally, playing with stereotypical prejudice is just plain wrong. Use the information that you have wisely. Just because a person is tight or loose one day doesn't mean they will play the same way the next day. Just be on guard for this and be able to make these real time reads and hopefully it will help you avoid this type of tilt.

Obviously, I just scratched the service on playing with tilt; but these 3 movies, to me, epitomizes some common reasons that I start playing on tilt. Hopefully, I now realize how to combat them and will not get there in the first place.



pokerpeaker said...

I know what you mean about Netflix. Without that service, I wouldn't see many of the flicks you were describing without it, and yet, I love those movies instead of "Bloodspurt VI" (even though, sometimes, I like those too). I have a six month old, so...well, you know.
Thanks for your posts. I do hope to move up from my .25 NL. I have $500 total, up $350 from when I started, and I've played two months. I'm not sure when I should move up. What do you think?

WillWonka said...

It's always a hard decision to move up... I think rule for NL is about 400BB.. I usually go a little higher than that and say 500BB so you are probably right on the border line.

Give it a shot and see if it feels comfortable. If it does, then stick with it. I don't think you will see a much different level of play until 1/2 NL.

Good Luck

DuggleBogey said...

I can't see any picture...

DuggleBogey said...

My bad, I was reading an old copy on bloglines, and you must have edited.

If you want help with pics, email me. The address is on my blog.

Who links to my website?