Maintenance of an even temperament has long been recognized as a characteristic conducive to playing winning poker. Most of us know players who are far weaker than us technically (who could be better, really?) who consistently beat the games through elimination of the most gross mistakes. If you are not sure you appreciate the value of eliminating blunders from your game, keep a note of how much they cost you in your next few session reviews. Those players who can avoid gross mistakes whilst their luck appears to have deserted them are piling up a significant edge in the long-run. I recently had a session where I was running 10 Buy-ins below E.V and was check-raised holding middle set on KT7r by a player who I have extensive notes and history with. I have been making good progress with my mental game of late, but an unhappy confluence of factors caused me to make an error…

The first factor was that, in the progress of moving up in stakes, running 10 B.I below EV was twice as much in dollar value as usual. The second was that this was about the fourth or fifth time in the past 2 weeks that I was 10 B.I under EV in a session, and so accumulated emotion had my tilt threshold lower than normal. The third was that this particular table was at the lowest end of my range of usual stakes and, in the heat of the moment, that dollar value hardly seemed to matter. As a result I snap stacked-off and was of course shown top set, and I got all the money in with negligible equity. My opponent’s check-raise range here is so laughably narrow over a large sample that I can bet/fold middle set here with confidence (he will never have bottom set or top two with gutters and he check-calls most wraps and does not CR any air). This doesn’t seem like tilt, so much as a massive cooler, which it would be against a competent opponent. However, this mistake was far more costly than me obviously tilt-spewing pre-flop getting all in with T754ss, I got the money in with negligible equity in an avoidable (by virtue of my skill advantage) situation by comparison with shipping all the money in pre-flop as only a 42% dog. This experience prompted me to relate three quick tips on tackling tilt: dealing with detection, denial and dwelling.


Without delving into the many different types of tilt, I can offer a short, reliable method of gauging whether or not in the present moment you are tilting. It is this,
“If you get upset about losing a flip you are on tilt.” The reason this is so useful is that flips in PLO are completely inevitable and occur multiple times a session. If you can’t handle losing when the odds are even, you sure as hell will be unhappy when you lose to a 4 outer in about 10 minutes time. Note that this diagnostic tool is independent of previous events, you might get upset about losing the first flip of the day (Do we ever get to win the first flip of the day?) or you may be having a great session but then lose a flip in a deep-stacked pot. Irrespective of the dynamics of the situation, if you whine about losing a flip you are on tilt.


You have a tilt problem. Sure, there may be the odd mental game guru reading this who has already mastered his emotions. For the rest of us our mental game, just like our technical game, is a work in progress. I finally accepted I had a tilt problem after being exposed to the excellent work of satire that is ‘Suckout Stepchild’. Googling “Bad beats” in a fit of pique I came across this video and watched with interest. As the video went on I noticed with some discomfort the presenter vocalising the same negative notions that I can tend towards when things are not going well. Now, whenever I get too upset about running bad at the tables, I think to myself “Do I want to behave like the character in suckout stepchild?” The video is painful viewing, but well worth a watch for anyone who believes they, ‘don’t have a tilt problem.’



For those of us prone to introspection, dwelling on our misfortune can be an unfortunate companion to the advantages inherent in thinking more deeply. As someone who struggles with this myself the best advice I can give is that, “Lady luck can steal your money by making you run below EV, but the only person who can steal your enjoyment of the present moment is you.” The next time you find yourself dwelling on a hand just because you were unlucky, catch yourself and make sure the money that’s gone is the only thing you lose today.

Thanks for reading,



WCOOP Investors, final call

I would like to thank all of you who have expressed an interest thus far in buying action for my WCOOP Package. I am now taking reservations for 50% of my action for the September series. Those of you who wish to buy a percentage of the main package (minimum 5%) and/or the high-stakes event (minimum 10%) are advised to fill out the form below. Priority will be given to people buying a larger percentage. There may be a short administrative delay to check Pokerstars has no problem with any potential investor’s transaction history. This is to the advantage of all parties in the investment process.

Thank you for your interest,


Main Package

Event 03: $320 PL Omaha
Event 09: $265 PL Omaha [Knockout] Event 12: $215 PL Omaha H/L [6-Max, 1R1A] Event 15: $215 PL Omaha [6-Max] Event 26: $215 PL Omaha [Turbo, 1R1A] Event 34: $320 PL Omaha [6-Max, 1R1A] Event 45: $320 PL Omaha [Rebuys, 6-Max] Event 48: $320 Mixed NL Hold’em/PL Omaha
Event 53: $320 PL Omaha H/L
Event 59: $215 NL Omaha H/L
Event 60: $700 PL Omaha [Heads Up, No Late Reg] (2-Day Event)

High-stakes Single Event
Event 56 : $2100 PL Omaha [6-Max]

[contact-form] [contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /] [contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /] [contact-field label=”Pokerstars Screen name” type=”name” required=”true” /] [contact-field label=”Main Package Percentage Requested” type=”select” required=”true” options=”0% @ $0,5% @ $278.25,10% @ $576.50,20% @ $1153.00,Other, please specify” /] [contact-field label=”Other Percentage (if indicated above)” type=”text” /] [contact-field label=”High-stakes Event Percentage Requested” type=”select” options=”0% @ $0,5% @ $105,10% @ $210,20% @ $420,Other, please specify” /] [contact-field label=”Other Percentage (if indicated above)” type=”text” /] [contact-field label=”Are you, do you intend to be, or have you ever been a criminal, scammer, convicted fraudster or do you otherwise intend harm to the owner of (Inspired by visa documentation worldwide)” type=”select” options=”Yes,No” /] [/contact-form]

Show 1 footnote

  1. In the unlikely event that this is not a work of satire, the presenter has my sincere apologies. If he wishes I will remove this section from my blog post. It may generate a few hits for you though…