Monday, July 9, 2007

Poker session results

After the last post, I had a quick session where I was winning everything. Whether I was ahead or behind, I was winning everything. It felt to me like the crazy buying right before the market crashes. My gut was telling me to cash out, but my analytical mind wanted to continue the experiment. Well, it was more like 2000 than like 1929, but the crash was still hard and fast. I gave back most of what I made from even before I started keeping records.

What was worse however, was that I went on tilt. Really bad tilt. Everything went wrong. I lost the majority of my coin flips. On the hands where I was favored, the sicker the opponents' calls, the more likely I got beat. And I was dealt a whole bunch of queens under kings or aces and kings under aces. So tilt it was and I started playing games that I shouldn't have been playing and kept rebuying. In the end, I lost about another 380 big blinds of the NLHE stakes that I'm experimenting with.

I'm pissed at myself for allowing myself to go on tilt. I'm pissed at myself for losing that extra 380 big blinds. One of the main purposes of this experiment was to play a strategy that helps me to minimize tilt, or at least minimize the monetary impact of tilt. It's the exact same feeling I get when I go from having a good day trading to having a horrible day, where I'm fighting a stock for no reason. I am still too prone to tilt and it's affecting my life, my trading, and my poker, and I hate myself for it.

That being said, I pulled away in time with enough of a bankroll to perhaps continue the experiment (if it goes to zero, it goes to zero, but I'll have learned a lot). It used to be that when I went on tilt, there was no pulling away. It always went to zero. Let's hope this is an improvement. So back to the grind it will be, and just take the monetary loss as the cost for another lesson at the school of tilt.

So every time I go on tilt I tell myself I can never do it again, it feels terrible, etc. And yet, it happened once again. Should I see a shrink? Get some medication? I was reading Trading in the Zone by Ari Kiev, and I seriously think that a psychologist/coach would immensely help my trading/gambling. Besides, everyone has a shrink these days.

This is not a cry for help or pity. I write about this because I've seen plenty of people more talented than myself have similar "tilt" situations that ruined their chances at reaching their full potential, whether they be traders, poker players, or bridge players. I just hope that this will be my last "wake-up call" and that I will find a way to overcome it. And I want this as a written record for myself as well as paving the way for me to share any insight if I do end up being successful.

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