Tuesday, May 19, 2009

On tilt (trading, poker)

The market has me on tilt right now. I haven't been this frustrated with daily trading in a long time. Right now I'm going to take a break for the rest of the week to avoid tilting any further. To fully complete the metaphor, the feeling I have right now is just like when a donk is sitting at the table with no fear and major aggression.

You continue to sit at the table because, after all, the guy is a donk and is frequently risking a lot while behind. The problem is though, that if you don't get dealt the right cards to take advantage, it can be a very frustrating experience. The irrational play of a donk can make it hard for you to play your game and make your usual moves. Maybe you catch him while you hold the best hand, but then he sucks out on you. Again. And Again. Or perhaps at some point because you know he's a donk, you start reraising him with weaker hands than you normally would. This is fine except he never folds and you miss the flop. At some point, between the bad beats, the inability to play your own game, and the frustration with not being able to take advantage of someone's irrational play, you can easily go on tilt.

That's exactly how the market feels to me right now. It's not that there isn't money to be made out there, but it's like the description above where I'm not getting dealt the right cards to take advantage. There are also the bad beats, for example where I'm correct on the trend or the eventual move, but just as I establish a heavy position, some order comes in the opposite direction that just can't wait to fill and pushes it past my risk. I have to get out, and then once that donk order runs out, it goes back so quickly I can barely reestablish. There was even a trade today where I made money, but at the same time still felt so disgusted by the move, even though it was in my favor.

Recognizing the tilt is at least a step in the right direction. I hate being away from the market but I know that I need to step away and take a breather. The fact that I go in every day and feel frustrated by the movements can't be good for my results. Hopefully it'll get better after the long weekend.

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