...and why each of them is actually a good thing. Seriously.
In this session of Zone poker, I make a bad bet on the river when the river trips the board with three 3’s. This of course causes my jet-lagged brain to tangent off on the topic of losing in poker.
There are three basic ways to lose a hand of poker. First, you can suffer a bad beat (and I explain why this is actually a really good thing). Second, you can run into a cooler (which is a neutral just-part-of-poker thing). Finally, you can make a mistake or bad decision, and get your money in with the worst of it (negative EV). This third way of losing can actually be a good thing, as it can lead you to recognize your mistake and plugging that particular leak for future hands to be played.
“Everyone tilts. It’s just a matter of how often, how long, and how bad.” —Tommy Angelo, Elements of Poker.
In 2011, sports psychologist Jared Tendler changed poker forever with his groundbreaking book The Mental Game of Poker. Like Doyle Brunson’s Super System, David Sklansky’s The Theory of Poker, and Mike Caro’s Caro’s Book of Tells that came before it, Tendler’s work on the psychological aspects of poker revolutionized how us mere mortals should approach emotional control and tilt during play.
Following up on the last few Continuation Betting articles and video I did (click here and here to see them), I took a little time this week to create a spreadsheet that charts Pot Equity (PE) vs. Fold Equity (FE). This chart clearly demonstrates the negative EV check/fold zone in the lower left-hand corner of the grid:
The Expected Value (EV) of betting into an opponent = EV = (FE x Pot) + [(1-FE) x ((PE x (Pot + Bet)– ((1-PE) x Bet))], where FE = Fold Equity, Pot = Pot Size before betting, and PE = Pot Equity. This particular chart is for a pot size of $100 and a Hero bet of $75.
Tilt mitigation begins with putting a label on your tormentor...
The first step to reducing tilt is recognizing that you are tilting. Fine, then what? What’s the next step? Answer: give your specific tilt demon a name. As it turns out, a simple—but powerful—technique to reducing tilt is to give it a label. Intrigued? Read on…
You were born broke, you die broke–everything else is just fluctuation.” –John Vorhaus on variance and the long-run.
Getting better at poker requires ego-less introspection & recognition
A few months ago I was approached by a blog reader who wanted some coaching. This happens frequently. I don’t actively advertise or promote my coaching services, as I primarily pick up students on referral, word of mouth, or via cold calls/emails like this one. To protect the guilty, this email came from someone I’m going to simply refer to as Mister-Z.
It’s tough to play poker if you don’t have any poker money!” – James “Splitsuit” Sweeney, on the topic of bankroll management.
Deception is what you do to others–delusion is what you do to yourself.” – John Vorhaus, Poker Night