Ignoring Results, Reducing Tilt and the Mental Game

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2 April 2012, Created By: Courtney Gee
Ignoring Results, Reducing Tilt and the Mental Game

Happy April! I realized just now that I let all of March go by without updating this blog, and I definitely didn’t mean to do that!

I’ve actually had so much to write about the past few weeks, but I couldn’t seem to sit myself down and get it done.

Last time I wrote, I said that I was going to run a little experiment: I was going to avoid looking at my online poker results for a week. The experiment took place well over a month ago, but I suppose reporting the results late is better than never.

The bad news: I didn’t last a week. I have a couple excuses for this, but I’ll spare you.

The good news: the experiment still lasted five days, and it was wildly successful!

In order to make sure that I truly didn’t know how much I was up or down, I had to do a couple things. The biggest problem was hiding my account balance mid-session because, as you might know, PokerStars shows your account balance every time you register for a tournament.

Courtney Gee
Courtney on the PokerStars Big Game.

At first I tried to find an AHK tilt blocker, but I couldn’t seem to find one and it seemed like a lot of trouble to try to get someone to create one for me.

A friend suggested I just let TableNinja handle my tournament registration for me, though, and it worked like a charm.

TableNinja just handles all my “ok” pop up boxes, and I never have the chance to see my account balance.

Ignoring Results Really Helps

To say that it helped to avoid my account balance and results during my sessions is an understatement. The experiment taught me that a very large source of my tilt was knowing that I was losing and watching my account balance go down throughout the session.

The experiment also taught me that unless I check my account balance or Holdem Manager, I often have no idea whether or not I am up or down money during a session.

This became clear when one day I thought I was running so badly and I was sure I lost a ton, only to find out that I actually won money. Then another day I thought I ran great and I was up a bunch, only to find out that I had only broken even.

The experiment went so well that I now avoid my account balance and results during my session 100% of the time.

I check every day after the session is over, but I never know whether I’m up or down while I'm playing. As a result, I would say that my tilt has reduced by at least 70%. Things that used to tilt me at the tables just don’t anymore, which is really amazing to me.

mental game tendler
The Mental Game of Poker by Jared Tendler

My experiment can’t take all the credit, though. I also started reading The Mental Game of Poker by Jared Tendler.

I read a bit of it before each session, so I have only read a little over half of it so far. It is an excellent book, though, and I have already gotten so much out of it.

I recommend it to anyone that plays poker seriously.

New Direction for this Blog

I haven’t made much money this year so far, but I’m still enjoying online poker more than ever thanks to some of these changes that I’ve made.

Learning to not care about results is something that has become very important to me, and I hope that this blog will start to reflect this. Looking at past entries, the entire blog has been focused on how much money I’ve won or lost and pretty much nothing else.

Moving forward, I hope to talk more about win rates, mental game, and other things that hopefully will be a little more interesting than just win/loss numbers.

The next time I write (which I intend to be sometime later this month), I’ll talk about how my year is going so far, as well as the foolish volume prop bet I made for April. Thanks for reading and good luck at the tables! 

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Courtney Gee 2012-04-03 10:47:34

@jmadness - thanks a lot! Not busto here yet ;)

@Hank - I completely agree that checking results can hamper your ability to play the best poker possible. I think it might be even more optimal to only check results on a weekly basis (like I was trying to do during my "experiment"), but then you run into problems like wondering if you have enough money in your account to keep playing your games during downswings :P

As always, thanks for your support and for your comment!

Hank 2012-04-02 16:21:10

Welcome back Courtney! Was beginning to worry you had gone out and found one of those "real jobs" you were talking about. I'm 100% in support of ignoring results. It just doesn't help your game on either end of the spectrum if you're hoping to play your best poker. Cheers on your return.

Hank

jmadness 2012-04-02 12:30:52

good to see you're back! was afraid the wheels fell off yo game ;)

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