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Life Tilt Sucks

February 7 Sandra Wong

Don’t play poker when on LIFE TILT!

What is life tilt? The state of mind that results from some terrible beat in life that causes oneself to go visibly crazy and perform further self-destructive acts on the poker table.

Life Tilt

Yes… this just happened to me, and I just lost 5 buy-ins and what’s worse is that I won quite a bit yesterday, and decided that I would play higher limits and lost them there! I knew I was life tilting cause I was playing very aggro and manic style, and I double both my stacks on the table within 5 minutes. I thought I could continue this trend, but of course, playing manic style is very volatile AND the worse style for Zoom when people’s range of hands is way stronger.

Today’s lesson is one I absolutely must learn to control if I want to be a good poker player: When playing poker, remove all people and situations that tilt you in your game…then remove them from your life, cause no one needs those people anyhow. If they ruin your poker vibe, who knows what other vibes they are ruining in your life in general. Just saying… and reminding myself.

Poker Awareness – My Current Game/Leaks

  • I am not thinking enough about my opponents hand ranges for calling bets. I have a good grasp of it pre-flop, but after flop, it’s not yet automatic as it should be.
  • Bluffing big on draws is really stupid. IE: Inflating pots with check raise, and c-betting on future streets if opponent is showing interest is also stupid. These bluffs cost money and is negative EV. I am pretty sure I am pot committing myself mathematically even though I don’t have time to work out exact math during Zoom play. I should really do some practice on math so this also becomes more automatic.
  • Bluffing on dry boards when it is checked to me is good. Not really sure how to play these hands at the moment when I actually hit and want to get as much value as possible. Thinking however, the line to take is to always c-bet dry flops as majority of the time I will also hit nothing and it will keep me on a more balanced GTO without even thinking about it. < Also may be a good strategy in Zoom play as there are no HUD stats on aggression or c-bets.
  • Hitting 2nd best pair in position, i should bet closer to 3/4 pot on flop, then follow up with 1/2pot c-bet on turn if checked to me again.
  • I need to listen to responses when I bet for information on Zoom players as they are not that tricky generally. 3 bets generally mean they have something QQ+. I rarely even see AKs 3-betted. It’s ALWAYS QQ+. 4-bets also generally mean all-in as well, as the stacks aren’t that deep.
  • I tilt really bad when I run my boats into boats or run top 2 into sets on the flop, and can’t get away from it when CLEARLY a 3 bet on flop means a set – 95% of the time. I have to chalk this up to variance, especially when the stack to pot ratios are low generally. I need to remember that a +EV play is a +EV play. Period.
  • I have to play a bit safer and stop overvaluing my straights and baby flushes. In the least, don’t get felted here. Try to lose minimal on scary boards where opponents range could very definately hold the nuts.
  • I also noticed that when I am tired, I need to seriously just get up and get off the computer. Chasing loses, even if it’s 10 is so stupid and a waste of my time and brain power.
  • Depending on game selection, feel out the players/player pools.
  • Don’t play in your state of mind. Go to the state of mind of when you are playing optimal and if you can’t, don’t play at all. Poker can wait. 
  • I don’t think I am getting enough value / leaving money on the table when I am hitting flops and I raise and they fold. I am unsure of this still due to letting opponents “get there” sometimes because I am not taking the time to think about what they are holding before I bet them out.

The goal is to put players on a range of hands, and bet enough for players to fold hands that are beating you or can beat you, while at the same time, betting small enough to keep the range of hands that would stay such as bottom pair etc. Hard to really decipher this on Zoom as players keep moving and they are hard to track, but sometimes you have can familiarize yourself players types especially in small player pools that keep rotating.

  • I think I have to trust my instincts more when it comes to re-raising players that ‘feel’ like they are bluffing with bets that look like value. I’m unsure of this at the moment, as they have me beat almost 100% of time when I get this ‘feeling’ and actually do a hero call. The general times I get really confused is on those 2-5x river over-bet pots. I have no idea what to do in those situations in the least bit. I really want to add this to my game.

Other Poker updates:

  • I’ve invested in some poker software including Combonator and Equilap. I am very excited to get down and dirty on learning the ins & outs of poker software and then after this will invest in getting a HUD.
  • I’ve decided to play some live poker in the casino at least once a month starting January to stay somewhat in the live game scene.
    • I have to still scope out which times/days/games are best for me.
    • I am giving myself a $2400 bankroll and planning on playing the biggest live cash game available, which is $2-$5 and buying in short for $300 to start. I know this is only 8 buy-ins, but if I can’t even play at least break even poker at these stakes, I might as well go back to studying.

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