Tournament Poker – How to Stop Getting Your Butt Kicked

You are a Dewatogel player. And, with the number of players constantly rising and falling in buy-in tournaments, you have developed a keen understanding of your fellow poker players. You know, the kind of understanding based merely on face value that simply can’t be taught, cannot be measured, cannot even be ventilated. But, you also know that there are those players–almost all players–who simply do not care about their money.

They are willing to play whatever hands they have at almost any point in the game. They are tough, man. And, when they see an opening, they push all in. Whether through a careless call or a carefully calculated raise, they always seem to me a push or a call away from a big win.

All of this leads to one conclusion: most players who call big bets with questionable hands are looking for trouble. They are hoping to get lucky and they hope, more than anything else, to get their money pop up somewhere unexpected and unearned. If they succeed in getting most of the money into the pot, then they are quite content to wait for the next big hand to assure them of a win.

Of course, most of us don’t live our lives full of unbroken serenity. We work, schedules, school, family, friends, and, yes, sleep all of the time. Sometimes we even eat during the rare moments between classes. Sometimes we sleep, and sometimes we eat very late, once or twice a week. We exercise, we eat, we function, we live. Sometimes we think about our poker game.

All of this said, even I, with my multiple-table and online work schedule, can’t change a lot of other aspects of my life. I am trying, though, to improve my poker game so that I can eventually eliminate my dependence on good fortune. If you’re a more disciplined person, you might want to eliminate the need for such willpower on your part.

The first definition of tilt is “a sudden, irrational and undue change of behavior or emotions.”  Emotions are certainly something we all experience from time to time.  moments of greatness and deep concentration can be followed by periods where nothing goes right. Monday Night Football games are an emotional roller coaster.  The swings are natural and expected.  Less than half the time a team wins, and by that I mean the other half of the time the team loses.

Tilt occurs in all areas of our lives, at all times.  Here are some recent events that have conspired to make my Tuesday betting day much more memorable.

I watched one guy make a bet so ridiculously that I later learned he was severely off his game.  At one point, the guy bet and informed everyone that he had a pocket pair.  So, the next bet was for $50.00.

During that same game, I had a run of cards that left me more than half a convinced I was going to win the next hand.  So, I stopped betting and eventually the whole team started to get very interested in me.

After that, the poker bug bit me hard and I tried to  outlasted myself so that I could pickle my ego.  In the course of that play, I lost $100.00.

Luckily, the Florida casino party(s) I had planned that summer turned predictably into a so so so weekend.  By Sunday afternoon, I was feeling tracksuit serious regret.  I decided that the best thing to do was to simply travel home.

Record Numbers

One of the other people I chatted with during those early years was a fellow whose brother took a shot at me with a semi-bluff in a 3 at 2 Cash Game.  Hard to believe, I know.  But, the guy claimed he had a better hand and was right.  Hand after hand of no help.  Only at the river did he slow down.  Still, it didn’t take away from his ultimate point.

“You have to pay attention to your cards,” he declared, holding his two hearts in the palm of his hand.  “Otherwise, you’ll give away your money to the other people.”

What!  Now, I was all set.  I would have none of this stuff and get his money.  I would show him I have a better hand, and he would get frustrated and try to bluff me.

“No,” he insisted.  “If you had your two hearts in your hand, you’d win.  Nobody loses any money.  The only person who loses is the poker dealer.”

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