Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Downswing, Tilt, and Confidence

I'm in a downswing.

Not monetarily, so much (I've lost less than $300 total, or 10% of my bankroll). But I'm definitely feeling that low-level frustration (tilt) creeping in.

The good news is that one winning session will probably erase a good bit of it and alleviate the oncoming tilt. The bad news is I know I could easily make worse decisions at the table. I've had some decent downswings when I've been feeling like this.

Most bloggers seem to avoid talking about their downswings and tilt. Actually, moreso, they are loath to admit that they screwed up a decision... or hand... or session... I'll admit it, I don't like to admit when I make a monster mistake as much as I can beat myself up about it internally. There's a scary number of bloggers out there who don't talk much about mistakes (only mentioning bad beats) yet never seem to earn any money. For the record, I sometimes wonder if I'm in that category.

Of course, there are those bloggers who do admit their mistakes, most notably CC and Grubby. Hell, Grubby admits he has a gambling problem, even though he is mostly powerless to stop it. And reading CC's early posts about tilting off significant portions of his bankroll is a great way to recognize (and avoid) dangerous behaviors like that in yourself.

But the first step in avoiding bad decisions is admitting you make them.

My problem right now is that I feel like I'm not really sure what is a good decision and what isn't. Particularly in reference to poker tournaments.

Maybe it all just boils down to confidence.

When I take a series of beatings (or fail make money in four tournaments and two cash games like I did today -- online, of course), I'm lacking confidence. And lack of confidence makes the game much harder to play.

So maybe I just need to get my confidence back?

I'm hoping some of the $6/12 players at Garden City tomorrow afternoon have some confidence in their back pocket.

Because I wouldn't mind going home with some of it.


Oh, and as a side note, I'm looking forward to our crazy wild card cash game (home game) tomorrow night after my GC session. It's so handy that the host's place is only a few miles from Garden City.

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