Jared Tendler, author of the Mental Game of Poker, came to FTR recently to do an AMA where he answered our communities questions. This is the second of two video responses, where he focuses on Spotting & Preventing Tilt.
More on Jared Tendler: http://jaredtendlerpoker.com/
Tags: Mental Game of Poker, Jared Tendler, AMA
Added by: givememyleg
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The next question comes from Pascal’s friend, Sexy Tom. Sexy Tom is playing a whole lot of poker, multi-tabling online and is wondering about how to spot the subtleties of tilt and mental degradation, or dee-gradation, however the hell you pronounce that; and also kind of wondering how to basically handle the challenges that come with learning a game that is constantly evolving and growing. Where you’re always learning new and more things and … holy crap; I live in New York City. There’s a lot of construction going on in my apartment. Anyway, as far as tilt goes. The number one way that you’re going to be able to spot the subtleties is to actually study them over time.
In the first book, I describe completing an A to C game analysis where you are describing the variation that exists in every part of your range from your A game to your C game. If you can describe the differences and the types of mistakes that you’re experiencing when you’re playing your B+ game as compared to your B- game or C+ or C and try to really detail out kind of what changes. Obviously, there’s going to be more tilt, but what kinds of mistakes are occurring? What, from a practical level, differs in terms of your thoughts, your decision making, your focus, the kinds of feelings you have, or the way in which you feel tilt in your body, or your feel anxiety, or you feel things going on in your mind?
Really try to detail out and describe that as much as possible. The clearer that is, the clearly you will have a measuring stick or a roadmap for you to be able to spot changes in your mental game while you’re playing. The thing is you want to study this, because while sticky notes can help to kind of give you feedback and to double check, you really want to make sure that you have this information very well known. If you’re relying on a sticky note, it’s very easy just ignore the sticky note just as you would ignore the mental game sign.
You really want to have those signs and symptoms really kind of clear in your head so you can spot it much more easily and then be able to take action, sort of prevent that slide backwards. The other thing is, how do you deal with the unexpected in how much you’re always constantly learning? That’s just the reality of the game. It’s a reality of life, it’s a reality of a lot of things that we’re trying to improve on; there is that constant evolution. The question is, how can you kind of capitalize on that reality?
To me, the more that you’re hammering away and eliminating your C game, both tactically and mentally, the easier you will be able to learn new things. The reason is because of the theory I describe in the first book, called inchworm. When you eliminate the back end of your range, it literally takes a step forward from the back and that creates the conditions for your game to take a step forward from the front. The reason that is true … wow, that is loud, sorry … and the reason that is true is because when you eliminate something in your C game, you now have mental space freed up to think about something new.
The worst areas of your game, whether it be tactical or mental, you have to think about them in order to be good at it. That’s why when you go on complete tilt those mistakes show up. Why? You’ve lost the ability to think through them and make those corrections. When you’re playing your A game, you don’t have to worry about that, because you’re thinking on such a high level that all those decisions and corrections and ways you handle bad beats and suck outs or whatever it is that’s bother you happens automatically.
When you’re playing badly, that C game stuff shows up. If you eliminate your C game, you free up mental space to think about something new and you allow your game to take a natural step forward from the front. Hopefully, that helps and I wish you well with it.