Deal with Anger
When Playing Online Poker:
What’s Your Mental Edge?

Having to deal with anger is something we all face, but especially when we play online poker since the financial stakes are much higher than in most situations.

A few months ago, one of the very top online cash game players wrote an article that asked the question, “What’s your edge?” And it was a great question. It begged you to look at yourself subjectively. It was a question that was so pure, and so selfish yet also selfless by nature. ‘Finding leaks will make you money’ was the bottom line. In my world, it stirred up my emotions a little bit. Was I really as good as I thought I was? In what ways could I improve? Did I just miss some value on that river? Hmmmm… my brain was working.

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I then saw the light. I had to deal with anger. Self-improvement would get me to where I wanted to go. When I was away from the table, I started asking myself better questions. The value in asking yourself quality questions while in a game of competition is invaluable. You could be making money every time you asked yourself a quality question and took the effort to think about it.

One of my personal development goals was to behave exactly the way I wanted while I was playing. After reacting out of impulse too many times, I decided that all the negative emotions I was feeling before, during and after I played was damaging me psychologically, as well as cutting directly into any profits I had. I didn’t want to wait for the major disaster that causes so much pain (like most people do) and that leads to a disaster. It all starts with a choice.

When I told myself I was going to choose how I felt, something amazing happened. First, I had a sense of challenge in figuring out this part of my “game.” I thought of all the benefits I was going to gain if I learned this new skill. I then thought of the relationships I would be improving. I wouldn’t be crabby, I would be a positive force wherever I went. I wouldn’t be depressed after losing, I would adopt a new learning attitude. The amazing thing was that not only did I recognize some of the great benefits of keeping myself under control, I observed there was no positive effect by going on tilt. Nothing! It was all negative and wasted energy.

The first part of reaching my goal was a choice. The second part however was a natural progression in becoming independent. Upon talking about specific techniques on improving my ‘tilt’ problem so I could deal with anger, my friend recommended listening to a recorded hypnosis session that was specific to online poker. Kind of a poker-training website, but for the psychological issues. It was honestly what contributed the most to my development in this area!

Another thing that was very helpful in finding that inner strength was meditation. My impression of meditation when I first heard of it was that it was difficult to learn and time consuming. But this was not the case. Actually, it was easy and well worth it. Check for yourself!

There you have it, practical solutions in helping your ‘tilt’ problem.

Authored by Poker Enthusiast Adam Kozak who occasionally writes for “Two Plus Two Internet Magazine”, an online publication providing poker and gambling information.

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