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Tilt Monkey

Tilt Monkey

We all know that poker is a game of skill that can and usually is at least to some extent and sometimes a big extent be affected by luck, be it good luck or bad luck.

The theory is that a good player needs less luck than a less able player in order to be successful. In the long term this is probably true but, in the short term, the “luck factor” or “variance” can be the be all and end all in terms of any player’s success or failure.

From an early age as a child, watching cartoons where the “goodie” overcomes the “baddie” and in all the stories we hear as children at home and school, we are all Conditioned to believe in the concept of natural justice and that good will overcome evil.

If you do something right that is better than doing something wrong and if you take the “good” road then you will reap the just rewards for making the “good” decision.

With than inbuilt and engrained belief in what is right and wrong, even though our life experiences also teach us that good does not always overcome evil (like when Stoke beat West Brom at football), it is still difficult to ignore that basic inherent expectation and so, when u play “right” and your opponent plays “wrong” it is directly opposed to your conditioned belief when your opponent is financially rewarded for their apparent contravention of doing what is right and it is not helpful that the reward they get is in the form of your cash.

The seemingly ridiculous and outrageous breach of your human rights and with no apparent saviour in sight to save you from further violations what can you do to remedy the world and put right the wrongs that have been done.

The optimal choice is to be calm and controlled knowing that your superior skills will always come to the fore and that in the long term a better player will always be more profitable than a less able player. The actual choice is often a simple and quick was to punish those that have violated your bottom, Monkey tilt of course,

Retribution is required to punish those and if that means cutting off your nose to spite your face, then bye-bye nose. You do not even just want to beat them, you want it to hurt so getting it in bad is almost preferable to getting it in good so you at least have the chance to proper back door them good and hard.

It is good to be playing multiple tables of PLO or some kind of Pot Limit game so that when it is your turn to act you can get as much cash into the pot as possible regardless of your hand and then bet the pot on the flop, regardless of the flop (some online players, who misunderstood the concept of aggression being better than passive, do similar when not on tilt). This is better than a No limit game as although you can get it all-in in one go in No Limit games it is more aesthetically pleasing to “BET THE POT!!!!” a few times and actually get meaningful folds from opponents who may have called your pre-flop bet. In No limit you will generally get picked off open shoving, and be much less likely to win a pot than the pot pre-flop bet followed by a pot flop bet in PLO. Also where it all goes in pre-flop in PLO you may often have around 40% equity no matter how tilted you are, this may reduce slightly when lumping it in without looking at your cards in a mindless frenzy but, in those circumstances, at least the pleasure of leaving any opponent with a sore bottom is greatly enhanced.

Winning and being profitable is no longer the target the main aim is to make your opponent angry to abuse them either verbally or preferably with ill fortune that causes them maximum psychological stress and hopefully leaves them mentally scarred for the longest possible time period and for them to see you benefit, at their direct expense, from your own miss-guided actions.

People often say that gamblers almost “enjoy” the pain of losing as the feeling of loss and being “in the gutter” for even a short time period is like a drug to them (i guess similar to being tied up and having your bottom and/or testicles spanked or having a nice lady wee on your head- i will consult some of my poker friends for confirmation).

Additionally it enhances the pleasure from the good times when the “lows” have been very low.

But the truth of it is that when you are angry and your mental equilibrium has become unbalanced you need a release and to punish the person who seems most responsible for your anger certainly does not seem inappropriate or inequitable, not that equity and reason factor into your decision process at the time which can often also be distorted by feelings of paranoia.

It is so difficult to control yourself once you have been bitten by the tilt monkey as rational thought becomes almost impossible and often having some kind of inanimate object can help remind you to balance your mind (maybe a small toy monkey). Some players have a post it note attached to their computer screen with a little message reminder that best suits them to help calm down or stop playing

Don’t try and rationalize it u can’t rationalize bad luck and it is human nature to try to rationalize by your reference to your personal previous experiences and beliefs. This will only re-enforce the sense of injustice. So do not bother do not try to rationalize it, think it through, or consider a better course of action. You are on tilt your decisions are being driven by your emotions

If you are in full control of your emotions and have the patience of a Buddhist monk you may be able to play through events that might put others on “tilt”. If you, like the vast majority of players, have less self-control than that, it is best to walk away from the environment in which you are playing and allow yourself the time to calm down.

If you know you are tilting just accept you cannot beat it and walk away.

Tue, 8th February 2011

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