The Weekly Poker Mantra

Often funny - Sometimes strange - Sometimes inspiring. Check in every Monday for The Weekly Poker Mantra.

Monday, February 1, 2010

3. Sit and Go Grind - Avoiding Tilt in a NL Holdem Session

Hello Poker Piranhas,

Tilt is the single most dangerous thing that can damage your bankroll.  I know what you're thinking;  "Oh no, the silly micro stakes tournament player is going to try to tell me something about tilt".  We are all subject to tilt regardless of what level we are at.

Here is a one of my recent NL holdem sessions;

Starting Bankroll:$6.59

Game One - NL Holdem Single Table Tournament
Buy In:$0.12
Finishing Rank:6th

Game Two - NL Holdem Single Table Tournament
Buy In:$0.12
Finishing Rank: 3rd

Game Three - Rebuy freeroll Mtt:
Buy In:$0.00
Spent on rebuys:$0.05
Finishing Rank:230

Game Four - NL Holdem Single Table Tournament
Buy In:$0.12
Finishing Rank:7th

Finishing Bankroll: $6.38

Anyone can see that this is a losing session.  But this does not mean that it is an invaluable session.  To avoid tilting I can ask myself a few questions.

1)Q - Am I playing my best at the moment?
   A - No.

2)Q - Am I running well?
   A - Not fantastic.

3)Q - Have I made mistakes this session?
   A - Yes.

4)Q - How can I learn from these mistakes?
   A - Study the hand histories pay more attention to the bet sizes of other players.

5)Q - Should I play higher to try to make up losses?
   A - No, This would be a terrible mistake and could result in damaging all of the work to get to this stage.   

6)Q - Should I quit for now and take a break?
   A - Yes, this session isn't going great and I'm feeling a little tired.

7)Q - Will my next session have better results?
   A - Yes!  A positive attitude is an excellent defence against tilt.  Play your best and if the cards are against you even when you've played your best game, be proud that you played your best game.

These are the seven questions that I'm currently working with as I play NL holdem tournaments.  I would welcome you to try them too and let me know if they help your game.



  1. Hello Nomad,

    Really like the blog especially the fact that so far anyway, you seem to update frequently. I will be adding this blog to my blog list. Stay disciplined and in no time, I'm sure you'll be high rolling,

  2. Thank you Starlight,

    I appreciate your words of encouragement and am grateful that you are adding me to your list.