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Old 09-23-2016, 05:11 PM   #51
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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Originally Posted by Synchronic View Post
If we cling to the hypothesis that tilt is exclusively about logic disconnect and not understanding that aces can get beat (whatever that means) ... and ignore massive evidence that it is about stress and frustration ... then there is no sense in practicing calmness away from and at the table. Agreed. WTF???
The real question is does tilt cause the stress or does the stress cause the tilt? Well, if tilt is caused by the inability to process information that gets presented to a person when playing poker and this causes his thinking process to lock up, then tilt is causing the stress not the other way around.

Also keep in mind that most of the stuff you read in the silly poker psychology books comes out of the sports world where a reduction in stress can help with things like speed, timing, and coordination which have little to do with poker. So the answer to your point is that practicing calmness away from the table, while it won't hurt you, should not do much for your poker game. You would be much better off improving your knowledge of all things poker so that you'll be able to process more information at the poker table meaning that less logic disconnects will develop.

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Old 09-23-2016, 05:16 PM   #52
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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If - however tilt may be abstractly envisioned or mathematically represented - if at the table and in the mind of the player it is about stress and how we cope with stress ... how can enhanced, deeper calmness not help with it?
In my book I use a simple mathematical model based on discontinuous functions to represent tilt. What's interesting is that this exact same model can also be used to represent humor.

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Old 09-23-2016, 07:20 PM   #53
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

Tilt is about not employing the information one has while under the sway of emotions, not about how much knowledge one has per se. When a winning player starts spewing chips and playing almost every pot for an hour or two, it isn't because he isn't able to process teh same information he's been processing his whole career ... it is because of the frustration of not getting his or her way in the moment/recently. He has all the same info and knowledge he's had all along, he just isn't executing it the same because of the temporary lack of discipline ... which is to say he acts against the knowledge he has.

A human being is like an iceberg. Above the surface are the claims of being rational and objective and all that. Below the surface are emotional and subconscious motives. These underlying ones are breaking through the "rational" surface when on tilt. "Know thyself" is the command; not "know thyself falsely as some kind of computer."

Clinging to the claims that the experience of tilt is fully represented by points on a graph, that poker books about psychology by psychologists are silly and that the one by the mathematician is sharp, and that relaxation only effects physical performance and not intellectual ones ... all that is coming from under the surface of the iceberg. You are on tilt in this thread, it seems. Nothing matters except blocking out all inconsistent data and clinging to your original premises. The stubborness, the need to be right and an authority ... isn't much different than Donald Trump claiming to know more about ISIS than all the generals. It's pure ego-driven and apart from any established expertise. The more outrageous a claim along these lines is, the more it has to be doubled-down on when challenged ... because of the anxiety below which knows it is actually a tenuous position. If I start with the attitude, "Maybe I know what the hell I'm talking about in this new field and maybe I don't," one is free to change and evolve. If I start with the underlying insecure motive of "I'm the expert here too, so listen up..." it's very hard to be flexible and receptive to data that contradicts my paradigm.

Why does anxiety affect academic test performance for some students? Because anxiety undercuts and tilts the intellect (not just physical coordination and performance). Stress, frustration, the thwarting of our will and of having our way activates the iceberg below. The shadow becomes the decision maker. The shadow takes the drivers seat. An overly intellectual posture sets this up even more so because it denies the existence of the iceberg. Emotions and reason are in fact highly complementary (when integrated), not dichotomous, but when we implement this repression plan the emotions go into the shadow, the intellect cruises along on the surface claiming to be in control ... but that control is tenuous exactly to the degree that it relies on such a split to maintain the illusion.
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:29 PM   #54
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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Also keep in mind that most of the stuff you read in the silly poker psychology books comes out of the sports world
Sports are different than poker in many ways. Might you know of a book on poker psychology that doesn't derive their concepts from well-studied psychological concepts in sports?

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In my book I use a simple mathematical model based on discontinuous functions
Oh, you do. It's a poker that derives poker psychology from a mathematical model. So, instead of learning psychology from psychological concepts, you want us to learn it from mathematical concepts?

I just don't buy it.

Last edited by ganstaman; 09-23-2016 at 07:31 PM. Reason: I shouldn't have watched a video while writing this post, got slow-ponnied by synchronic
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Old 09-23-2016, 10:58 PM   #55
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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Sports are different than poker in many ways. Might you know of a book on poker psychology that doesn't derive their concepts from well-studied psychological concepts in sports?
Hi ganstaman:

The recent poker psychology books that I'm familiar with by Tendler and Cardner/Little are full of the sports stuff. An older book, published in the year 2000, that you may want to look at is Inside the Poker Mind by John Feeney who has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (and it's a 2+2 book) and who was also an excellent poker player. In my book, a fair amount of material is drawn from Dr. Feeny's text and I highly recommend it.

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Oh, you do. It's a poker that derives poker psychology from a mathematical model. So, instead of learning psychology from psychological concepts, you want us to learn it from mathematical concepts? I just don't buy it.
Why not? Mathematical models are used in many different fields and they often have the ability to simplify seemingly complex problems into straight forward easy to understand formats. Just because the word "mathematical" is used it doesn't mean that it is complex or difficult to understand. In addition, the model that I use is not original with me.

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Old 09-23-2016, 11:26 PM   #56
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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Tilt is about not employing the information one has while under the sway of emotions, not about how much knowledge one has per se. When a winning player starts spewing chips and playing almost every pot for an hour or two, it isn't because he isn't able to process teh same information he's been processing his whole career ... it is because of the frustration of not getting his or her way in the moment/recently. He has all the same info and knowledge he's had all along, he just isn't executing it the same because of the temporary lack of discipline ... which is to say he acts against the knowledge he has.
Okay. I never said most of the above, and it's certainly possible to be a winning player and still have tilt problems. However, there's a difference between being a winning player and a true expert.

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A human being is like an iceberg. Above the surface are the claims of being rational and objective and all that. Below the surface are emotional and subconscious motives. These underlying ones are breaking through the "rational" surface when on tilt. "Know thyself" is the command; not "know thyself falsely as some kind of computer."
Why not? You sound like someone who needs to improve his understanding of all things poker, and this includes the effect the short term luck factor can have on your results, the fact that games like poker which are based on probability theory can be counter-intuitive, as well as strategy.

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Clinging to the claims that the experience of tilt is fully represented by points on a graph, that poker books about psychology by psychologists are silly
Except that in my book I draw a bunch of information from Inside the Poker Mind by John Feeney who has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. I think the difference is that he was also an excellent poker player, and you can easily see this by reading his book.

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and that the one by the mathematician is sharp,
Just to set the record straight, my book, Real Poker Psychology, is mostly based on mathematical modeling and statistical theory. What's interesting about this approach is once this is understood and applied correctly to poker, the psychology stuff becomes very straight forward.

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and that relaxation only effects physical performance and not intellectual ones ... all that is coming from under the surface of the iceberg. You are on tilt in this thread, it seems.
Okay. As long as you say so. Over the years I've been accused of lots of things and now I can add being on tilt in a thread.

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Nothing matters except blocking out all inconsistent data and clinging to your original premises. The stubborness, the need to be right and an authority ... isn't much different than Donald Trump claiming to know more about ISIS than all the generals. It's pure ego-driven and apart from any established expertise. The more outrageous a claim along these lines is, the more it has to be doubled-down on when challenged ... because of the anxiety below which knows it is actually a tenuous position. If I start with the attitude, "Maybe I know what the hell I'm talking about in this new field and maybe I don't," one is free to change and evolve. If I start with the underlying insecure motive of "I'm the expert here too, so listen up..." it's very hard to be flexible and receptive to data that contradicts my paradigm.
One of the chapters in my book is titled "Why Do the Best Players Sometimes Go Broke? Here's an excerpt:

One issue that can be difficult for many top players to accept is the fact that what used to work well may not be working anymore, and may in fact be costing them money. Itís important to remember the games change and the strategic concepts that govern expert play can also change. This is particularly true of the games today where the Internet and high speed computers have brought about significant changes in strategy. So if you have had a long-term period of success and are now beginning to struggle, it might be because the strategies you successfully used in the past may not be as strong as they once were. And when this is the case, you must reexamine your game plan and have the flexibility to adjust if you can reason out that adjustment is required and that your poor results are not being caused by a short-term run of bad luck. If you refuse to do this, donít expect your past success to continue.

Quote:
Why does anxiety affect academic test performance for some students? Because anxiety undercuts and tilts the intellect (not just physical coordination and performance). Stress, frustration, the thwarting of our will and of having our way activates the iceberg below. The shadow becomes the decision maker. The shadow takes the drivers seat. An overly intellectual posture sets this up even more so because it denies the existence of the iceberg. Emotions and reason are in fact highly complementary (when integrated), not dichotomous, but when we implement this repression plan the emotions go into the shadow, the intellect cruises along on the surface claiming to be in control ... but that control is tenuous exactly to the degree that it relies on such a split to maintain the illusion.
I think there's something you're missing here and it's simply "How challenging and difficult is the test that the student is taking." Once you become an expert player poker isn't that challenging anymore. While it may still be fun to play, especially if you're winning, the test induced stress should become minimal in most situations.

However, there are exceptions. The best known one is when someone is on the verge of life changing money in a poker tournament. Players in this spot, especially if they're young, are known to occasionally crack up and sometimes make terrible plays. So did they tilt, or was it some other mental mechanism that caused the problem? I don't know. As you point out, I'm a mathematician and not a psychologist, so how would I know.

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Old 09-24-2016, 04:01 AM   #57
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

At the bottom of your theory, Mason, does it hold that a "true expert" can't tilt?

You seem to refer to yourself as if it is kind of inarguable, or maybe just ridiculous, that you could ever tilt. If such a thing is true, it is about self-control, not expertise.

Why would you say you can become frustrated in tennis over missing easy shots, that you should "never" miss, when you must know that Roger Federer also misses easy shots ... that every player misses easy shots? What standard are you using?

Stu Ungar was one hell of an expert tournament player. AND his tilt was legendary. His understanding of what got the chips in tournaments was expert, yet his tilt was also off-the-charts. Same for Bobby Fischer. Increasing expertise does not mitigate against personality traits that cause tilt.

Knowledge and self-control do not go hand-in-hand necessarily, though sometimes they do. Tilt is a pure self-control issue by definition almost. If one trains him or herself to never react with frustration to the vicissitudes of poker, that isn't expertise they're developing but self-control. The simple examples of players who are low on expertise but also low on tilt, or high on expertise but high on tilt, or low on expertise and high on tilt, or high on expertise but low on tilt ... seems to contradict your theory of it.

The people who have the 10,000 hours in, so to speak, are the ones to esteem as to their psychological derivatives. The people who have the 10,000 hours in on mathematics are the ones to esteem as to their math derivatives. I'll read your book and be willing to concede any strengths. Going in, my expectation is that it frames the issue as if tilt happens on a graph, not in a human psyche, that is, it does not respect the elements in play in the psyche and presumes computer-like orientation of the player. You cannot take the psychology out of the human and then effectively address behavior.
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Old 09-24-2016, 05:59 AM   #58
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

One area of commonality we probably do have is I'm sure there is probably a correlation between expertise and low-tilt. But that doesn't do much for the situation when a tremendously skilled player fighting issues with impulse control, addiction, immaturity, even self-destructive streaks, which is what a lot of these young players are, goes to a psychology coach ... and if the coach takes 15 minutes to outline his mathematical model of how they need more expertise at the game to solve the problem and sends them on their way ... well, that's a joke. There is a correlation across the population between expertise and low tilt, but within a population of one where skill and impulse control are at odds ... the correlation is just a statistic. You can't change people by citing statistics.
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Old 09-25-2016, 04:34 AM   #59
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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Knowledge and self-control do not go hand-in-hand necessarily, though sometimes they do. Tilt is a pure self-control issue by definition almost. If one trains him or herself to never react with frustration to the vicissitudes of poker, that isn't expertise they're developing but self-control.
Self-control by definition is a last resort for counteracting tilt, and tilt is far from purely an issue of self-control.

Interestingly, there was a meta-analysis published showing the effects of trying to train self-control published last month. While it showed a small effect, there was another really good study published a couple of months ago where it showed self-control is not trainable.

I would be very wary of claims that a) tilt is purely a self-control issue, and; b) self-control can be trained. There is little evidence to support these assertions imo.

https://www.researchgate.net/publica..._meta-analysis

https://www.researchgate.net/publica...aining_Program
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:24 AM   #60
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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Self-control by definition is a last resort for counteracting tilt, and tilt is far from purely an issue of self-control.

Interestingly, there was a meta-analysis published showing the effects of trying to train self-control published last month. While it showed a small effect, there was another really good study published a couple of months ago where it showed self-control is not trainable.

I would be very wary of claims that a) tilt is purely a self-control issue, and; b) self-control can be trained. There is little evidence to support these assertions imo.

https://www.researchgate.net/publica..._meta-analysis

https://www.researchgate.net/publica...aining_Program

The point is not that working on self-control is the prescription for change, any more than if one was anxious talking about anxiety is the treatment, or if one is depressed that working on "being happy" is the treatment. An anorexic doesn't need a discussion of nutrition facts. The access door is almost always indirect.

Effective counsel for depression, presuming it to be short of overtly suicidal and near psychotic, is often some version of "get your ass in motion" (tailored of course to how that person might best hear it). This realizing that a body and mind in motion is by definition one not mired in the sluggishness and lack of energy, spirit, motivation and inspiration characteristic of a depressed state.

If someone is capable of playing disciplined, superior strategy poker and in spurts doesn't do it ... what would you choose to call that?? If you don't want to call it self-control - fine. There is a bit of a misnomer involved in calling it self-control, but that is the common meaning. The fact is this can be described as the shadow - of which everyone short of Christ (metaphor) has one - sitting in the drivers seat overruling/displacing one's more rational, disciplined and strategic side and capabilities. Most people have no idea under the sun why that is happening ... it comes and goes as a mystery following some incomprehensible pattern of its own ... usually under stress.

It is not solved by improved understanding of the game, but by an improved understanding of the self. The following terms -- self, self-concept, self-image, self-in-the-world, sense-of-self, false self, subself, emissary self, ego, personality, character, attitude, shadow, mentality, identity, persona -- are all playing subtly different roles in the psyche of the player, the human. It is beyond a fascinating field and probably as vast as the amount of numbers that exist.

A mathematical model that characterizes the output of these components into a shorthand look ... is a map ... and adamantly not the terrain. My grasp of math is not profound - far from it - but to ignore these contributors to behavior and characterize behavior as some kind of deterministic outcome of knowledge is, in my view, flagrantly off course.

Admittedly, I"m the guy who looked at things like 'anxiety producing kleptomania' and wondered, "WTF is going on there!??? I WILL KNOW!" ... and also looked at integral signs and basically thought, "Who cares? I will never know what that means." So, to each his own. I do think there must be a big difference between characterizing things with a mathematical model and having any idea what is actually going on in the trenches. To skip what is going on psychologically in favor of that is, to me, anathema. It doesn't compute.

That the mathematical model says something meaningful and maybe even profound about it all ... I wouldn't reject. That it helps the person under the sway of unknown forces within him or herself I do reject.

Last edited by Synchronic; 09-27-2016 at 12:34 AM.
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Old 09-27-2016, 08:03 AM   #61
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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If someone is capable of playing disciplined, superior strategy poker and in spurts doesn't do it ... what would you choose to call that??
It's tilt. What I take issue with is your assertion that you think training self-control is a way of dealing with these instances:

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If one trains him or herself to never react with frustration to the vicissitudes of poker, that isn't expertise they're developing but self-control.
How exactly would you train self-control to help you deal with these moments in poker when the situational demands overcome our coping resources?
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:27 AM   #62
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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How exactly would you train self-control to help you deal with these moments in poker when the situational demands overcome our coping resources?
By increasing coping resources, of course. That's fairly often the idea behind psychological treatments for depression and anxiety, so it's not some crazy concept.
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Old 09-27-2016, 11:19 AM   #63
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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By increasing coping resources, of course. That's fairly often the idea behind psychological treatments for depression and anxiety, so it's not some crazy concept.
Can you give a practical example of how to increase coping resources, specifically their self-control, for someone suffering with tilt?

If you look at CBT for example, then my understanding is that most of the work you would do there with a client would be to critically deconstruct the situational demands.

Last edited by Elrazor; 09-27-2016 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 09-28-2016, 12:03 AM   #64
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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It's tilt. What I take issue with is your assertion that you think training self-control is a way of dealing with these instances:



How exactly would you train self-control to help you deal with these moments in poker when the situational demands overcome our coping resources?

I was alluding to the apparent assertion that some never get out of line in their play with their knowledge of the game and that if we all had enough knowledge it would cure tilt. It was facetious. Your taking me out of context badly. He who takes the myriad of components of the psyche (partial list above) out of the mix then attempts to account for behavior is not going to get the job done. In my opinion.
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Old 09-28-2016, 07:40 AM   #65
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

So, the question remains, is tilt really fixable? Does increasing self-control and knowledge of the game work in the long run? Maybe there's some kind of magic pill that could help?

I've read this whole thread and I just see people arguing over what tilt is and what's the best methods used to cope with it, however, there is still no definite solution as I think tilt (like any other mental condition) is not completely fixable. Take for example anxiety or depression. While there are coping mechanisms and medications used to help with it, the people that suffer from these conditions are likely to suffer from them for their entire life. I see tilt being the same. I see that it can be reduced and controlled to a certain extent using psychological concepts, meditation or mathematical concepts, but there is no magical way to get rid of it. Some people just deal with things such as tilt differently, just as some people deal with issues in life differently. What may cause anxiety, anger and depression for one person may not affect another person whatsoever. I feel that tilt falls into this category.

To say that one theory is better than another in coping with tilt is incorrect as everyone is different, just like CBT may help someone with anxiety, but is a complete waste of time for another person who needs medication to deal with their anxiety. The fact is, if you tilt and it affects your game, then you need to find what works best for you. It could be meditation, it could be mastering knowledge of the game, or it could be something completely different.
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:32 AM   #66
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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Take for example anxiety or depression. While there are coping mechanisms and medications used to help with it, the people that suffer from these conditions are likely to suffer from them for their entire life. I see tilt being the same.
I don't agree with this. It's tantamount to saying self-improvement isn't a thing.
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Old 09-28-2016, 10:57 AM   #67
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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I don't agree with this. It's tantamount to saying self-improvement isn't a thing.
Nothing wrong with self-improvement, but I challenge you to find someone who had tilt issues and now is completely void of them.
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Old 09-28-2016, 03:04 PM   #68
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

No one in this thread is mentioning happy tilt. Sometimes i suffer from it is a soft kind of tilt.

I don't nearly tilt as hard as i used to tilt years ago i would scream very loud saying GOD IS NOT FAIR!

Now i never tilt like that at all.
I only soft tilt like bored, distracted thinking about other things but i don't suffer from hulk rage tilt anymore.
Is just a matter of understanding the game, being more mature because u r older, and also to understand that tilt is a luxury u can not give urself.

Think we definily have to put tilt in categories.
I like Tommy Angelo's Soft tilt and hard tilt approach

Last edited by ARCANGEL0; 09-28-2016 at 03:17 PM. Reason: typo caps 3
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Old 09-28-2016, 09:58 PM   #69
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

I like hard and soft too ... and the idea that pretty much anything can be modified but not much can be expunged.
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Old 09-28-2016, 11:42 PM   #70
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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Can you give a practical example of how to increase coping resources, specifically their self-control, for someone suffering with tilt?
I'm really busy and about to go on vacation out of the country, so I can't give a detailed answer now. But many therapies can work on relaxation techniques or distress tolerance, both of which would help cope with negative emotions.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:24 AM   #71
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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Nothing wrong with self-improvement, but I challenge you to find someone who had tilt issues and now is completely void of them.
That's akin to saying "find someone who had depression who doesn't have a bad day occasionally".

When I played, I wouldn't say I had a "problem" with tilt, but it was definitely costing me money.

I eradicated my sporadic tilt issues by improving my game, being more self-aware and working on my personal and professional self-development away from the tables.
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Old 09-29-2016, 02:33 AM   #72
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

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I'm really busy and about to go on vacation out of the country, so I can't give a detailed answer now. But many therapies can work on relaxation techniques or distress tolerance, both of which would help cope with negative emotions.
I'd argue relaxation techniques are more related to relieving the situation demands than increasing coping resources, but I can see how it works both ways. Id certainly be interested in hearing a more detailed account of applied work in a clinical setting. I have some experience working with athletes using these kind of techniques to improve performance, so i'd find the contrast useful.
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Old 10-24-2016, 01:00 PM   #73
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

Tilt can be remedied. I spent many years as a poker player, relying on it for income, and, when times grew tough (Black Friday, mortgage issues, etc.), I began to get super stressed out while playing. I developed horrible habits while playing. These mental states carried over into my normal life, ie., I was miserable.

One of the major ways that this problem can be remedied is by becoming aware of the mental processes that cause it. For one, any time something bad would happen to me, I would let the internal narrative carry on ("I run so bad..."). With it, pain and suffering ensued. By putting an end to this mental process and treating these issues at their core, we can make incredible transformative changes in both the way we play poker and the way we live life.
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Old 10-25-2016, 02:12 AM   #74
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

Seems like a lot of members espousing their fixes for tilt ITT are coming at the problem as observers of tilt in others more so than from experience. For someone who suffers from severe gambling tilt (addiction) it's kind of interesting to read this bull**** about tilt being remedied by concentrating on becoming more expert at the game. I wish. The compulsion to chase losses, make irrational bets, and feel like ***** while doing it started way before I even knew poker existed. The current generation are calling this irrational behaviour "tilt". My generation know it as compulsive gambling.
The only remedy I've found is meditation. Observing the tilt as its happening, not reacting to it.
Oh look, I'm feeling tilted. I feel an urge to chase my losses, I'm fuming at having my aces beat by a pair of 9's. Just observing how it feels, the physical sensations that accompany the tilt, with a kind of mild interest at what i'm feeling.
It passes. Like everything it passes soon enough.
It re-occurs. For me it's a constant companion to my poker sessions.
And it passes again.
By meditating I learn to accept it. And learn to observe it without reacting to it.
I'm not good at describing the meditation technique, but it involves observing the breath and also observing all the physical sensations that accompany tilt, and that accompany all pleasant and unpleasant events.
I learn to be equonomous to the highs and lows of poker, not becoming attached to the pleasant sensations that accompany a winning session, nor the unpleasant sensations that arise when I lose.
I don't believe that tilt is something you can "remedy" by reading a book or by spending money on psychology sessions. All those will do is make a person feel that there is something "wrong" with them that needs fixing. I think it's better to accept the tilt and learn not to react to it.
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:25 AM   #75
Pokerisfu
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Re: Is tilt really fixable?

Tilt is fixable in the sense that you always have a choice to how you react to situations. Tilt is not a disease that plagues the mind your fully in control of what you choose to do. Don't take poker so serious


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