As part of the Win a Kindle/Mental Game contest, I asked a handful of readers who submitted partial stories in this survey, to go into more detail about their experience with the mental game. Over the next week you’ll get to hear directly from them.
This is a bit of an experiment and I hope you find it valuable. First up is Garrett:
Like many poker players I played competitive sports growing up. It was those sports that taught me that if I worked harder, practised more and gave it 110% that I could be the best and beat almost everyone. Well that is true for sports a lot of the time however it does not entirely hold true to poker. You can study more than anyone, memorize odds, hand ranges and tells and put in hours and hours at the table however none of this can control the cards. That 1 outter still comes every once in a while and that caused me to fly off the handle and end up going on crazy monkey tilt.
I’ve played poker for 6 years now and the above monkey tilter was me for the last 6 years. I started like most at a 10$ home game winning my first time and getting the bug. What I was not aware of was how unfair the game was, I just thought if I had the best hand I should win. We all know that doesn’t always happen and when it didn’t, laptops would break, profanities would fly and so on. Nothing could help me and I was my own worst enemy. I read a ton of poker psychology books, Zen books and so on and nothing stuck. I would spend weeks grinding up my BR all the while knowing in the back of my head there would be that one beat that would send me off my rocker and I would end up tilting off most or all of that bankroll I worked so hard to build.
Well finally after years of this I came across “The Mental Game of Poker” book and Jared’s website. I don’t exactly remember how but I’m glad I found it. Without any hesitation I pre ordered his book and waited anxiously for it to arrive. Once I had it in my hands I was so excited because not only did it claim to have answers to why I had the problems I have, but solutions and actual tools and exercises that would help me resolve these problems. Other books may have explained these tilt problems a bit but never have they been so broken down into categories and logically explained like they are in the mental game of poker.
I was seeing for the first time that I was not the only suffering from these issues and that even big name pro’s like Leatherass had his problems which was encouraging to see since I thought I was doomed to ever get past my amateur/semi-pro level because of my tilt issues. Finally for the first time Jared gave me tools and exercises that I could put in place along with some hard work and effort that would help me over come my mental game issues aka MONKEY TILT!!
This book is so great because TILT is broken down into so many categories. It’s not just one problem, Jared shows that there is much more to the many different kinds of tilt and with this information it helps a person identify what tilt they suffer from and how to resolve this. My main issues were Accumulated Tilt/ Emotion, Hate Losing Tilt, Entitlement Tilt, Running Bad Tilt as well as issues with Fear and Motivation which are intertwined. Well everything seems to be connected but there was a correlation with those two for me.
My tips for reading this book are have a blank journal and a pen as well as several post it notes to mark certain pages so you can quickly refer back to them and so you can write down the many exercises that you need to do to work on the parts of your mental game. There are a ton of them. It’s sort of like a chose your own ending book because you have to read it through once but then jump section to section to combine all the info.
Fill out the Client questionnaire because it will help you see yourself from a different perspective. The mental hand histories are so valuable because it helps solidify your thoughts and make them real. You can look at them and really analyze them and think logically about your feelings and problems. It is one thing to be thinking in your head about your issues and what needs to be done to resolve them but when you put them down on paper it makes a person accountable for those issues and resolving them. This was the big difference for me and with the exercises Jared provides you it makes it possible to get to a resolution for each issue. One of the most important things that has helped me is the “Warm Up” before every session the last part of my warm involves me sitting and thinking and verbally saying “ you’re gonna get a bad beat, it’s gonna happen, be prepared now”. By saying that simple line it just makes it real for me and I become ok with whatever happens.
As you will learn you will never be completely cured and it will be a long journey to resolve all your mental game issues but this book gives you a much more meaningful was to spend all that energy and hard work. This book is a guide so you know what you’re doing is really going to benefit you. Now I have come to see that it’s not about avoiding the 1 outter that is bound to come it’s about how I react to it.