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The Bonkers Monster

October 19 2012 ,
by Matthew J-B

Tilt. Earlier in the week I had a pretty bad case of pure fist-pumping-monkey-tilt. It doesn’t happen very often. I’m gutted by it now; it is soooo annoying losing control, especially when you know that you know better…

I think it stemmed from the day before, when I was forced to quit because of time commitments with a –EV session. Up until that point in the month I had finished every session with a +EV figure with an overall win rate (EV) of 6bb/100 hands. So my ‘sea of green’ EV’s for the month got tarnished by this red one. No big deal really but I found it annoying and I think that annoyance lingered at the back of my mind, especially as I made a genuine mistake right at the very end of that session where I held QQ on one table and KK on another and thought through my lines against said villains and then made the plays the wrong way around. That’s right I actually raised one table and called on another when I had meant to do the opposite! I really don’t make this kind of mistake, I don’t even misclick really. I’ll quickly explain the two hands:

How I saw it:

  1. QQ. I’m in CO and it is raised in front of me. The opener’s range is fairly loose so I could 3-bet as standard, however, I instantly saw that the BTN and blinds were very squeezy so thought to call / get squeezed / see how the opener reacts / then 4-bet or jam (or small chance I might call again to slowplay v squeezer if felt right), or if no action no big deal play (concealed) QQ IP.
  2. KK. I’m in CO and it is raised in front of me. The opener is fast and loose pre-flop, tight players behind me. Wanted to 3-bet as standard with decent chance of getting it in pre-flop.

What happened:

  1. I 3-bet, the BB cold-calls and the opener calls so it’s 3-way. Board comes King-high; they both have AK and get one street of value out of me. Result = –EV 30bb’s.
  2. I call, heads-up to the flop, board comes (Q J 9), he bets I call. Turn comes 9 he bets I (don’t know why) overbet jam… he snaps off QQ. I wanted AQ, KQ, QJ, QT, JT and even AK to face a tough decision, I mention AK as I think he was one of those that could well call off AK there. I remember I kinda put him on QJ at the time so of course value-jammed hoping for a call. Result = –EV 100bb’s.

What should’ve happened:

  1. I call / get squeezed by AK / opener calls with AK / I jam / both call and I’m a 2-1 favourite getting 2-1 on my money! Result = +EV 100bb’s.
  2. I 3-bet / get 4-bet / I jam / he snaps and I’m a 4.5-1 favourite. Result = +EV 80bb’s.

So basically –EV 130bb’s to +EV 180bb’s is a swing of 300bb’s or so. Key decisions that totally affect win rate etc. This may seem results orientated showing calculations knowing villains’ hands but I think this was in my head as I had to quit the session with my EV in the red.

Anyway, the following day, new session, got coolered a couple of times straight away and found myself –EV 200bb’s but knew I’d said to Liz I would meet her for lunch so from nowhere the red mist came over me as I panicked and rushed everything to get some back before having to go out… ended that session –EV 600bb’s. Absolutely disgusting. When I met Liz she said my voice sounded funny (because I’d literally been screaming at myself at the top of my voice in the car whilst driving!). We talked about it and I calmed down then went home and crushed it for +EV 300bb’s so that felt better. Just a shame about the tilt because that would’ve covered the coolers. So my win rate for the month fell to 2bb/100 hands EV, which is a sick drop. Obviously the speed in which a lot of poor decisions were made is the culprit, and the disappointing part.

So, the Bonkers Monster got me, it really got me. I think it makes it worse when you know better, I’m someone who fights for EV whilst playing, not the dollars (which I don’t even look at) so good decisions are paramount. It’s not like I can just get heated, go on tilt, win a flip, get the dollars back and all is well as that does nothing for EV, in fact it doesn’t mean anything (important disclaimer – winning flips is a good thing, ha). My brain and thoughts were flickering between levels… knowing tilt is bad; knowing poker is long term; knowing ‘sessions’ are irrelevant, that any hand is just the next hand after the last one; knowing good decisions are all that matters; understanding variance, that sessions can look like bad decisions were made too not just dollars lost, but trusting judgement of the other hands in villains range etc… and then getting annoyed by these ‘sessions that look like bad decisions were made’… the fact that I’m annoyed by it is even more annoying… and the fact that my play is deteriorating knowing all this is damn right fist-pumping-monkey-tilting annoying! Ha.

The Bonkers Monster

J-B – laugh about it now and re-focus, but it’ll be back, you just need to be ready for it next time…

[My win rate has since crept up to 2.5bb/100 hands EV for the month.]

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