The Perils of Tilt

I believe I’m generally pretty good about not tilting, but for whatever reason some stuff was getting under my skin the other night. I felt like I’d been losing a lot of pots to bad luck, and though it’s hard for me to keep accurate track of how I’m doing across several tables over several hours, I felt like I was probably down a few buy-ins. What put me over the edge were these next two hands. They were played against the same player, in the same orbit, and I think they illustrate that I was already playing sub-optimally:

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold’em, $10.00 BB (6 handed) – Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

MP ($985)
CO ($1946.25)
Button ($1000)
SB ($1142.55)
BB ($1154)
Hero (UTG) ($2331.75)

Preflop: Hero is UTG with Q, Q
Hero bets $40, 3 folds, SB raises to $88, 1 fold, Hero calls $48

Flop: ($186) 2, 9, 8 (2 players)
SB bets $58, Hero raises to $143, SB raises to $306, Hero calls $163

Turn: ($798) J (2 players)
SB checks, Hero checks

River: ($798) 9 (2 players)
SB checks, Hero bets $222, SB calls $222

Total pot: $1242 | Rake: $3

SB had A, A (two pair, Aces and nines).
Hero had Q, Q (two pair, Queens and nines).
Outcome: SB won $1239

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold’em, $10.00 BB (6 handed) – Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

Button ($955)
SB ($1978.25)
BB ($1000)
UTG ($1765.55)
MP ($1139)
Hero (CO) ($1715.75)

Preflop: Hero is CO with K, K
UTG bets $28, 1 fold, Hero raises to $88, 1 fold, SB calls $83, 1 fold, UTG raises to $244, Hero raises to $1715.75 (All-In), 1 fold, UTG calls $1471.75

Flop: ($3529.50) J, 10, 3 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Turn: ($3529.50) 2 (2 players, 1 all-in)

River: ($3529.50) 2 (2 players, 1 all-in)

Total pot: $3529.50 | Rake: $3

UTG had A, A (two pair, Aces and twos).
Hero had K, K (two pair, Kings and twos).
Outcome: UTG won $3526.50

These next two were bad enough that I quit playing, recognizing that I was no longer on even my B-game:

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold’em, $20.00 BB (6 handed) – Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

CO ($2144.50)
Hero (Button) ($2165)
SB ($1828)
BB ($1344.35)
UTG ($2047)
MP ($1994.50)

Preflop: Hero is Button with A, 10
1 fold, MP bets $40, 1 fold, Hero calls $40, 1 fold, BB calls $20

Flop: ($130) 10, 7, 5 (3 players)
BB bets $60, MP raises to $140, Hero calls $140, 1 fold

Turn: ($470) 7 (2 players)
MP checks, Hero checks

River: ($470) 2 (2 players)
MP bets $420, Hero calls $420

Total pot: $1310 | Rake: $3

Hero had A, 10 (two pair, tens and sevens).
MP had J, J (two pair, Jacks and sevens).
Outcome: MP won $1307

Full Tilt No-Limit Hold’em, $10.00 BB (5 handed) – Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

MP ($1209.50)
Button ($315)
SB ($2098)
BB ($1466.50)
Hero (UTG) ($1000)

Preflop: Hero is UTG with Q, A
Hero bets $35, MP raises to $120, 3 folds, Hero raises to $315, MP raises to $1209.50 (All-In), Hero calls $685 (All-In)

Flop: ($2015) K, 7, 3 (2 players, 2 all-in)

Turn: ($2015) 6 (2 players, 2 all-in)

River: ($2015) J (2 players, 2 all-in)

Total pot: $2015 | Rake: $3

Hero had Q, A (high card, Ace).
MP had K, A (one pair, Kings).
Outcome: MP won $2012

The ironic part is that when I looked at my results for the night, I was actually down less than $2000. In other words, at the time that I first started feeling like things were going badly for me, I was actually still ahead for the session! I wasn’t actually having a losing session at all until I started tilting.

4 thoughts on “The Perils of Tilt

  1. That kind of feeling happens a lot to me
    24 tabling is different obviously
    This is the only blog/forum I read and in my opinion is the best one, clearly.
    By the way supernova pace is 7945 as of today!

    • Thanks, Tom! I can’t imagine you have much sense at all how you’re doing while playing 24-tables at once.

      Where’d you get the Supernova number from? I’m just shy of 7K myself, but I did take a week off from playing online for the PCA….

  2. I guess a lot depends on the players, and you are certainly a lot better than me, but most of the above doesn’t look too bad (to me). Maybe give a hint as to what you thought was terrible? (I’m sure you’d love to relive them some more 😉

    QQ vs. AA … This I can see as a bad river bet, as I’m not sure what you are getting paid off by and the sizing is weird. Js Ts, _maybe_ other suited Js hands.

    KK vs. AA … I guess here it’s the big overraise preflop … but does villian never call with QQ, JJ or AK? Esp. when you factor in the proximity to the previous hand?

    AT vs. JJ … Does the raise on the end never happen from KT or a Busted flush draw (esp. 6c8c 8c9c)?

    AQ vs. AK … I understand you are probably behind when you do the last call, but you still have to do it no? I understand the reraise makes you pot comitted, so it’s probably better to call (and then fold any K?), but isn’t AQ ahead of his range?

    • Your guesses are pretty much right.

      QQ vs. AA, it’s the river bet. His range for making those stupid little 3-bets is heavily weighted towards JJ, KK, and AA. The river check through me, but there’s really not a second best hand to call my bet.

      KK vs. AA, yeah it’s the big shove pre-flop. Even if he occasionally has something other than AA when he 4-bets (which at least for this bet sizing is questionable), I don’t think it’s calling a shove. I probably still lose my ass post-flop, but that’s not an excuse to play the hand sub-optimally pre-flop. At least post-flop I give him a chance to make second-best hands.

      AT vs. JJ, I think even cold calling the flop raise is bad. The busted draw thing is what I was hoping for when I called, but I think that was just talking myself into a bad decision. I think his flop raise is bigger with the drawing hands you suggest.

      AQ vs AK, the call on the end isn’t the problem, it’s 4-betting with the intention of calling that’s a problem. The guy was a little 3-bet happy, but given our positions and all, I should have just folded to the first 3-bet.

      Thanks for making me re-live this :-). But seriously, good questions.

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