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The importance of mindset and avoiding tilt.

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I thought I would write a little bit today about how important I feel mindset really is in poker. This month I havent played particularly well since getting back from Vegas, even when winning the 6k on ipoker I felt I didnt do anything too impressive and just felt i got some good double up spots and won the much needed racers at the right time. On Monday evening I had my worst day of the month both in terms of the results and the performance I put in, I was making the wrong reads, making the wrong plays and even my bet sizing wasnt as accurate as it should have been. I took a day off on Tuesday and reflected on some of the mistakes I made the previous evening.

I decided to play last night as I was feeling refreshed and determined to get a result as my deficit was fast approaching the £1000 mark. I knew I didnt want another evening of results similar to Monday and put everything into every decision I made. I had a good start doubling up in pretty much every game I was in. Everything was going well until around 8.45pm when I literately had probably the sickest 5 minute of online poker. I got eliminated with AA twice in a matter of seconds, one to an underpair all in pre and another against bottom pair all in on the flop and he managed to river 2 pair. I was annoyed to say the least then things just got worse, all in in the 20k with a near 20k stack, ak v ak, guy flops a flush.A year ago I would of crumbled and tilted out of my other games but I knew this wasnt an option,I still had a nice stack in the rehab and was in the 5k second chance and 10k freezout both on ladbrokes aswell as being in a decent position in the Euro daily.

I then had a hand that a year ago I would of played differently, there was an EP raiser and I reraised with 10s, the button called and then the EP shoved which pretty much covered me. A year ago I would have snap called this on tilt but I realised I wasnt beating anything and folded. The button called and the showdown was QQ V AJ, to my annoyance a 10 came on the flop and another on the river just to kick me when I was down. A few hands later I busted out with AK and for a time regretted the fold with 10s but at the same time I was happy that I made the correct fold in a tricky spot.

After that I never looked back, even though I was the shortstack with 30 left in the 10k I managed to get a couple of nice donations and then built a stack to enter the final table around 4/10, things were going equally well in the rehab with around 40 left I was chip leader and in the 5k second chance I was sat on the bubble around 13/19. I text Billy (my mentor) the good news and he told me to keep him updated. 30 minutes later there were 25 left in the rehab and im down to 6/25 when another sick beat arrived, I raised on the button with aq and the bb shoved with aj, a jack on the flop and I hit the rail for a little over $100, winning the hand would of given me a monster chip lead. Not soon after I had built a nice stack in the 5k with 13 left and I raised utg with 88, the bb who I viewed to be on tilt after an earlier had shoved for 50 bbs just about covering me.I only had 88 and would never really consider calling 50 bbs with eights however his shove really indicated weakness and I defenately thought I could see an underpair. After much deliberation I called and he showed A3 only to river an ace, again this pot would of made me a decent chip leader.

I wrote out the text to Billy saying things had gone disasterously wrong but didnt send it I was in the 10k around 6/9.My luck suddenly turned as i knocked the short stack out with 5s v 9s, river coming a 5 and not too long after knocked another short stack out with A5 v A6 with me hitting a flush on the turn.From then on I pretty much controlled it 5 handed and was one of the best final tables ive played in a long time.

The reason behind writing this article wasnt to have a brag about my win but it was to highlight if we all make the correct decisions in every game we play we will get the rewards we deserve.