All The Aces Daily Poker Column

Passive Tilt and the Importance of Focus in Poker

Don't play poker when your confidence is low and your mind is scattered...

Passive Tilt: Don't let the Big Dogs intimidate you!

If you have taken the decision to move up to a higher stake game than you would normally play, watch for what we call “passive tilt”. This can seriously erode your winnings. How do you spot if it’s happening? Simple. If you lose the confidence to aggressively pursue a good hand. If you in any way feel intimidated by the raises that come into play at the new higher level you have chosen, you should call a halt before any damage is done. It’s easy to slip back to a comfort zone at a lower stakes level and re-group. The worse thing that can happen to any poker player is a loss of confidence. A higher limit game can often trigger it.

The best quote we’ve heard for a while came from the legendary Doyle “The Texas Dolly” Brunson on noticing a massive pile of chips in front of movie super star and wild poker fan Ben Affleck at the Bellagio. “I see he’s brought the Hollywood Hills with him!”

Q: I won a particularly large pot online a little while ago during a heads up. My opponent folded in the face of my big raise. He hammered me through the chat box to reveal what my cards had been. He claimed it was just so he could learn from his decision to fold. I refused. Your thoughts?
A: We have the view that if you want to see someone’s cards you need to pay for the pleasure. The showdown defines a player. If someone folds they give up the right to win or to learn anything except that folding means you lose. Your refusal to respond defines you. Good call.

Q: What is the function of the “auto post blinds” box?
A: Let’s say you’ve had a winning streak and you feel you really should quit while you’re ahead. You don’t have to quit right away. You can usually see a few more hands for free before you get hit for the blinds again. Uncheck the “auto post blinds” box. This means you will be “asked” before you have to commit chips to the blinds. It gives you pause to think and decide if this is really the time to end your streak without actually leaving the table.

The Importance of FOCUS in poker: concentrate on what YOU are doing!
Power Poker Secrets: Online Poker Cheat
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We see a lot of people in the office playing Hold’em online. They don’t shut down their email program, they don’t turn off their instant messaging client or close their web browser. That’s the three perfect ways to lose focus. All we need now is a secretary to cross her legs nearby and we’re on the way to the poor house. You get the picture? Focus! -- Focus!

ALL THE ACES poker column:
Tuesday November
 22, 2005: 
Passive Tilt, and the Importance of Focus in Poker