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Transitional Tilt

I'd like to take a moment to discuss a phenomenom I've been experiencing for quite some time, but could only identify yesterday. The subject today, boys and girls, is Transitional Tilt, which I define as Tilt that occurs when one transitions from a live game to an online game. But first, some background.

I played at Robbie Hole's home game last night. The game started shorthanded, Hole, Roose, me and Ilan. We played some .50/1 stud which was a nice change of pace. My one big hand came when Ilan and I were heads-up. I had 82/2 to start. He hit an Ace on the fourth or fifth street and began betting out. I knew he had Aces, but I decided to go forward hoping to two-pair. My next cards were 82/24Q4. On the last card, Ilan accidentally dealt the cards up. I hit my third 4. Rather than re-deal face down, I said it was no big deal and bet out. He folded. The pot was big enough at this point, and since he was dealer, I figured this was the logical solution. If anything, it saved him $1 and secured me the pot without being penalized for his error. After that, the rest of the players came in. It seemed like a good time to change things up and we agreed to a $20 rebuy tournament, with rebuys for the first hour. Upon calculating the cash game results, I was down $0.25. Another player was up $0.50. In the end, we decided to pretend that the cash game never happened, and left our cash game buy-in as the tournament buy-in.

Excuse me for all of the details. I will get to Transitional Tilt. But first, the tournament. The table was set up list this: Seat 1: Me, Seat 2: Ilan, Seat 3: Randy Hole, 4: Rob Hole, 5: Scott, 6: Roose, 7: JR, 8: Peter. Peter was a rookie, and I gave him tips along the way, even telling him at one point that if he was going to call, he better just move all-in. He had 2x the (very high) BB at the time. For newer player without the requisite logic skills (which are by no means standard), this move may not be as obvious to the rest of us. No one complained when I helped. It was that type of game. Scotty particularly is a social player and plainly said so.

The beautiful thing about the tournament is that I didn't bluff at all until we were three-way. Instead, I just overbet my premium hands and more often than not got paid off. For instance, I had QQ in the BB. Ilan raises from 50 to 100. There re 4 callers. I raise it to 500 (we start with 2000 and it was relatively early). Ilan calls but everyone else folded. The flop was Q23. I bet out 500. He folded. I showed the table. Later, I call a minimum raise (100/200 blinds) with AQ from the SB. The raise came from Roose, so I knew it meant business. I even said, "Min raises make baby jesus cry." Several people laughed. In total at least four people called the min raise. The flop was QJx. I bet 1000 and took it down.

I later took out Peter and Scotty with my QQ pre-flop. I raised big, Scotty pushed, and Peter, god bless him, called with QJh. I called, and Scotty had me slightly covered in chips. Fortunately, no help came for his AK or Peter's QJh. Booya.

In the next hand I was dealt AKh so I bet it up the EXACT amount I bet with the QQ, and several people called. The flop was As6s6c. I bet out again and got two callers. The turn was a Xc, giving two flush draws. I raised big again and got a caller AND someone to call all-in. The river was an offsuit blank. I bet out and Ilan, the other caller, folded. Both players were on the club flush draw and I took down the pot.

I was so damn on and I think a lot of the table knew it. I didn't get Roose's usual crap about betting with nothing. Damn it, he probably has me read. Scott and Peter clearly had high regards for my game. In fact, in a conversation about the WSOP Circuit Events, Scott, who is already generous with cash, offered to buy a piece of me....without me even asking. Damn that felt good. He flat out said that I take the game seriously and know what I'm doing. Now, Scott isn't a pro, but it's nice to see that someone has high regards for my game. This confidence booster does a lot for my mental state AND my game. So, thanks Scott. I look forward to taking you up on your offer.

In the end, it was between JR, me and Ilan. JR is a steely player. I mean, he actually THINKS about his hand and the action at the table, which is uncommon for this homegame. I know that when he bets, he means business, especially early on. When it got down to three, he minimum raised my big blind a couple of times in a row and I folded. Finally with J4 in the BB, I decided to see a card. I called. The flop was J-high. He pushed. I called. He showed AK and I took down the pot.

Ilan and I decided to chop. He had me covered by a little bit, so I took $110 and he took $130. All in all, it was a +$90 night, which brings my 2006 total to +$40 (because of a $ 50 deposit online earlier this month; I'm seriously considering withdrawing $50 online just to offset that deposit).

When I got home, wifey Kim was sleeping on the couch. I sat down to read some blogs, but GCox and TripJax were online, so I decided to chat with them for a bit. In the meanwhile, I openned the new site and played a hand or two of Limit Omaha 8b. Or at least I thought it was 8b. In fact, it was just Omaha hi, so when I hit the nut low and jammed, I was being an uber donkey. After that hand, I closed the poker sites for the night.

Now, before I started playing online, Trip suggested that I play and "donk off my winnings." He was joking, of course, but the truth was that I knew I'd lose. I was not in the right mood or mode to play online poker, but I still had that residual urge from the home game.

I think when I make the transition, I naturally start on a sort of tilt. I'm not playing my best game at all. I think it may be because I'm playing out of an urge, the urge to continue the live game. And plainly the games are different. I either over-compensate for the difference and play too loose or under compensate and play too timid. No matter what, it's never a good thing. And, if I play more poker live, like on vacation to Vegas or AC, I need even more downtime from online poker before I can go back with a level head. Hell, I needed 4 days or so when I went to Vegas!

So all of that talk about the game comes down to this question: Do you feel a form of tilt when you switch from live games to online games immediately? I do.

This post is brought to you by the letter A, the number 10, and the suit spade!

posted by Jordan @ 9:59 AM,


At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on the tournament. Gotta love those + months. I haven't played enough to feel a difference from live to online. The tilt I've discovered I'll refer to as delayed tilt. If I'm winning online and keep going, things are ok. If, however, I'm winning (say a tourney), and then I jump off for a few hours, and then get back to a cash game, I tilt hard and donk off most of what I won earlier. Gotta find the willpower to avoid those scenarios...

At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm very glad you did not take my advice.

BTW, I bubbled in that SNG. Damnit. I enjoyed "My Station" though.

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh and to answer your question, I don't think so. They are so different for me that I don't relate the two. I rarely, if ever, play live and then play online. Usually when I play live it is late and I'm whipped so I just hit the sack. And I often don't play online the next day if I played live the day before. I usually take a break for Wifeys sake...

Very good question though...

At 3:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tilt? What's that?

At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to start all online sessions by pushing too hard to get that confidence boosting first pot under my belt.

I blame not smokin' enough .Later on I'm far more patient and willing to fold fold fold before rammin' and jammin' when required.

I get last hand sydrome too sometimes and donk off chips just before leaving.

Just need to figure how out to start and leave in the middle part of the game...


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