How to deal with impatience and anxiety at the table.
I started playing poker about a month ago, mainly 5 and 10NL cash games on Ignition and BCP. I've taken a few of your courses, and think I understand the concepts you laid out for us pretty well, at least on an intellectual level. The problem is that I usually have to wait a long time during my sessions for a decent opportunity to be very active in a hand. This really gets to me psychologically, especially when I'm running badly and can't even win smaller hands, and all your lessons seem to fly out the window when this happens. And sometimes this causes me to tilt, which makes matters even worse. I'm having a hard time implementing what I know because I lose control like this. Do you have any mental game strategies or other tips on how to stay mentally balanced when waiting for the right spots to play in?
If you having some control and tilt problems, i would read The Mental Game Of Poker by Jared Tendler. I'm in the process of putting his logic into my game and i instantly saw the results of me not tilting as much. His book can be overwhelming but just start reading and pick out little thing to slowly stop your tilt. I would recommend his audio book. It is my first audio book and i find it so much easier for this type of material to listen in bed or while driving to work.
I'd recommend reading or listening to Mental Game of Poker, just like crance99 said. The problem with online poker and our society today is that we're accustomed to instant gratification where waiting is pure agony. In poker, we can hours of bad cards and not making any good hands, where patience is our friend. Working on your mental game and tilt control with a book such as The Mental Game of Poker might help.
I can let you know i have been doing great psychologically for the last 2 weeks after reading his book. I set up structure to my playing with a sheet to track my every day. It included what to watch for when heading into tilt, track my variance, goals working on. It has been a life saver until last night. I decided to not fill it out and have it near me. After wining 3 buy-ins early in the day, i ended up giving back over 2 buy-ins. Normally i would have hit my time goals and stopped before this happened. Or i would have quit after reading one of my statements i put on my sheet. I know i was Hate Loosing Tilt, so i knew a unlucky hand or 7 i kept grind back to even before it happened again. If i read this statement from "The Mental Game of Poker" i would have quit, (not exact quote) Everything that is important for a successful poker player is opposite of human nature. No one wants to quit when loosing. They want to chase losses, but quit early when ahead. When a good poker player is running well they want to stay. When its bad (Variance) they want to quit.
I hope this helps.