Looking at Poker Results

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Losing Stress Podcast Ep 36 – Looking at Poker Results

A look into the possibility of freeing the mind from the psychological burden that results from looking at poker results. Practical and essential listening for all poker players.

[00:00] Hey! This is Chiggs! It’s another Losing Stress Podcast. In this episode, I want to discuss something I think will be incredibly practical and useful for poker players who are interested in relieving some of the mental issues that do arise with playing poker.

Mind Investigation Call

[00:19] And it’s actually something that was brought up in a mind investigation call with someone that I had recently at the weekend.

This mind investigation call (was supposed to be a one hour call but it ended up being two hours) was part of a giveaway on Instagram.

So if you are interested in having a conversation and a dialogue about:

then do look out on my Instagram because I will be offering a mind investigation giveaway at some point, probably very soon.

Useful Insight for Online Poker Players

[01:00] And so getting back to the topic of this podcast, what I wanted to discuss was what came up in the conversation.

This player that I talked to was an online MTT player and what he found was that if he didn’t look at his results or he only looked at his results every two weeks he found that that gave him a lot more freedom from the struggle that does result from playing poker.

[01:29] So if results weren’t going well and because he wasn’t able to see his results for two weeks he wasn’t getting that constant stimulus from seeing results every day.

And then having to deal with that: having to deal with the mind automatically processing that; having it become part of your knowledge and then having the whole mechanism of your thoughts, emotions and behaviours react to this.

[01:55] And to me, this was very interesting because I’ve spent the last 18 months delving into and looking into the possibility of breaking out of this psychological struggle that does result from playing poker. Professionally especially.

[02:11] And so whilst a simple observation like not looking at your results for two weeks if you do play online results in less tilt seems very obvious and simple, who really putting that into action?

So that they can go ahead and play better and put in more volume.

I would imagine in the online professional player pool that that is happening very rarely.

But if you’ve looked into this whole psychological struggle and you’re very interested and really passionate about your own well-being and you do want it to end then this observation is very profound.

Because if you play online there is this opportunity (supposing your well bankrolled and you have enough money online) to just go ahead and play without the money aspect coming into play.

Just simply playing for the sake of trying to play your best and work out the strategic decisions. Rather than have the money aspect or expectation of wanting to do well in a tournament come into play.

[03:20] That last point is a point that we have discussed in a previous podcast. With the Expectations in Poker podcast (EP 25).

[03:28] And so, what we’re really trying to highlight here is that if you’re in a stable bankroll and stable economic position, say with your life expenses, and you do play online then there is this opportunity there to go ahead and not let the psychological issues that surround poker take hold.   

So you’re simply just playing poker as a game where you’re doing your best to make good decisions.

[03:58] And what we have uncovered here (just to make this point go in a certain direction because I think it’s important to go in this direction) is that ignorance when it comes to knowing your poker results, up until a point, is beneficial in the psychology of the mind.

[04:16] Going one step further, not allowing the mind to fixate on the results of a certain session or a certain day or even a certain tournament frees the mind from thinking about it and having this emotional reaction occur.

[04:33] The unfortunate thing is that this isn’t appreciated as something quite profound.

Especially because you can observe it on a platform like Instagram. Which I’m fairly active on.

You can see that people are posting their poker results, perhaps to grow an Instagram account in some way, and grow a presence on Instagram but it does make you wonder whether behind the scenes of their Instagram account they are suffering in some way.

And it’s a very unfortunate thing. Because one can see there is that ignorance there (a different troubling one to the one mentioned about looking at poker results) i.e. not knowing and not seeing what the root of the issue is and how there is this possibility to break out of it.

Useful Insight for Live Poker Players

[05:20] Now, if you’re listening to this thinking,

“OK, this is all great Chiggs! But this situation that you’ve talked about, playing online, doesn’t cover my personal situation at all because I play live poker.”

Then let’s see if we can look at this as well.

[05:40] if you are playing live poker you’re so involved with the handling of money. It’s so intrinsically a part of the environment.

In live cash games, it’s very obviously there.

And if you’re playing live tournaments it’s a bit less so because there’s that barrier because you’re playing with chips. You’re not directly handling money.

[06:00] But, no matter what, supposing you play in a casino, you’ll have to go to a cage/cash desk; you have a deposit or you withdraw money. Essentially, you’re going to meet the stimulus of money when you do play live quite clearly.

And so unlike online poker where you can put up the shutters and not necessarily look at the money, it’s there; you’re going to look at it. It is there.

So is there something still that we can do about this?

[06:28] To look into this, we can’t simply just jump to a solution.

You have to look at this very carefully.

To see that, when I go to the casino, for example, I’m going to go ahead go get my deposit out and take a certain amount of chips out. And then go to play (supposing I’m playing cash games) and then go back to the cage/cash desk and deposit back on.

In that, I’m seeing my money go up and down.

[06:57] And so if you don’t want a psychological burden or a psychological reaction to necessarily occur from the day-to-day change of money in your balance when you do play poker.

Then it inherently requires looking at the way your mind reacts to the winning and the losing.

And what does this reaction occur in?

[07:20] The reaction occurs in your

  • thoughts;
  • feelings; perhaps, for example, feeling more confident if you’re winning;
  • behaviours.

[07:33] And so it really requires this awareness, of looking at what’s going on within your own mind.

And something that to me is obvious, simply because I’ve looked at this whole meditation approach quite extensively now, for a decent length of time, this reaction that does happen has to be looked at the time it occurs.

Or as close to the time as it occurs as possible.

Because if you start to look at what happened yesterday then what is this entity that’s looking back to the past and trying to analyse what’s happened?

This entity, that is, this commentator, this analyser, this thinker looking back aims to use its knowledge to figure this thing out. Look at it and then from that learn a lesson, then move on.

But the issue with this is that is limited. In that, it is completely built up from what you have come across and stored up from the past.

So you might look at a situation:

Say, for example, you reacted in a strong way to losing a lot in the casino the day before.

Then you might look at that the next day. The memory, might pop up in your mind and then what the mind does is it starts to look at what happened, which is not the actual thing that did happen because it is just a memory, it looks at it and then tries to compare it against a model of what you think should have happened.

[09:16] And in this, in this patterned way, which we call analysis, the mind builds up this conclusion for what we’re going to do to change to not have this event and reaction to occur again.

And so what’s happening here, is that this analyser tries to come up with a solution.

[09:37] But the issue with this is that the knowledge that you have can never quite be complete because it is made up of everything from the past.

And also, the memory of what happened is still not quite the actual thing that did happen.

And so, you’re trying to look at something with a toolset that isn’t complete. And you’re also not looking at the exact thing you want to be looking at itself.    

Effectively, you’ve got this approximating tool looking at this approximation to what happened. And so the whole thing can never quite be complete.

So having understood this, naturally, there is this necessity to look at the issue when it occurs at the time.

[10:25] And unfortunately, this doesn’t happen automatically with the mind.  Our brains aren’t wired in this way to be aware automatically.

And that’s where this whole awareness approach to playing poker comes into play.

[10:40] That’s why I’ve been exploring to understand this effortless awareness and this effortless meditation that comes about without the use of time.

And there is this wonderful opportunity to apply an understanding of the mind in the moment and apply meditation within and around the context of actually playing so that this psychological struggle is either:

  • less damaging on the mind or;
  • doesn’t occur whatsoever.

The Main Takeaway

{11:15} And on that note, I think that’s a good point to start to wrap up this podcast.

What we’ve essentially covered, the main takeaway here is that looking at poker results, day-to-day, session-to-session, leads to this struggle and this confusion within the mind.

So if the possibility exists for yourself if you say play online, then for your own well-being and the for the health of your mind as well the potential for being successful in poker, only looking at poker results every two weeks or every month, is an intelligent thing to do.

[11:55] But if you’re not in that fortunate position and you are having to look at results day-to-day, session-to-session then playing with this awareness is an absolute necessity.

[12:09] So I’m going to leave it there guys.

As always I’ll be on Instagram, I’m @lChiggsl.

Take care! I’ll speak again soon.