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Mike the Dealer - Fighting 'Tilt'

A loyal reader writes in and asks:

Happened to me one day. I got beat. My two pair got busted at the river by a set. 
Now, I understand in poker, stuff like that just happens, and many others have taken worse beats. 
Ordinarily, I can shake off unfortunate things like that. Random chance? Yeah, I can handle that.

But in this case I felt I ALLOWED this beat to happen. I got too cute with my betting, thinking that, 
by stringing my opponent along, I could extract more and more money from him after each card. 
If I had applied more pressure on my opponent earlier, I would have closed out the hand on the turn, 
and avoided the river entirely.

I was mad. I got beat because of my stupid play. 
I was on tilt after that, and I didn't last much longer at the table.

My question is: how do you regain your composure after you suffer such a blow?

Wait, I can answer this one: You get used to it after a while.
Sorry, Mike, you go ahead.

I can't say exactly what happened in the hand, since I don't know the blinds/stack sizes/etc, but this does 
sound like a case of getting unlucky, as the two pair was a big favorite going into the river and lost. 
Now did our reader bet to little and give the opponent the right pot odds? Possible but not likely unless 
the pocket pair was big and could have made a better two pair (Let's say the opponent had Kings, 
our reader has 8-7s, flop comes out 2-8-7, now our reader can lose if a 2 or K comes up, 
or if the turn and river pair themselves, like running J-J or something of that kind)
But the real question is, how to fight tilt. The biggest thing is to shake off a hand after you've played it. 
If you have time to go over it in your head, so do, but if you catch a playable hand right away, you have to play it. 
My suggestion would be to play any big hand you get right after a tough beat in a very straight forward manner, 
let's if you got a big pocket pair, I'd raise big pre flop and then push all in on the flop as long as an Ace didn't come out. 

The other thing is people might think your on tilt and treat your strong betting as the actions of an angry person, 
you'll get a lot more action in this spot then normal just because of your 'table image'.

If it's a cash game and you're tilted and upset, the best play is to just leave, nothing can benefit you by staying 
when you're in a bad mood. One of the keys to playing winning poker is always being in a good frame of mind. 
If the game is a really good one and the money is just being given away, then maybe just take a quick walk, 
15-20 minutes clear your head and see if you can still play, but if you're still making reckless, angry plays, then it's time to go.
In a tournament you don't have the option of walking away, as blinds and antes will eat away at your stack 
if you decide to take a walk. If you get a few hands to fold, then fold them. Take a few minutes to work out 
how the last hand played out. Were you unlucky, or did you screw it up? If you did screw it up, how are you 
going to fix it for the next time you get into a spot like that? What was the mistake, did you misread your opponent 
or did you have the right read but the wrong plan? Relax, just deal with the new reality, what is your stack size? 
What are the blinds at? Who's got more chips them you at the table, who's got less? 
Just keep your head in the game, and hopefully things will turn around.

I'll always answer any and all poker questions, if you have any send them to

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