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Tilt & Bad Sleep | Q&A | Smart Poker Study Podcast #10


Sky Matsuhashi

on January 22, 2016

Bad sleep can come about because of tilt and negative emotions surrounding poker.  I help one of you get to sleep better at night and work on your tilt issues.

Download and listen to this episode as you follow along below.


Q&A – Bad Sleep & Tilt | Podcast #10

Today I answered LTU Maximus' question sent in via email:

Hello Sky,

It's me again, I have few mental issues at the moment :

After longer sessions (during the weekends), I mean 4 hours play at least at evening 20:00 – 24:00, i am really struggling with the sleep. I am dreaming poker, cards, situations and etc all night and my sleep is so bad and it's really keeps me tired in the morning. It doesn't matter I have good or bad sessions, might be worse after bad sessions. Any suggestion to clear my mind before sleep and get better sleep? 🙂

Another problems is about Tilt, if I'm loosing big pots no matter against donk with good hand and if I'm ahead, or against very tight NIT and with premium hands, I am starting damn chatting in the chat box. But it happening for 3-5 min after lost… And the worse happening i start feeling bad why I wrote like that and etc…

My main problem and I'm working on it now is to learn how to fold AA, KK, QQ or AK after flop against good tight players or nit… when they reraise me after flop or Turn, it's big leak and I know that in that level 10 NL nearly nobody is bluffing just few really few players capable to do that and including me 🙂

Thanks again Sky!

P.S. trying to catch up your podcasts, just listened first two. 

Good luck!

Thanks LTU Maximus for the email and the great questions.

1. Terrible sleep after poker, regardless +/- session

You need to clear your mind before you go to bed.  End sessions by 11:00 to 11:15.  Read a book, watch tv, fold laundry and do something non-poker related.  A lack of sleep can lead to mental fatigue, which can lead to poor decision making and going on tilt quicker/more often.

Also, don't end your session with review.  When you leave the tables, LEAVE THE TABLES.

You also need to take breaks every hour or so while you play.  Dedicated concentration for too long at a stretch can hurt your brain.

2. Tilting and chatting about it (assuming Maximus is berating the opp)

Read Jared Tendler's book ‘The Mental Game of Poker' and dive into your tilt issues.  I think you suffer from Entitlement Tilt (I do as well although I'm working to get past it).  This is when you feel like you deserve to win and you were robbed when you lose.

When you find yourself with a strong hand, don't think “Yeah, I'm gonna win his stack.”  You should have thoughts like, “How am I going to play this on the flop/turn/river to extract value” and keep paying attention to the action in the hand.  Often you'll find you can throw away AA on the turn or river if you're thinking clearly through the hand and determining the likely strength of your opponent.

NEVER CHAT!!!  I can’t stress this enough.  Don’t let him know he made a mistake or that you're on tilt.  “Don’t tap the tank” totally applies.

3. Can’t lay down good starting hands post flop

Don’t get married to hands. Use those player type tendencies, along with relevant stats and the action in the hand to determine if you’re beat or not.

Do hand history reviews on big pp’s that you lost lots of money with. Look for commonalities in each hand.  What is it that you’re missing that’s causing you to make the mistake of not folding when it’s obvious you’re beat.

Get out of the “I always lose with Aces or Kings” mentality if you’ve got that.

A great general rule of poker is, “Attack weakness, avoid strength.”  Don’t ignore what your opp’s are telling you with their checks, calls, bets and raises.

Podcast Challenge

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode: If you find yourself in any negative mindset over situations in poker like a “My AA always gets cracked” mentality, study this mindset in your next study session.  Find ways to dispel it like going through your database and finding the truth, asking your poker buds about it, or finding an article or podcast that covers it and do some digging.  Chances are you aren’t the first to have this, and there’s a way for you to fix it.


Sky Matsuhashi

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