Re: Online vs Live
I've got a theory about this, why some players tilt easier in live games vs online ones, it's hardly gospel but definitely worth thinking about. Please note that none of this is criticism and i certainly don't think i have all the answers, I'm just trying to shed light on why people have different reactions in the same situations, perhaps seeing something you do and realising why you do it will help to improve your game.
When someone plays online it's a fast paced game, probably multiple tables, maybe some turbo's but decisions have to be snappy, there's time but there's not much of it and you have the pressure always in the back of your head to make the right decision quickly.
Now irrespective of how you play, this is going to have an affect on your body and brain. The main one is Adrenalin but there are others. The amounts of these chemicals goes up when your'e doing something strenuous (mentally or physically) and goes up even more when you're stressed. Like when you receive a beat, or even give one.
On the flip side however, you have the live game, where it's much slower paced and you are forced to be patient, even if you're playing twice as many hands live than online it's still going to be slower than playing all those tables and this too has an effect on your brain, albeit a much calmer one.
Now how you react to these emotions and these chemical changes is the main thing that will effect your game. Most of the players here seem to be in the group that tilts more online than live especially from a beat. This is because when you get a shot of chemicals or adrenalin from being sucked out on (or whatever your tilt-trigger is) your brain actually functions on a more instinctual level and uses less concious thought.
For those of you who have issues with this i would suggest that you're probably Synthetic Learners (for my theory on this please see that post) and you're relying on higher brain functions or concious thought to play your A game of poker. Therefore when your brain is forced into more instinctual thought patterns you play less well and more emotionally which for you is sub-par.
In live games, for us Synthetic types it's much less of a problem because there's less chemicals flowing around and stuffing up our thoughts and there's more time to ponder and process all the information, so we play our A game when we have plenty of time and less pressure. This doesn't mean we play badly online, just that our brains work differently.
SEABEAST, you say the opposite, well i have a theory for you too, i believe that you are what i call a "Natural" which basically means that poker comes naturally to you and that you don't need concious thought to play your A game, it probably just helps a little, so you have the opposite problem. You like to play online because your brain is getting all that lovely adrenalin and you can play mostly instinctual poker and still crush because you know what's going on in a hand at an basic brain level.
However, when you sit down at a live game, your brain is trained to accept all this information at such a quick rate and spew out instinctual answers just as quickly. Subconciously you're going to be trying to play as much as you do when you're playing online and therefore play more hands because that's what you're brain is used to. By having someone there to distract you, it's giving you all that input that you get when you're playing online, so you're still able to play at such a high level although slower. Plus you get the added bonus of having a good conversation!
Now how do you combat both of these problems you ask? Well scandieslol made a number of fantastic suggestions for us Synthetic players playing online and he's right, there's no one answer fits all but i would add my thoughts to his list.
Take a deep breath and break your thought patterns for a second, think about things that distract you, counting from z to a is a good one but you might try remembering what was on TV last night or do some arbitrary maths anything that is fairly quick but will distract your brain from the emotions it's going through. Stopping is obviously the best one as time is the best medicine but if you're looking for a quick fix (and don't laugh) fantasizing over some hot babe (or guy if you're into that) is a really good way of breaking an emotional pattern.. And that's just what your brain needs if you're tilted. Some more PC ways of doing this include Meditation and Massage but one requires training to be properly effective and the other requires you to have someone to knead your shoulders.
For you Naturals out there i'm much less positive about my answer but if i was to hazard a guess about how to improve live play i'd say you've already worked out how to do it; talk to a friend, play some music you like, think about the blog post you're going to write up when you get home, watch the game on the big screen which is near the table and wonder why that ref is such a tool, you're trying to increase the amount of input your brain is getting to fake it into thinking there's more going on than there actually is. You don't need to think about the poker as much so have that conversation and a beer just don't let yourself get bored, you'll start playing more hands because your subconscious want's the action and the adrenalin which is so bad for people like me (Synthetics).
Hope you guys get something out of this, i certainly got something out of writing it.