Tilt in Poker and Magic The Gathering

We’ve had quite a lot of interest in the last week from unexpected sources, I say unexpected sources, I always thought there would be interest but from these but not quite so soon. Poker is similar to so many other disciplines, a book like The Mental Game of Poker was bound to have plenty of transferable skills to offer. I am living proof, as I have used what Jared Tendler has taught me to change my eating habits, learn boxing, manage my time better, and even cope with grief.

So recently we have had a few interesting back and forths from people who have bought the book, not just for poker, but also for Sports Betting, Trading, and Magic the Gathering. I must admit the latter I am least familiar with, but I do know it’s a card game that is structurally & strategically similar to poker (albeit with dragons and warlocks and such). They use a 60 card deck, they have draws, and there is a shit load of variance. 

I’d already done a bit of research into these markets, and all of them come up with quite a lot when you combine their name with ‘tilt’ in a search. In fairness, something like tilt exists in any aspect of life, just it is called anger, but I think there is something unique about the ‘tilt’ that we all know in poker that is likely very similar in sports betting/trading/magic the gathering. Although the following video confused the shit out of me, in a strange way the final few seconds were strangely familiar (Thanks to Kar from http://www.manadeprived.com/ for bringing me up to speed on this):

In all four disciplines there is so much out of your control that you can do everything right and still lose, consistently, for long periods. The reason mental game issues are so prevalent in poker is because most people have a hard time accurately distinguishing skill from variance, separating what they did right/wrong and what was out of their control.

Linked to that is the notion of the unknown, incomplete information. No matter how good a poker player you are, or trader, sports bettor, or magic-er (Is that the term?) – you are relying on your ability to fill in gaps in information. The better you are, the more you can fill in with confidence, but combined with variance this can create a great deal of uncertainty, which can lead to other issues. 

I’m looking forward to learning more about how games like Magic the Gathering have parallels with poker. I apologise if referring to it as ‘dragons and warlocks’ is actually offensive to the guys that play it (I don’t want them to club me with their +1 mace after all).

Check out The Mental Game of Poker whether you are a poker player, trader, or 4th level Paladin.  


Tom said...

Watching that video helps me understand what we must sound like when talking about poker in front of non-players.

Barry Carter said...

LOL - exactly, I thought that too.

Also reminded me of this:


Kevin said...

What's not to understand? He double barreled pocket elves and jammed the lot when he made Dwarfs up on the river. Simple game.

Toby said...

So it is kind of poker with Wizards...sound kind of cool! I am looking forward to reading your book, it is so important to know how to control yourself mentally in Poker, as well as many other areas of life.

Jeff said...

I like this idea, of comparing poker to other disciplines to better understand it. Have a look at my answer post.


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