Screw Logic: Mental Game Mondays with Jason Su

A common situation:

We’re losing one day, but overall feeling fine.

But then, the hand happens.

Huge pot, lost on the river after all the money’s in, to the one player at the table that kind of irritates us.

And now, we feel it happening.

That stirring, the pain of crossing over the threshold of what we’re able to take before our nervous system starts freaking out.

The beginnings of the possibility of tilt.

And from here, we rely on the tried and true maxims:

“Don’t be results oriented.”

“We got it in good, no need to worry about it.”

and the biggest trap of all,

“Be logical,” followed by whatever you think is logical about the idea that you’ve done your best
work and have less money than you did five minutes ago.

You repeat this mantra over and over, pushing the emotions away, because you’ve got no better alternative.

You feel like you’re taking crazy pills––then lose the rest of your chips.


The truth:

Poker is nuts, and we’re humans.

We have emotional reactions––quite often large ones, that originate inside us, in the body. When we are in tune with these emotions and let them flow freely, we’re able to clear the energy and refocus on what’s next.

But when we skip straight to the “logic,” we’re essentially telling our nervous systems that they’re having the wrong experience.

And so our brain and body are no longer working together––and now we’re officially on tilt.


The key isn’t to stop having emotions––that’s impossible.

It’s to learn how to really feel your feelings in a way that’s clean and complete, so you can feel connected to yourself and regroup your energy.

When you’ve done that, you can actually let that bad beat go for real.

And that version of you can be very logical and do what needs to be done to play your best game, and win all the money.

Till next time,


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