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Patrick Leonard: Coping With Tilt

TAGs: Patrick Leonard

Lee Davy shares his tilt loaded Extended Levels experience, and asks Patrick Leonard for some advice on how to prevent a reoccurrence in the future.

In this short interview I speak to Britain’s Patrick Leonard about a period of tilt that I experienced in the Extended Levels tournament, and how it affected my subsequent play in the next hour.

Patrick Leonard: Coping With TiltLeonard, a former PocketFives world number one, playing as pads1161, proceeds to give me some great advice on how to remove ego from the situation, and to use hypnotherapy and guided meditation to cure my ills.

It was a wonderful piece of advice, from a wonderful young man, and a wonderful poker player. I would go on to make Day 2 before busting 100 off the money. Leonard would go much deeper, finishing in 22nd place after pocket queens cracked his pocket kings. I was eliminated when pocket sevens cracked my pocket kings.

How has the first part of the series been for you, because I know you were really looking forward to it when we last spoke?

“I came into the series with very high expectations. I wanted to cash more than anyone else, and final table more than anyone else, but I have had a reality check; not in terms of my own ability, but in terms of variance. Because I have run so well during the past 12-months, I thought I could come into the series and steamroller everybody. But the fields are so big, and the variance is huge. Moving forward I am going to remove those expectations and just focus on playing good poker.”

Earlier in the tournament I lost all-in pre flop: KK<A4dd for a 70bb pot. I thought I was ok. I wasn’t. I was clearly tilting, and then played three hands very badly against a player I knew was bullying me. Can you remember a time when things like that affected you?

“Anybody that says they don’t take those types of beats badly is lying. It’s frustrating for everyone. If a player gets lucky against me I try to win every hand from them. I’m not talking about winning every pot, but by outplaying them and folding when I need to, I can win every hand. Outplaying someone does not mean you have to win the pot. Folding at the right time is also a form of outplaying your opponent.

“It is something I used to do. I would over defend three-bets. I would four-bet too frequently, and also peel too much. When you look down at your hand and see ace-nine, you raise from late position, and he re-raises you. Don’t worry about it. You will have so many other hands that you can open. Just fold, and wait. It’s important to understand that when you look at your hand to be thinking of your whole range. You shouldn’t think: “Ok, I have ace-nine, I am going to four bet him and win the hand,” you have so many other hands that you will take pots from him, that you don’t have to play this one particular hand.”

I struggle with the spontaneity of things, both in poker and outside of poker. I act incorrectly in the heat of the moment, and then realize this afterwards, by which time it’s too late. Any advice on how to combat this?

“I use hypnotherapy, and guided meditation. For example, I know you did well in The Colossus. So look back at yourself playing in that event. Imagine yourself standing behind you. Look at how you were in control of the table, making great plays, raising at the right time and folding at the right time. Now stand behind yourself playing in the Extended Levels tournament, specifically at the period when you were tilting and playing badly against this person. Now compare the two. Who would you rather be?

“The first person should inspire you. The second person should annoy you. Every time you play a tournament you want to be that first guy. You do not want to be the second guy. Make sure that you think about these two scenarios frequently. I do this when I play online. I have a vision of me playing great, solid poker, using my HUD wisely, and I also have a vision of me playing badly and punting off my stacks. It inspires me to be that first guy, and annoys me to be that second guy.”

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