IPT7 Malta 2: Emotional state after a big hand

One often hears players around a poker tournament discussing hands. Actually, you hear them all the time: hotel breakfast buffets, on breaks, at the urinals and anywhere where there's a spare few minutes to be had. To some it's tiresome, to others it's a vital way of getting feedback while the hand is still fresh in the memory.

A player will, more often than not, try to discuss a hand with some intricacies where there could be one, or a number, of key decisions to make. If two big hands matched up then what's the point in discussing it? The hand plays itself, right? Correct, but what about the mental approach to the period after a big hand goes down? Be it on the winning side or the losing side, how does one approach the aftermath?

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Cachia doesn't like kings anymore

If you get unlucky to bust should you vent and get angry at the poker gods for the injustice you've suffered? Jackie "Poker Mama" Cachia suffered a bad beat with pocket kings earlier and was ousted from the tournament. She went looking for girlfriend Lina Teuma who was still in the tournament but couldn't wait until she got near enough to have a normal conversation. Instead she started cursing about her bad luck from two tables away. Teuma quietened her down and listened to the details before she was left to concentrate on her own game. Maybe this was the best way for Cachia to get it out of her system. Her exit didn't come down to a lack of skill and she had no control over her destiny but that didn't seem to enter her mind at the time.

Just before the dinner break, Team PokerStars Pro Mattias De Meulder also put his tournament life on the line with pocket kings. He got his 13,300 in the middle and, after a preflop raising war, found a customer in Cameron Couch who held the dominated pocket queens. The board ran out 8♣6♥5♠3♣8♥ to hand the Belgian a full double up. He was bouncing in his chair and had a big smile upon his face. The poker gods had looked kindly upon him but it didn't take much skill compared the most of the decisions he has to make daily.

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De Meulder loves pocket kings

After raking in the chips, he looked at his Aussie neighbour and said, "Sick!" while beaming with happiness. Were his emotions natural joy or was he trying to use the situation to gain an advantage over his opponent moving forward? In the cold light of day, De Meulder would look at the situation in a very different way with little emotion compared to the emotion he obviously felt at the time. Couch, as laid back as his name, didn't respond or react in the slightest seemingly very in control of his emotions.

Do we allow ourselves to have irrational emotions in rational situations when it's to our advantage? Now flip that on it's head. Can we stop those irrational emotions if we come out on the wrong side of the same situation? Controlling tilt and winners tilt (as they are sometime known) can be one of the hardest things to add to one's game .


Main Event News

The IPT Main Event is winding down to the end of the day and around 65 players remain. The 45-minute Day 1 levels, which the majority of players are in favour of for the smaller buy in Main Events, means that the tournament has gotten further along in the structure.

The thinking is that players prefer to know earlier in these tournaments whether or not a deep run is likely. If it is then great, if not, then better to know earlier and to be able to hop in another of the numerous tournaments on offer that day before registration closes.

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Allesio Peciarolo

Italian Allesio Peciarolo has soared into the chip lead with 240,000. The end of day chip lead is no guarantee at this stage though as he has Henry Broens, (210,000) and Franceso Lombardo (195,000) chasing hm hard. Luca Pagano (120,000), Leonid Lerner (112,000), Matthias De Meulder (70,000), Matas Cimbolas (70,000) and Dara O'Kearney (60,000) are all well positioned to make Day 2.

Those who busted in the last couple of hours include: Kenny Haelert, Balasz Botond, Joao Riberiro, Morten Mortensen, Jason Wheeler, Benny Glaser, Kitty Kuo and Griffin Benger.

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Jason wheeled out

Keep a look out for the end of day wrap to see who's makes it through.

For full details of the festival, click here.

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Updates provided by Marc Convey, with photos coming from René Velli and
Tomáš Stacha.

Marc Convey
@The_Conv in European Poker Tour