10/31/2019 by Mark Dizon
Picture this. You have reset stamped your opponent to one. The end game portion of the match has been reached. Time is going to be called soon and you have game next turn. There is a certain sequence of cards that your opponent can hit this turn, but you’ve done the math. Two Dedenne’s on the bench. One in the discard pile. Your opponent has played three cherish balls and three welders. You counted the deck beforehand twenty cards. You estimate with them having the one prize left that they have both the Dedenne and Cherish ball in the deck. You paid attention to your opponent’s grimace as you slammed down that reset stamp. Inside you are screaming for a brick so that you can make day two. You can feel it coming in the air tonight, as you play Phil Colin’s song in your head. You are thinking about when Mike Tyson punched Ed in the face in tune with the music in the seminal 2010’s comedy The Hangover. Your Opponent draws for stamp. Not a good look. They draw for turn and there face immediately lights up. You say a word in your head that I cannot type in this article. They slam the freshly drawn Cherish Ball find a Dedenne GX. They Dedechange and before you know it their back in their deck searching for two fires. Weldering, slamming two custom catchers and extending the hand to you.
At this point, you don’t know what to think. You played to your outs. You played tight. Your opponent got so lucky, you got so unlucky. It starts to build up inside of you. Anger, you can feel it bubbling up from your stomach to your mouth. You look at your friends in frustration. As you sign the slip and give your opponent a half-assed handshake. As soon as you see the person out of ear-shot you begin to word vomit. Slowly, you roll up your playmat, and shove your deck in your deckbox. Your friend comes over and you vomit everything up. THEY DREW WHAT THEY NEEDED! I NEEDED THEM TO WHIFF! HOW COME THIS ALWAYS HAPPENS TO ME! ARGHHHHHH . Your face is red. If this was a cartoon, steam would be coming out of your ears. You are visibly mad. And why shouldn’t you be. You are on tilt. The wheels have come off.
Tilt, such a simple four letter word. Used in the past to describe things people would do to make sure you wouldn’t lose your ball in Pinball. Now used in gaming to describe when we are off-balanced or tilting, tilted. Trust me that situation described above has happened to almost every player and it has happened to me as well. Shout out to Andre Chiasson from Ontario, who is the most unlucky player I know and this article is dedicated to him.
We are all guilty of tilting. It is really hard to prevent it. However, learning how to prevent and control will help you learn to win more. How many times have you lost to someone and made an excuse for things such as I drew all energy, I Sycamored into all pokemon, Ugh. I mean we have all be there. I remember watching in a recent Toronto League Cup where a player told a first-year master that all their accomplishments in Seniors were invalid due to seniors being free. When this first-year master beat this masters player, in a welder and friends mirror, the Masters player who had been talking smack, stormed from the table in frustration, bemoaning his said luck. There is a pattern in all this when we lose, tilt is generally the result of being entitled.
Whenever you sit across from someone there is generally a favourite in the matchup. If you think you are the better player, then you will be on the end of a lot of upsets. This is the nature of any game that presents variance. You can’t control variance, however, you can control how you handle it. If you look at how tournaments can go, either you are in top 8 of a league cup or you are 0-2 dropping. That’s what Variance is a lot of the time. Here are some ways to stop tilting.
STOP TALKING ABOUT HOW YOU LOSE
Bad beat stories. A lot of the time we are upset. They got the one outer against me ugh, my opponent top decked the versus seeker ugh. Stop focusing on the negative, it’s only going to keep the negative. I talked about in an earlier article that I wrote, about how it sucks to ask “how are you doing, because everyone assumes that it’s about their record and not enough times that it’s about them as a player. Most players will go in depth on how everything went wrong for them and how everything went right for them. If you have just lost, do you really want to hear how you’re friend also lost last round. It just puts more loss in your head and in you are trying not to lose anymore. I generally don’t tell people how I am doing in a tournament when asked. I tell them I having a good day. Focus on hanging out with your friends and stop talking about your bad beats.
CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
Focus on what you can do to help you win your match. Forget about how you punted in a previous round and focus on how you are going to try to take control of this round. You cannot let your mind not be present. There are a lot of advantages gained, and their will always be distractions around you. Not focusing on your match fully is a disservice to yourself. I know I have won rounds at the start of day 2 because my opponents are tired and I am not. Make sure you focus on what is important in the present and it will lead to more game wins.
STOP FEELING ENTITLED
The best people might consistently make top 8’s but they do not always win. Take that in stride. The best player in the room doesn’t always win. None of us deserve to win. Thinking like this can be extremely toxic to your mindset. It is absolutely normal to sometimes feel frustrated when you see someone that you perceive worse than you having great results. However, you need to focus on what you are doing and not others. Everyone felt Shintaro was favoured to be Henry, and that Henry was a longshot. However Henry had already had amazing results in Ocenia and on the main stage at Worlds he everything came together and he took the tournament down. I can guarantee you Shintaro thought he had that Worlds in the bag and would become a two-time World Champion.
YOU ARE ON THE GOOD SIDE OF VARIANCE
I know we talk about how lucky our opponents get. Do you ever talk about how lucky you got? That story I wrote at the top. It’s a true story, but I was the person topdecking the Cherish Ball for Dedenne. This is one thing I have realized about the Variance of the Game. I need to remember the times that I got lucky, the times I won because my opponent got unlucky. If you pay attention Variance should balance out. If we look at someone like Zach Lesage he had no huge finishes in the 17/18 Season and had more weighted finishes last year during the 18/19 Season. The more you play the more opportunity you will get.
SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO TAKE A STEP BACK
If you aren’t following James Arnold on Twitter, give him a follow at WamesPTCG. He truly says some great thought-provoking things. He really hit a chord with a tweet recently reminding players they aren’t judged as a person based on their championship point and event finishes. Sometimes you do need to take a step back. When you take a bad loss, sometimes its correct to walk away and get refocused. So don’t be afraid to do it.
So there you have it, some ways to get past that tilting. Stop telling bad beat stories, focus on your matches and know you are going to get lucky eventually. If you are in Richmond this weekend Good Luck! I am excited to see the new format.
Until Next Time,
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