Saturday, September 6, 2014

Guest Blog: Chris Baker on Tilt

Earlier this week, I wrote about one of my recent episodes of tilt. I admit I was still pretty steamed when I wrote that post, and I think it came out in what I wrote. Chris Baker, Standard Pauper enthusiast, host of SPDC, and author of The Draft Brewery, took the time to send me a lengthy response via E-mail. It was so good I wanted to share it here. So here's Chris, in his own words, on how to deal with tilt.

There are things in life you have control over and things that you do not.  What other people think about you, how other people react to situations / react to your writing etc - you cannot control.  The cards in your opening 7, the cards on top, etc - you cannot control. 

Is is pointless to care about things that are not in your control.  It's like buying a lottery ticket, not winning, and being sad about it.  It's like having a favorite sports team and becoming depressed when they lose.  I see that all the time and I think it's a joke.

Sometimes other people like us.  Sometimes the deck likes us and we draw perfects, right on time.  When it doesn't, my advice is to simply not care.  The reason is because the consequences are nonexistent.  The more you care the more hurt you feel.  You lost one match in a league that has 4 rounds.  It's just not a big deal.  You still can go 3-1 and make Top8.  You could lose out every other round but you play the game for the chance to get good draws and crush people, too.  The results are unknown.  The fact that your game 1 would have been so drastically different with just one land is a tough pill to swallow because it is a "so close but so far" scenario. 

Round 8, fighting to stay alive for Day 2 for my team at GPPortland.  I kept a solid 2 land hand on the draw and I drew 13 land in my first 19 cards in library in game 3 where my match would be the decider.  The first 3 lands on top were perfect, but the rest were garbage.   I barely lost and I got the opponent down to 3 life with multiple Lightning Strikes in the deck.  I was pissed.  Any spell would have done it at basically any point.  I forgot about it by the next day and was beating Rietzl, Sperling, and DWilliams in a team draft the next day.

Had the closest game imaginable G2 against DW where his Ancient Silverback abyssed me for 14 turns.  I finally drew a second white source by turn 10 so that I could play white creature + Spirit Bonds activation to stay alive (I was down to 6 life) on a stable board except for the Gorilla) and then had Rogue's Gloves to draw more gas to chump his beats more.  I bricked a few too many turns in a row with dead land draws and that was it.  I rolled him with a nut-draw game 3.  I had control of the cards I drafted for my deck the and for the decision to barely stay alive all game 2 instead of conceding when it looked super grim.  I was not in control of my draws but game 3 I got rewarded.  Either way, I was happy to win and get a sick draw but I don't care much about that because I wasn't in control of that game 3.  Game 2 was the tightest, most fun game I've played in this format and I would love to be in that situation again. 

Big picture - losing you Mono-Red mirror match does not influence your success in life nor should it affect your happiness.  It can if you let it, but I don't think it should. 

When you focus on creating a positive disposition in your mind that isn't dependent on perfect results to be happy, I find that it's easier to let go.  The only thing you can control is how you react, perceive, and deal with the cards that show up in the game and in life.  No one gets dealt perfect cards 100% of the time.  I admire people who do the best to turn the crappy hands into the best possible.  In magic, in means never conceding until you are actually killed.  It means mulling to 5 and thinking about the decision of mulling to 4 or not because you did not lose yet.  The decision matters.  You think, you fight, you try your best to win with what is given to you.  That is respectable and is what I learned from competitive sports as a junior in tennis.  I was down 0-5 in my Conference Finals senior year and I won that set 7-5 and then the match.  When your back is against the wall you will either crumble or focus.  I think it depends on how you train.  If you train your mind to be tough and never give up, then you will thrive, or at least give yourself the best chance to do so. 

Big-time mentally tough people with short-term memory loss for things that don't go our way - that's the ideal athlete/magic player attitude that I want to teach my students/patients/friends/kids to be like. 

Sometimes when we lack discipline, we need consequences/accountability somewhere to keep us in check.  So take it easy on yourself and you better stay in that event and do work!  Get better draws and you'll be fine, but even if you don't - who cares?  You can always play another game another day. 

No comments:

Post a Comment