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
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
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.