Sunday, July 18, 2010


I'm still enjoying my vacation but have some spare time today to catch up on reading blogs because it's windy day.

So I read on some poker blog about problem with tilting. In poker people are considering being on tilt as a normal occurrence that is happening from time to time. They even can notice that they are on borderline to go on tilt and quit before they do some damage.
Wikipedia defines term as: "Tilt is a poker term for a state of mental confusion or frustration in which a player adopts a less than optimal strategy, usually resulting in the player becoming over-aggressive."
It's something common and can be expected. To deal with it first comes prevention. Simply avoiding situations where you are putting yourself in a position where it can easily happen. When on tilt the most important thing is to recognize it and acknowledge it. Then you have a chance to walk away.
Watching poker shows with professionals playing we can see that they are not totally immune to tilt and that it's common for them also. So simply there is no escaping to being on tilt this way or another. Only solution is to adapt to it and minimize negative effects.

This bring us to trading. I always thought that I have unacceptable characteristic for successful trading with my averaging habit. That I'll simply need to find a way to cast out that habit completely if I want to progress. But now I think different. It's probable if I continue to trade for rest of my life that averaging bug will be with me in one form or another whole time. I can adjust, minimize it but shouldn't worry to much about it like I was. It's just me being on tilt. Everyone have their own way for tilt. Black put in tens of trades in a span of one hour and 20 pips range. RCM holds big losing trades over few days as do FXpropTrader.
I just average down position after position until I use up all margin and hold several hundred pips loss because I didn't want to close -15 pips loss. Just recently DNTRader had -1000 pips day that way.
So what I'm saying tilt is fact of life in poker and obviously in trading too. It is necessary to minimize the damage with prevention of situation that can lead us to it. Also, easier said then done, we can acknowledge that we are on tilt when we recognize ourselves in that situation and pull out the plug to stop the bleeding. It is not necessary to self-pity and think that it's only me who have that awful problem that is going to ruin me. Tilt is here and it's here to stay. We can accept it as a fact and deal accordingly or bang our head on the wall.


Black said...

After my recent tilt night I also had this thought and feeling that my such behavior, what I call the revenge monster, might never leave me. You spell it all out. Excellent post FX, I like this one.

Risk Control Master said...

I have to reply since my name is called here in the post..

First you should take more vacation FX, in that way, we go more of this type of writing from you and it's much more educational and benefit to all the readers. (sorry, compare to your daily trading post, this is AAA+)

As of Tilt, I was doing it again last week, and I was shorting eur/usd and holding it for sometime, then I realize it's the same thing/pattern I was doing when I was long it on June 1st. So I cut the trade off, take a 200 pips lost, it's much better than hold it until a margin call.

Great Post FX... And enjoy your day off!

FX said...

First I want to say thank you very much you two on that kind of reaction on my post. I really put it out as mini essay but I didn't realize it would be so likable to readers. Maybe holidays really give me better inspiration.

RCM, waking up in the middle of bad dream is hardest. There isn't any better thing to do but to wake up, recognize what is happening and end it. So it is very complementary that you were able to cut off loss, because everything else is easier then do that in those kind of situation.