The EV of Smashing Your Mouse vs The EV of Tilt Breaker

Broke Mouse Poker

In the midst of researching mental coaches to add to the Get Off Tilt page’s Coaching section, I stumbled across this nifty little blog post by Tommy Angelo. That blog post inspired another blog post by Greg from who wrote a blog showing the math behind “The EV of Smashing Your Mouse”. I read the article and realized that this concept is highly applicable to Tilt Breaker. So, I took the parameters of Greg’s equation, and applied it to Tilt Breaker

If you are not familiar with Expected Value, “EV”, check out this article. Basically though, EV is the average value of a scenario considering all outcomes, from which you can determine the solution with the highest EV (or lowest negative EV). In this example, we will be predicting the Expected Value of smashing your mouse, as opposed to purchasing Tilt Breaker, in real $dollars.

Anyway, below you will find a comparison of the EV of smashing your mouse with the EV of Tilt Breaker using the parameters of Greg’s original equation:

The Variables

The idea is that rendering your mouse inoperable prevents you from being able to continue playing poker while on tilt. Therefore, because the cost of your mouse is less than you would have lost had you continued to play, you actually save money.

To come up with our equation for comparing the EV of pitching your mouse to the nearest and firmest wall against the EV of a Stop Loss program, we need to identify the variables that will effect how much money the two can save or lose us.

  1. The cost of the mouse.
  2. The cost of Tilt Breaker.
  3. Collateral. Unless you’re playing outdoors, there’s a fair chance that the mouse isn’t going to be the only expense you have to deal with.
  4. Your winrate playing on tilt. This should in theory be very much negative.
  5. The time in hours you would normally spend playing on tilt.
  6. The time in hours you miss out on playing due to the lack of a pointing device for your computer. We will refer this as “downtime”. Assuming you manage to cool down before purchasing your next mouse, there will be a period where you’re actually missing out on playing poker and winning money.
  7. Your standard winrate. We’ll need to combine this with our downtime to figure out how much cash monies we’re missing out on.

Now let’s force these all together to form an equation.

The Equation

EVms = [(Tilt play time x Tilt Winrate) + (Normal Winrate x Good Play Time Lost)] – (Mouse/TiltBreaker Cost + Collateral)

  • EVms/tb = EV of smashing your mouse due to tilt or the EV Tilt Breaker’s Auto Break feature
  • Play time is measure in hours.
  • Winrates are measure in $/hour.

or in plainer English……

“The absolute value of stopping play while on tilt minus The opportunity cost of not playing after cooling down” minus “the cost of stopping”

The EV of Mouse Smashing for Mr. Average Tilter

Mr. Average Tilter just took a sweet two outer and loses 200bbs. He then launches his mouse in an outward direction toward any hard surface or spouse. We’ll assume that if he didn’t break his mouse he would continue to play as he would under the influence of however much tilt he would experience thanks to the bad beat in question.

To make life easier, let’s make some assumptions for Mr. Average Tilter, so we can derive some values for the variables.

Mr Average Tilter:

  • Plays $1/$2 NL Texas Hold’em cash
  • Has a standard winrate of 6bb (big blinds) per hour when playing well. That’s $12/hour.
  • Has a tilt winrate of -25bb per hour when playing on tilt. That would be $50/hour.
  • Misses out on 4 hours worth of good playing time on average because they have no mouse after cooling down. That’s $48 in total.
  • Plays with a $35 mouse
  • Averages $25 in collateral damage for each ritualistic hurling of thy mouse

So, Mr. Average Tilter’s EV for smashing his mouse looks like this:

EVms = [( 1 hr of Tilt play time x -$50/hr Tilt Winrate) + ($12 Normal Winrate x 4hrs Good Play Time Lost)] – ( $35 Mouse Cost + $24Collateral)

EV of mouse smashing for someone like yourself = -$58

Not really what I was expecting to be honest; I thought it would be a little closer to being +EV. Saying that, the “average” player type can vary by quite some margin, so you’re better off filling in the blanks for yourself.

Now let’s take those same variables for Mr. Average Tilter, and plug them in for using Tilt Breaker, as opposed to destroying your mouse. However, we will have to make some slight variations to the variables to adjust for the introduction of Tilt Breaker.

  • The cost of the mouse is replaced by the one time cost of a lifetime license for Tilt Breaker
  • Collateral damage is $0, since no mouse was thrown
  • Opportunity cost of losing “good play” time from not having a mouse becomes $0, since your mouse is still in tact

With Tilt Breaker in place the equation now looks like this:

EVtb = [( 1 hr of Tilt play time x -$50/hr Tilt Winrate) + ($12 Normal Winrate x 0hrs Good Play Time Lost)] – ( $49 Tilt Breaker Cost + $0 Collateral)

The EV of having Tilt Breaker in place for one potential tilt session = +$1 after just one single use! Tilt Breaker would be +$50EV for each subsequent use, since you only have to pay for Tilt Breaker once.


  • Mouse smashing can pay off under the right conditions. Not for most level headed players though, however as stakes increase so does your mouse smashing EV
  • Don’t throw your mouse if you’re playing at micro or small stakes games. It’s unlikely to ever pay off.
  • A weighty mouse should create a much more satisfying smash, but increases the cost of collateral damage
  • Tilt Breaker will be a plus EV purchase for most players after just one single use!

61 Responses to “The EV of Smashing Your Mouse vs The EV of Tilt Breaker”

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