Tilt is something that people rarely put emphasis on in poker. Often we talk about skills and strategy but tilt is something that really separates the pros from the wannabes. I know a poker pro who busted his entire bankroll in 2 sessions because both times he started the session after a fight with his girlfriend.
The key to playing well and consistently is DON’T LOSE IT. Don’t lose your cool, don’t tilt. I have seen so many great players lose it after a bad beat, a needling comment, a bad call/fold and went on to dump their money like a fish. So how do you do it?
1. Know when you’re on tilt
It’s like being drunk. Some people don’t know that they ARE on tilt. Recognize that you are is a great start to stopping it. If you feel that you are upset, or your face turns red, or sometimes it can be as subtle as losing patience, tempted to play with bad cards.
2. Walk away
If you’re a smoker, go light up a cigarette, go to the bathroom, go and punch a punching bag, jump rope, get a cold shower…. whatever you do, just do something else.
3. Let it go
Let it go, let it go….. the cooler never bothered me anyway….
Some players are out there intentionally trying to tilt you so that you don’t play your “A” game. Don’t let it bother you. I used to host a game everyday and there was a player who would make comments about my mom, my sister, me, my play, my chips, anything to get me pissed off. I was never affected. However I know I get tilted to see fish win from a bad beat even if I am not involved.
4. Know what ticks you off and work on it
You have to find out what affects you, like losing a big hand, or fish play, etc. Once you recognize what affects you, work on it. Can you learn to accept it? Can you not let it affect you? If yes, great. If no, then the next time it happens, do something before it escalates. If you can, stop playing.
5. Recognize tilt in other players
If you see a player who is on tilt, there’s an opportunity to pounce on their mistakes. Don’t try to bluff a player on tilt. But you can value call pretty thinly sometimes.
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