Avoiding Tilt

Everyone has been on tilt. No one is immune to getting a little rattled from time to time. Tilt always begins with a trigger, some unexplainable injustice that sets you off into a betting rage. Triggers are different for everyone. For some, it’s a run of bad luck. For others, it’s losing a pot to a horrible player who rivers you with a gutshot.

The best way to avoid going on tilt is know your triggers. Recognize them and make a conscious effort not to Avoiding_Tiltlet these things affect your play. To be a great poker player you must be able to keep your emotions in check. There’s no way around it. Emotion is key in poker or any game that involves even the slightest bit of luck. Much like life, poker is not always fair. The sooner you accept this fact, the sooner you can move on to what is important in poker—self-control.

Knowing your triggers will not always be enough to stop you from going on tilt. Sometimes you will need to physically get up from the table or sit out from the game to regain your composure. Any time a huge emotional swing takes place, it is a good idea to step back and gather yourself before reentering the game. It’s human nature to want to come out firing after a big win or to try and gain instant revenge after a bad loss. The bottom line is this: emotion clouds your judgment and will ultimately cost you money at the poker table.

In many instances you are heading down the slippery slope to being on tilt and you may not even realize it. This is why it is important to always monitor your play. If you notice you are taking more and more bad beats, don’t just dismiss it to bad luck. Think about the starting hands you’ve been playing. Are they looser than normal? Are you losing with a lot of lower kickers because you are playing hands you normally wouldn’t play? If you do notice you are playing differently, then usually there’s a good chance you are on tilt. When you see this happen make an effort to play extremely tight until you find a rhythm again or quit for the night. There will always be another online poker game to join tomorrow.

The truth of the matter is, avoiding tilt means actively taking preventative measures. There are no magic diamondstricks or special phrases to snap you out of being on tilt. It takes discipline. You have to know your game, understand what situations could set you off, and recognize when your emotions are getting the best of you. If you can master these elements you will greatly reduce the amount of times you look back on a session and attribute your losses to being on tilt.