What is tilt?
The best description of tilt we've ever found:
"When a player is on tilt they lose sight of all the basics that make poker
a game of skill. They abandon patience and common sense to pursue the instant
gratification of winning the next pot. For comparisons sake, let's say being
on tilt is the poker equivalent to having one to many drinks at the bar. In
other words you may think you know what your doing, but you don't! Until you've
already done something stupid."
Recognize what makes you tilt
It happens to all of us. It usually begins
with a bad beat, annoyance at another player or otherwise
'unfair' turn of events that makes us start betting like
idiots. For some, it just begins with a streak of bad luck.
Everyone, even pros, have cold streaks... If you haven't
done it yet, do it now: reside yourself to the fact that
poker isn't a true 'skill game'; it's a game of chance,
that can be played skillfully.Know what makes you tilt. Make a conscious decision ahead
of time, use your resolve; "I won't let that affect the
way I play my game". You will have success, but to maintain
that success you have to be able to keep your emotions in
check. If you do, you'll win more often.
Get up every so often, get a drink, take a few minutes to
think about something other than poker. Sit out a few hands
every so often. Many would argue that it's essential you
do this. And not only after a bad beat, but even after you
win a big pot! Any time a big emotional flood occurs, positive
or negative, it'll do you a lot of good to stand back and
refocus before playing again. Don't seek revenge for that
bad beat. Don't throw your chips around because you just
won a bunch of them. Cool off, and don't let the surge of
emotion affect your playing decisions.
It might sneak up on you
Often you'll start to tilt before you realize it. The key
is to intervene, and re-focus as soon as possible. If you
find yourself playing looser than normal, losing hands with
lower kickers, is it because you're playing hands you normally
don't? The moment you notice, "I'm playing differently,
and I didn't make a conscious decision to do so..." you
have to be wary. Get up and drink some chocolate milk. Do
some pushups. But whatever you do, DON'T ride the wave.
If you do, you'll pay.
Avoiding tilt means playing your best, which means winning
more money. To do so you'll need to be conscious of it,
and make a point of intervening. Don't kid yourself; everyone
gets caught up in the excitement of the game and plays less
than their best. Those who best keep it in check, are the
most successful. If you decide to make a point of keeping
it in check, you're ahead of the game.