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Avoiding Tilt

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.

 

Take breaks

 

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.

 

Final thoughts

 

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.

The Basics of Value Betting

Short Term EV

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Playing Irrational Players

Thinking Through Your Poker Hands

Playing Your Draws Aggressively

Basic Bankroll Management

Common Beginner Mistakes in Poker, Part 1

9 Reasons You Lose At Cash Games

NLHE Table Selection

Playing Middle Suited Connectors

Playing OverPairs

Avoiding Tilt

6 Tips for Beginners

Playing The Turn in NLHE

Tournament Play - Playing The Shortstack

Common Beginner Mistakes in Poker, Part 2