No matter how great you are at poker and how much you know about the game, TILT is one of every poker player’s worst enemies. Once emotions take over, you’ll stop making rational decisions and playing while going through tilt can be devastating for your bankroll and your brain.
You can’t be immune to tilt. There are going to be things in poker that’ll throw you off, however, good players are fully aware of this and have strategies in place to either prevent going into this situation or instantly control the same to minimize its effects. And if you have problems controlling it yourself, these few tips would help you in preventing it:
What’s your trigger?
Different players tilt for different reasons, hence the trigger points for you would be different from the other person. Some players are triggered by bad beats, while others become annoyed by a prolonged run of bad, unplayable hands. There might be some who tilt when they’re targeted by an aggressive player. Figure out your personal triggers. Be honest with yourself and accept there are some things that get under your skin. Once you know what pushes you over the edge, you’ll be prepared for whatever emotions coming your way in advance and you’ll handle them much better.
Complain Less. Share Little.
Bad beat stories and constant complaining aren’t just annoying for other players to listen to, they’re also not great for your mental state. Tilt can sometimes last long after a session and you’re only prolonging this tilted state by insisting on recounting your bad luck. It’s okay to share some really brutal beats with your pals but if that’s all you do then be prepared to live in tilt for the remainder of your poker experiences.
Restart. Restart. Rejuvenate
If you’re a poker professional, you might feel like you need to put in the hours at all times. Since, you know that no matter what, it all comes down to the profit you make which is directly connected to the number of hands you play during that period of time. But sometimes you’re better off sitting a session out. If you’re in a bad state of mind due to not having enough rest the previous night or because you’re dealing with a personal issue, you probably shouldn’t be playing. When you feel this way, you’re much more susceptible to tilt. Try to do things that bring you some calm and keep you at peace.
Because of variance in poker, even casual players win on occasion and these wins keep them coming back to the game. If pro players won all the time, amateurs would quickly get tired and lose interest in the game. All players need to accept and realise that poker is all about variance and exists because of its unpredictability. Don’t get tilted because someone is running hot during a session. Whenever you start to feel negative, tell yourself that these bad beats are a good thing in the long run.
Know your limits
Getting into a higher-stakes tournament with a buy-in that’s bigger than what you usually go for can be appealing. And if things go right, you could easily increase your bankroll by a substantial amount. However, this is usually not a great idea for a varied set of reasons – Firstly, you’ll struggle to play your best game. All your tilt triggers will be heightened when you’re playing in a setting where you don’t feel as comfortable. Secondly, every bad beat will hurt you more, every bad decision you take will have a higher impact on your menta state. If you want to avoid tilt, try not to play above your limits. Know where you stand, have your head in the game, and then turn up the notch when the time’s right.
Are there any more tips for preventing tilt? Share with us your personal experiences.