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Tilting in Poker

What’s Tilting? How to Control Tilting?

Tilting is one of the more common and controllable mistakes players, both experience and inexperienced make. If you’re unsure if what exactly tilting is, it’s simple. A person on tilt is someone who has allowed their emotions to take control of their game and not for the better either. A person who is tilting has in most circumstances lost a very big hand and winds up going overboard to the extent of spiralling out of control. The end result of playing with your emotions is always the same. Players who tilt lose!

Suppose for a moment you’re playing in a tournament and just before the bubble you watch an opponent loose a fairly big hand against someone who was lucky enough to hit the river. The hand didn’t exactly knock him out of the game, but it left him frustrated enough that he began raising and calling down more hands than normal until he eventually took himself out of his own misery.  He went from chip leader to chip chump in a matter of a few hands. This is tilting. Not only has the player allowed his anger and frustration to consume him, but he has essentially given up on the entire game the moment he lost the big hand. It’s happened to the best of us.

Avoid Tilting at All Costs

Understand when you’re not at your best emotionally. If a hand has you upset or frustrated, you’re more likely to make mistakes, and mistakes is what costs players money. It's called discipline. You need to avoid this situation by either having a firm grasp of your emotions or in the event that you find yourself tilting, you should get up and leave the game. In the likely hood that you’re involved in a tournament, click the “Sit out next hand” button and walk away for a few minutes.  Grab a bite to eat, possibly a drink or stop playing for the day. Whatever it takes to gain composure needed to be able to sit down and play your best.

You need to have your head in the game and that’s not possible when you continue to recreate the frustrations from a lost pot or a bad run. Pay attention and stay focused. Otherwise you’ll find your bankroll depleted before you have the chance to pick it back up.

Take Advantage of a Player on Tilt

If you find yourself at a table where a player is clearly tilting, defiantly use this to your advantage. Taking advantage of someone on tilt is considered dead money anyway. Odds are he’s going to lose his money anyway - why not let it be you. They don’t understand when to walk away and often times will try to recoup any losses sustained during a particular session. To crush them you simply adapt to their game and their playing pattern. If their playing looser than expected, tighten up your game a bit and make them pay for their hands. The more hands they continue to lose, the more likely they will try to win it back. In the same token you should never ever poke fun or aggravate the player. You want them to tilt, not leave your table.