Being On Tilt Can Ruin Your Poker Bankroll
Tilt is one of the main reasons why many players can never be successful in poker. Tilt has its limitations but also its opportunities. Every player suffers from bad beats; the only question is how they can handle it. You probably heard about Mike Matusow throwing his notebook in the swimming pool or Phil Hellmuth getting out of line in TV broadcasts.
Tilt occurs when a player loses a hand by (1) bad beat, (2) getting bluffed, (3) reading your opponent false therefore losing a large pot, (4) bad behavior of opponents, (5) losing your internet connection in a large pot or (6) sometimes even clicking wrong because of the multitable games. Not very often but tilt can also happen when a bad player (7) leaves a table who won money from you some hands earlier. After one of these events happen to a player his mental capability goes down from concentrating 100% to his play and he becomes confused and starts playing way too many hands, makes unreasonable calls and raises, tries to win his money back and then loses even more. Therefore tilt can really ruin your poker bankroll if you don’t pay attention to handle the situation the right way.
Why does tilt play such an important role in poker? If you have poker friends or you play poker on a regular basis you know what an affect ‘tilt’ brings to the game. Some players win every night for many days or even weeks and then they lose their whole bankroll in one night only because they were on tilt.
There are different ways to control yourself after suckouts and bad beats. You can (1) go for a walk or quit playing for a pre-defined period of time. You can define what this period should be: maybe a half an hour, an hour or even a day. It depends on how much time you need. It is a lot better if you take a break instead of losing your bankroll. (2) Another option is to pay close attention to your percentile statistics because you might start playing more aggressively and more hands than you did before. (3) When you have played poker for some years hopefully you will learn self-discipline and you will look at bad beats as part of the game. You will become calmer and you will not feel like getting a heart attack after every single bad beat. (4) If you realize your adrenaline is too high then do 20 push-ups and continue playing after. Get your extra energy out of you but not at the table!
On the other side you can make money when other players are on tilt. If you realize that someone is on tilt, look for the opportunity to stack him. Many players choose a bad strategy for coping with such a situation. You cannot play more hands than you usually do if you want to beat someone who is on tilt. If you start playing bad hands you will just end up with the same loose-aggressive strategy and play the same weak hands as your opponent. When you do this it is basically the same as playing lottery. The strategy I suggest is to play tight poker and when you hit your hand go ahead and lead out with it strong. The player on tilt will call you all the way down and you will get your reward for being patient.
You can also put others on tilt even if it is not nice. Poker is about fun and money but of course everyone wants to win. This means when you understand the emotions and behavior of other players you can act in a way that it brings your opponent into an emotionally unstable state of mind. You can reach this by chatting (in online poker) or talking in a live game. Some players get annoyed when others take a long time before acting in online poker. In this case you can always take a longer time and make your opponent lose his temper. Basically you can put other players on tilt with the same weapons I mentioned in the paragraph about getting on tilt.
Hopefully you learned why tilt is dangerous and how it can affect your poker bankroll.
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