How can “tilt” affect you?
The emotional aspect of the poker game is as important as your skills or technique you use while playing. It is quite common for poker players to go on tilt, and the core skill is to recognize and overcome it. First of all, let`s find out what tilt is and how it affects your game.
Have you ever been in this situation: you got great starting cards, the flop was impressive – you are feeling pretty invincible and go all-in. Your opponent follows you, and it feels like you are going to take the pot. Then comes the river; you found out that some horrible million-to-one chance gives them a hand you never saw coming. They scoop the bank, and as a result, you’re left with nothing.
It’s fair to say that in such a situation, it may feel like you have just lost the ground under your feet.
It is essential you know that every poker player faces this situation and it`s normal. No doubt, players may feel disappointed, but no one likes to lose. Such a situation becomes a problem when these emotions start to affect your next games, making you vulnerable to further losses. This situation is known as Tilt.
How can tilt affect you?
Many professional players say that they take tilt as a part of the poker environment. Here is the real idea: they accept it instead of pretending it isn’t not happening, so it gives them a chance to identify it and to overcome it by reducing the limit of the damage.
While going on tilt, you may:
- Consider each hand that you lose as a lesson that enriches your experience
- Take a break. It may last from 5 minutes to 5 days. The goal is to come back to the game with a clear mind and positive mood
- Carry on playing at the lower limits. These actions will reduce your loss.
- Read a poker book that gives you a good understanding and brings your confidence back.
The second important thing is not taking tilt personally. Even if you play correctly, you will get beaten sometimes because you made a tilt to affect your emotions. The way how you handle those losses makes you a winner in the long term. Most importantly, don’t let it ruin your game.
Moreover, when playing the poker game, you should be able not only to manage your state of mind but to read the opponent`s as well. This will help you to adjust your strategy to the situations when your opponent goes on tilt by taking advantage of his/her mistakes.
Never forget that they can do the same to you. It’s not just about tricky and highly strategic play. A few choices of words from an opponent at the wrong time could send you from being a Zen master to a tilt monster in seconds.
So, once you are aware of this, don`t let others push your buttons, and an excellent way is to ignore them.
Managing your own emotions is a high-level skill that helps you to mix your play with mastering bluffing as well as sustain you on a long run as a poker player.