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Tilt Getting You Down!

Jul 13, 2008
To state the obvious, tilt happens to everyone in Texas Hold Em poker, regardless of who you are. Indeed, "tilt" is one of the scariest terms - and experiences - when playing poker.

So, what can cause tilt? It's not the same for everybody. It could be your constant bad luck when other players are hitting miraculous two and three-outers on the river, or it can simply be a bad run of cards. It can be simply playing poorly for a long time, for others.

Regardless of the reason, when the majority of players go on tilt, they no longer play sensibly and they tend to lose. They then start playing the wrong cards in the wrong situations, or playing them at the wrong times, and lose a lot of chips. This starts a vicious self-destructive cycle for some players where their self confidence is destroyed, and their money is lost.

The most important thing to know is what tilt is, but you might also wonder what causes tilt. Personally, I have read it's a chemical reaction in the brain which puts us back to primal days of fight or flight. Except now we are being hunted by other players, instead of wild animals, who seek to kill us down with another bad beat.

This primal emotion has an overwhelming impact as it causes your entire chemistry to change and sends you into another frame of mind, causing you to change the way you play your game. You have to be able to remove yourself from this emotion in order to stop that change from taking place and sending you on a tilt. You have to focus on keeping your cool and using your head while playing poker, instead of playing with your instincts and worrying about what might happen right now, with this hand.

You have to convince yourself that winning and loosing are one in the same in poker, at least in the mean time, until you can accomplish this. This might be counter-intuitive at first because the objective of the game is always to win. You have to accept every losing hand as it is a part of game.

Consider your approach to a coin toss. When you are on a winning streak facing a coin flip, you are going to be more cautious because you don't want to take a chance on losing what you have previously won or possibly more. On the contrary, if you are in the same situation of losing, you may be willing to take a risk to get your money back by going for the coin flip. In either situation, I think both cases can hurt your game because in each instance, you are more concerned about the short-term outlook than about playing a good, solid poker game over the long term, which really is what a winning player is all about.

When you can develop this indifference to winning and loosing, it will help you focus on how you play, and you will find yourself worrying less about going on a tilt. All that counts at the end of the day is how you played, anyway. Being poker players, all we can do is play the best game we possibly can and let the cards fall as the may. No matter what kind of variance you face over the short term, your long-term results will simply be better when you adopt this attitude.

Thank You. I Wish You Luck at the Tables,
Scott
About the Author
I have played many hours online and live successfully. I have compiled a mini e-course to help improve your Hold Em game as well as your bankroll. Please access this complimentary poker course at: http://hstrial-pokerbook.homeatead.com/indexpoker.html Thanks, Scott
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