Tilt in online poker is inevitable, if there is one even the sourest spoilsport (especially the sourest spoilsport) is sure to find is tilt. Of course that is a statement you could make about most competitive scenes but it feels different in poker because money, more importantly, your money is on the line! Every bluff showed a dagger to the back, every loose call down a hammer to the face. Poker is a beautiful yet brutal game and you will definitely find yourself someday feeling terrible about being on the wrong end of variance. That’s normal and it’s just a part of the game, if in poker like chess, the best player won every game by playing perfect, there would be no more fishes left to pay your winnings! It’s okay to feel tilted, it’s what you do WHEN you are tilted that matters.
Do you curse and scream for 2 minutes and then get a grip on yourself or do you decide to go on monkey tilt, playing like a donkey with opposable thumbs and the total vocabulary of one word, ALL IN? or Do you start playing scared poker and drastically alter your game. Most of you reading this article are more probably the latter than the former. That’s okay even the most hardened mentally strong poker player has gone on monkey tilt at times and not only that, you also recognize it is a problem and are working to fix it, that’s awesome and props to you! Today we will learn 4 simple tips that if you decide to implement on the regular, will not only slowly eliminate tilt from your game, but also make both poker ratings and life, a more fun and fulfilling experience.
1. Don’t bottle your emotions
Emotions are volatile and rebellious, any attempt to bottle them will eventually result in them exploding. Bottling your emotions and simply not acknowledging or processing them, will forever stunt your emotional growth and ability to tackle tilt. Before you start working on your tilt, you need to start working on identifying when you are tilting and acknowledge that you are playing away from optimal not as an exploitative strategy but because of your emotions. You also need to process these feelings, rage for a minute or two if that calms you down, take a walk, pet your dog and then come back to the grind. Do not sit back and play until you are in relative controls of your actions, if not your emotions. This will make you game quality suffer dramatically less over time when you tilt
2. The mute button is your moderator friend
The goal when trash talking is to tilt your opponent as much as you possibly can, while not falling victim to tilt yourself. You want to make them mad and play stupid poker, trash talking can be within limits an effective tool. But if at any time, your trash talking feels it’s affecting your game, causing you to be less passive or aggressive than usual etc, it’s time to hit that sweet mute button and focus on your game. Even if you don’t trash talk and don’t want to either, you can still use the mute button to make anyone who is trash talking or being annoying not exist in your poker world. Even if two people are trash talking each other and its bothering you, mute them too! Mute with reckless abandon and poker gets a lot less frustrating.
3. Master what you can control, forget what you can’t
A lot of people try to control variance, while that is a topic we will tackle later someday. It’s an exercise in futility as anyone who has ever tried has found out variance or luck doesn’t work like that, variance is disinterested in you, the threads of fate neither favour you nor conspire against you, they are indifferent to you and your existence. It flows the way it wants to flow, so rather than trying to control luck, just flow with it. Keep your guard up when you are running good and getting lucky and make the maximum profits, fight back and play to the best of your abilities when you are in a downswing, losing the least you can.In poker and life, you should control what you can, develop competence and let fate be fate, show up and do your best, results will come eventually.
4. Play your favorite songs right at the start of your sessions
It puts you in a good mood, It focuses your brain on it’s magnificence and makes your excited to get playing! This is a no brainer that you should do every session. My favorite is seven sticks of dynamite by AWOL nation and it sure gets played before the grind, makes my days a little better always. 😊
Tilt is a habit that will show in both life and poker, if you are not used to handling your emotions well (which newsflash, 90% of us aren’t!) Especially a group as wild as poker players. It takes time to unlearn, so give yourself space and trust the process, as not only will it lead to a calmer and better poker player and let your passion for the game translate into profits instead of anger, it will also lead to a happier experience of this game and more enjoyment in playing every hand.