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  24-Feb-12, 22:45   #1
Psychology of Poker Tilt - How to deal with and avoid tilt +4 
retribution 

Joined: Mar '11
Location: Canada
Age: 37 (M)
Posts: 1490
So I wrote this article a while back for my site, and I wanted to wait a bit before posting it, but decided I wanted to share.

Diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond Diamond

Tilt. It’s a common poker term, and one that is quite often associated with a bad beat. By definition, tilt is a negative reaction to something that occurs contrary to the expected outcome. If you feel you should have won a hand, and don’t, this will create a negative reaction. The result of tilt can quickly compound, as it will de-rail your focus, and you may begin to play poorly. This can lead to further losses, and thus further compound the negative mindset caused by tilt.

Poker players love to explain, often in great detail, how the donkey they were playing against caught their miracle 2 outer on the river. They’ll claim they totally outclassed the other player, and how unfair it was that they lost. Some even take is so far as to claim the poker site they play on is rigged. After all, it’s completely unfair that they lost. They’re a great poker player, and good poker players should never lose.

The reality is that even though they lost the hand, in reality they still won. Yes that’s right, even though they may have lost their whole stack, got knocked out of the poker tournament or whatever the result was, they’re still a winner. The fact is poker is a game of math and odds. If you get your stack in as even a slight favorite, you’ll be a winner in the long run. This is an important fact, and something most poker players seem to forget. Poker isn’t about the individual outcome of 1 single hand, but the sum of 10′s or 100′s of thousands of poker hands played throughout their career.

One of the first things you must come to terms with if you want to avoid tilt, is to come to the realization that you can’t control the outcome of the cards. Once the chips are in the middle, there’s literally nothing more you can do until the hand is over. If there’s even a 1% chance your opponent can catch up, then 1% of the time they will.

By keeping that realization in mind, you’ll find it easier to let go of that hand that you lost. You can take comfort in the fact that, even though you may have lost that particular hand, you know that you played correctly, and will be a winner in the long run.

Diamond Diamond Diamond Positive Reinforcement Diamond Diamond Diamond

As humans, we react in a positive way to positive reinforcement. This can be related to a child, who gets praise from his parents for cleaning his room. It’s natural that he would react in a positive way to their praise. Conversely, he would react negatively if they were to scold him because he didn’t clean it. This positive psychology relates to poker as well.

Instead of looking at the outcome of a hand negatively, it’s important to look at it objectively, and identify any thing you can learn from it. Try and find anything you could have done differently, and also try and find the positives. Perhaps you should have bet on the flop, instead of checking behind. Make a mental note of that, but also take a moment to consider the rest of the hand. Perhaps you made a great 3-bet on the turn, giving them poor odds to chase the draw they hit on the river. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t dwell on them. Instead focus on what you did right, while taking note of what you can do differently in the future.

Use this information to your advantage, and use it as an opportunity to learn and grow, instead of dwelling on what you did wrong. To be a successful poker player, you should always be studying, learning and evolving your game. By focusing on what you did right, you’ll not only find it easier to deal with a negative outcome, you’ll also improve your knowledge, and thus your skill.

Diamond Diamond Diamond Stop setting unrealistic expectations Diamond Diamond Diamond

If you take a minute to read the bad beat section of any poker forum, you’ll find countless threads about how someone’s aces got cracked. Even if you get it all-in pre-flop with pocket aces against 1 opponent, you can expect to lose approximately 20% of the time. The reason people get so mad when their aces get cracked, is because they set the expectation that they are going to win the hand. The second they look at their hand, they’ve already set the expectation for themselves, before the hand has even started.

Naturally, it’s disappointing when your hand loses, because you haven’t met your expectations. It’s a perfectly normal reaction, because as humans we react negatively when something we expect doesn’t happen. We don’t like when things don’t go our way.

Learning to set neutral expectations is another way to cope with losing a hand. If you enter the hand with the mentality that you’ll play it to the best of your ability, and disregard the outcome, it will be easier to deal with a loss. Don’t set expectations that you have no control over, because you’ll just be setting yourself up for dis-appointment.

Identifying the cause of tilt is an important step toward being able to properly deal with it. There are other things that can put a poker player on tilt before they even hit the poker table, such as an argument with a loved one, stress, lack of sleep and other exterior influences. Recognizing and properly dealing with tilt will allow you to focus on what’s truly important, and that’s bringing your a-game to the poker table.

Edited by retribution (Friday, February 24, 2012 @ 22:46 GMT)


     
  24-Feb-12, 22:54   #2
  0 
dlkiv 

Joined: Aug '08
Location: Canada
Age: 51 (F)
Posts: 2558
You wrote this for your site? Not to be a pain but got curious when you posted that and did a google search with" Psychology of Poker Tilt" and came upon a site,( obviously I cannot post link).

So you are saying this is your site? Just curious cause it says on right hand side last forum post by admin was Dec.13th 2011. Is this when you posted this article that you wrote? Is your site still open and active? If so I might join Smile

     
  24-Feb-12, 23:04   #3
  0 
Indo36M 

Joined: Nov '11
Location: Netherlands
Age: 43 (M)
Posts: 105
wauw i did not read everything but,i think about how to deal when u on tilt is for each person different i think,i remember my first cash game,instead to try 0,25/0,50 i go directly to 3/6$ 9max
in a min or 30 i had won almost 500$,and started whit 120$ cap,before i tryed the cash games,i
played mtt in 2009,it took hours in my 1th MTT i played an 11$rebuy,but i didn't know then how to rebuy,i asked,no 1 give an answer,i went for the break all in whit a king -? i get kkk,i won,ended
between 60-70th en won 65$ and took 6 or 7 hours of time.Now my tilt part,we heard that my dad
had heart problems,also played 3/6 and in 3 hours i had almost 1k 980$ i think,i had good cards,
but the mind wasnt at poker,but by my dad,in a instand i had lost 200$,then started,i wanna win it back,but at the end i lost all,and also the new chips that i buyed,i think it's for each different.
forr al g luck at the tables Thumbs Up

     
  25-Feb-12, 00:34   #4
  0 
Greenmohave 

Joined: Jan '11
Location: United States
Age: 52 (M)
Posts: 3361
The article is very good with clear explanations for the topics defined. I'm not saying a word, but impressive and I would write a book with that type of capability. Good Luck to All!

     
  25-Feb-12, 01:50   #5
  0 
retribution 

Joined: Mar '11
Location: Canada
Age: 37 (M)
Posts: 1490
Posted by dlkiv:
You wrote this for your site? Not to be a pain but got curious when you posted that and did a google search with" Psychology of Poker Tilt" and came upon a site,( obviously I cannot post link).

So you are saying this is your site? Just curious cause it says on right hand side last forum post by admin was Dec.13th 2011. Is this when you posted this article that you wrote? Is your site still open and active? If so I might join Smile


Yeah, probably is my site lol. I get a bit of traffic from search engines, but more from my youtube channel. Forums haven't had a single forum post since people just come to read and leave lol.

Keep meaning to add more, as all the articles on there are mine, but it's hard to find time with all other stuff I have going on.

     
  25-Feb-12, 10:33   #6
  0 
Serpang 
Joined: Jan '10
Location: Indonesia
Age: 53 (M)
Posts: 1477
Posted by Greenmohave:
The article is very good with clear explanations for the topics defined. I'm not saying a word, but impressive and I would write a book with that type of capability. Good Luck to All!



I agree, and thanks for sharing. This article very useful for me, cause I often tilt, I felt like I most unlucky poker player. But serious article make me aware, tilt is a part of poker game. I cann't avoid as long as we play poker Big Smile

     
  25-Feb-12, 14:33   #7
  0 
jessthehuman 

Joined: Apr '09
Location: Australia
Age: 32 (M)
Posts: 6441
That's very well written, very easy to read - writing like that is an ability not everyone has. I might do as dlkiv and google the article and find your site.

I will say though, it sounds like an introductory passage - you've described a good mindset and general approach. Have you expanded on it some more on your site? Or do you plan to? I was thinking along the lines of strategies to employ, to manage tilt (taking breaks, hitting the mircos/play money tables, music, etc).

Anyway, nice article Thumbs Up

     
  25-Feb-12, 14:41   #8
  0 
MANUEDO 
Joined: Apr '08
Location: Italy
Age: 50 (M)
Posts: 1955
Really interesting and true. Every player ( not only poker player ) had to face tilt situations and almost all had to fill in his poker room account after these.... I'm one of them ! Big Smile

     
  25-Feb-12, 16:16   #9
  0 
Mober 
Joined: Mar '09
Location: Greece
Age: 39 (F)
Posts: 10026
Nice article and well written indeed.
Kinda long though Smile
For me tilt was a problem at the beginning that I couldnt handle.
Playing different games, or limits didnt help at all.
So when i reach at that point i just finish my current hands and then turn off the poker
and most times even the computer itself Smile

There are many ways to relax especially when your nerves are a cause of a poker game.
Not the end of the world Smile

Another one Thumbs Up Smile

     
  25-Feb-12, 16:18   #10
  0 
MicroMachina 

Joined: Aug '08
Location: Canada
Age: 36 (M)
Posts: 657
i also like the easy manner in which the article reads.

Can you speak on the math behind culminating bad beats if there is any?

Also i totally agree with expectations. As i have had unrealistic ones lately that only came about by early success. Originally i just crossed bridges as they came about but now im looking past the present and worrying about the future.

Also concerning the math behind it all, would you say each time you lose with AA its more likely you will win next time around?

     
  25-Feb-12, 17:03   #11
  0 
Chartoule 
Joined: May '09
Location: Spain
Age: 41 (M)
Posts: 1261
Hi guys!!

Very good article, any idea/read to beat tilt is a great thing.

Personally, i think we can beat tilt with one simple thing, experience. When we play tons and tons and more tons of hands we will see tons of badbeats. Anyone of this make more easy beat tilt.

     
  25-Feb-12, 18:20   #12
  0 
marqis 

Joined: Sep '10
Location: Netherlands
Age: 48 (M)
Posts: 1631
Posted by MicroMachina:
Also concerning the math behind it all, would you say each time you lose with AA its more likely you will win next time around?

Mathematically? No. The chances remain the same, no matter how often you loose in a row.

Imagine flipping a coin; heads or tails, will each have 50% chance on any flip. If you manage to get heads 10 times in a row, the chances of flipping heads again, are exactly 50%, because the physics of the coinflip do not change because of what happened in the past.

The chances of flipping heads 11 times in a row are very small though, but that has zero impact on any individual throw...

If that were the case, I would go to the casino, and wait for 5 reds in a row on the roulette table, and then bet big on black... Smile

In an emotional sense there may be a difference though. If your AA gets beaten a few times in a row, you'll probably will be affected by that, and start playing them a little different, which will, of course, affect the outcome...

     
  25-Feb-12, 22:13   #13
  0 
retribution 

Joined: Mar '11
Location: Canada
Age: 37 (M)
Posts: 1490
Posted by marqis:
Posted by MicroMachina:
Also concerning the math behind it all, would you say each time you lose with AA its more likely you will win next time around?

Mathematically? No. The chances remain the same, no matter how often you loose in a row.

Imagine flipping a coin; heads or tails, will each have 50% chance on any flip. If you manage to get heads 10 times in a row, the chances of flipping heads again, are exactly 50%, because the physics of the coinflip do not change because of what happened in the past.

The chances of flipping heads 11 times in a row are very small though, but that has zero impact on any individual throw...


You pretty much said what I was going to say about the math side of it.


     
  25-Feb-12, 22:33   #14
  0 
B1gfoot 

Joined: Mar '08
Location: United Kingdom
Age: 37 (M)
Posts: 6714
Yes, as said well written, even tought written for your own site its nice of you to shar with us all here, i'm sure it will help lots of people out.
The more you play and accept the above you will sooner or later hit a wall and tilt just magically goes away, it starts with a broken mouse or keyboard and ends with a slight shake of the head, LOL and sometimes a profitable tag.
BTW if you want better graphics for your site I'm willing to create you a better head banner when I get a few mins.

     
  25-Feb-12, 23:27   #15
  0 
doaga 
Joined: Jun '11
Location: Romania
Age: 25 (M)
Posts: 66
Good advice bro, gj Worship

     
  26-Feb-12, 02:40   #16
  0 
schwabo 

Joined: Mar '10
Location: Croatia
Age: 67 (F)
Posts: 986
In past week I lose with AA every time ,about 15 times,only 1 time I won hand with AA,every time I stay with that Aces and lose from 2 small pairs or someone have K or Q and 2 K or Q are on the table on flop and best of the best on the table comes 4 of flush and someone beat me with3 or 4 in that colour and of course i don't have A in that colour.
And to don't lose to much money when i tilt on account have no more then 30-40$ or only how much i need for tourney I want to play and everything more I cash out same day when won something,because of tilt and because of Full tilt Big Smile
Worship Worship Dollar Dollar Dollar Worship Worship

     
  26-Feb-12, 04:52   #17
  0 
mongo1976 
Joined: Nov '10
Location: Canada
Age: 40 (M)
Posts: 88
Ovb. a good read, but each person has his tilt levels. We have all tilted and will again, but on what level? On every level, hell i tilt, but what hits u the most, that AA vrs 55 72o. Well most of us have been there, so instread of shoving the rest of ur chips in next hand because ur pissed (and possibly ur a man/woman and your ego is hurt cause you dont like to loose.) you have no choice are u in or out? Would you like to make another deposit? To just to try and clear that bonus for what a whooping $5, and when you do, ahhhhhh i did it, did i?.......speaking from past history myself, or will you take the fold or bad beat and shake ur head....do whatever u have to do, smoke. walk, fart Big Smile but just shake it off. IMO this was the killer to my game in the past "Tilt" is another players best wishes, and we can see it a mile awhey.

     
  26-Feb-12, 13:07   #18
  0 
pochui 

Joined: May '08
Location: Lithuania
Age: 32 (M)
Posts: 8633
i have a few tips to definitely get your way out of tilt:
1) play over aggressively, go all in with crap hands like 26 off and if lucky you will scalp pocket aces- that will be the end of tilt for sure;
2) go after the guy who won against you "illegally"- offend him, send him far far away, talk "politely" about his relatives, country of origin etc. Big Smile
3) annoy the table as much as you can- take your time, use time bank till the last second and complain that there is not enough time to make the decision- after all everyone should feel the pain of your loss Sad
4) double up- and go all in every hand Thumbs Up if you lose your whole bankroll- well then it's the end of poker and the end of tilt as well- mission accomplished Agree

     
  26-Feb-12, 16:57   #19
  0 
Mober 
Joined: Mar '09
Location: Greece
Age: 39 (F)
Posts: 10026
pochui i dont think if its a joke post or not, but in my opinion you just described
of what not to do when you are on tilt.

Not something you should post in this thread cause some of the new players may follow it
and its clearly a bad example.

     
  27-Feb-12, 07:16   #20
  0 
retribution 

Joined: Mar '11
Location: Canada
Age: 37 (M)
Posts: 1490
Posted by B1gfoot:
Yes, as said well written, even tought written for your own site its nice of you to shar with us all here, i'm sure it will help lots of people out.
The more you play and accept the above you will sooner or later hit a wall and tilt just magically goes away, it starts with a broken mouse or keyboard and ends with a slight shake of the head, LOL and sometimes a profitable tag.
BTW if you want better graphics for your site I'm willing to create you a better head banner when I get a few mins.


Hey yeah sure, I'd love that. You can send me an e-mail via my contact form if ya want. I'll put up a special thanks for ya Smile

     
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