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Solving Poker Tilt Pt. 3: Why You Can't Afford It and How to Fix It
As you've seen in the first two parts of this series (and of course at the tables), tilt can sneak into your game in a lot of different ways.
If you don’t respond accordingly, your bankroll might be greatly harmed.
In the last article of this series we'll get to the critical part -- how to deal with and fight tilt.
Only by finding your personal solution for tilt will you be able to play poker profitably in the long run.
Defining and Fighting Tilt
In the first two parts of this series we've looked at how tilt develops and what the different types are.
Now, let's take it on.
You’ll only be able to recognize tilt if you understand your emotions.
Successful poker pro Liv Boeree says you need to check on your emotions before you even sit down at a poker table to be able to respond accordingly.
According to her it's crucial to accept that your emotions are a natural reaction to positive or negative incidents.
However, this is by far not enough to conquer tilt when tilt threatens to conquer you.
Simpler and easier to get a handle on are the financial consequences of tilt. In short, how much it costs you.
The Price of Tilt
Example: Player A is a successful No-Limit Hold'em player at NL100. He usually plays online and as long as he's in control of his game/emotions he posts a solid win rate of 3BB/100 hands.
Unfortunately he's very vulnerable to tilt and he also knows that sometimes he loses control.
If he has a really bad session he has found himself getting furious and blowing off his whole stack with bad bluffs.
Sometimes the bad bluff works, but let’s assume for our calculation that our hero loses 100 big blinds every time he "loses it."
If he normally wins 3 big blinds per 100 hands that means he needs to play 3,333 hands to make up that single episode of tilt
As a full-ring multi-tabling player he plays around 300 hands per hour so he needs to play 11 hours to win that back.
- Think about this: 11 hours of perfect poker to get back the money you lose in one, stupid hand.
There's Still Time to Right the Ship
Every reasonable poker player understands this point. But that doesn't stop most of us from going berserk.
IT IS CRUCIAL to realize one’s own emotions and respond accordingly. If you want to be a serious player, you just have to be able to do it.
If you notice you’re losing your control, follow the advice below to readjust:
• For all forms of tilt: Stop playing and take a break immediately. It’s simple but efficient. You will cool down and be able to refocus.
• For all forms of tilt: Read as many books and articles as you can. They will inspire you, broaden your knowledge and give you a better grip on basic techniques.
• For loose-aggressive tilt: step down to the micro-limits and blow a couple of stacks away. Release your aggression for little cost.
• For tight-passive tilt: Step down one or two limits to one you know you can beat. This will give you back your self-confidence and assurance.
• For fancy play syndrome: Get back to basics, stop bluffing and showing-off. Play standard, “good," tight-aggressive poker.
• For ABC poker tilt: Increase your bluffing frequency, try check-raising some more, play some more over bets. You need to get away from your standard, easy to exploit game. Develop some new ideas, and you will develop more self-confidence.
Checking Your Tilt is Essential
There is no poker player on the planet who can afford to go on tilt. Everyone who takes the game seriously has to get to know him/herself and his/her tilt tendencies.
You need to identify, deal and overcome it. Always be introspective. Check your emotional state constantly so you’ll recognize dangerous developments.
If you can detect tilt before it does severe damage you will be A LOT more successful in the long run.
And that, of course, needs to be your goal and your motivation.