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Avoiding Poker Tilt

Tilt. It’s like the Domino’s Noid only instead of wrecking pizzas, it wrecks your bankroll. Tilt is an invisible force that gets inside your head and causes you to make bad play after bad play until you’re broke.

Everyone has gone on tilt at one time or another and everyone has horror stories about how much money they lost when it happened. If you want to be a successful poker player, you have to learn how to spank your tilt monkey. Here’s how to do it.

Practice Proper Bankroll Management

Managing the poker bankroll is one of the most important and most overlooked strategies for not busting out and going broke. Countless players who would otherwise be good profitable players are sitting on the sidelines because they did not manage their money well and dropped their roll to zero.

Hint: Start your poker bankroll with free money from the poker site. No Deposit Poker Bankrolls Available

You should have only a small fraction of your money on the table at any given time. It hurts a whole lot less to lose 2% of your bankroll than it does to lose 20% of your bankroll. That might sound obvious, but plenty of poker players end up losing half their bankroll when they decide to take a shot at a higher limit and then gone on monkey tilt and lost the rest. Manage your money wisely and you’ll reduce your chances of tilting.

Play Multiple Tables

When you’re playing a single table, all of your energy is focused on that one game. Take a bad beat, and that’s all you’ll think about for the rest of the session. But if you’re playing 8 tables, you’ll barely realize how bad your beat was. You’ll place your bet, look away, and by the time you realize your straight was no good, you’ll have 3 other tables beeping for your attention. Easy come, easy go.

Think About The Big Picture

Sometime you can do everything right and still lose. That’s poker. Luck is a factor and quite frankly; it’s what makes the game so much fun. If we didn’t want luck involved, we’d play chess instead.

When luck decides to kick you in the face, it helps to look at the math behind your decision. For example, let’s say you lost a $300 pot of which you contributed $125. You were an 85% favorite at the time. If you run that hand 100 times over, you’d lose 15 times and win 85 times. To put that in monetary terms, you’d lose $1,875 and win $10,625 for a net profit of $8,750. Sometimes all you need to do is prove to yourself that you did the right thing.

Sit Out For A While

Of course, you could be tilting so bad that it defies reason. When no amount of mathematical manipulation can soothe the murderous rage in your heart, it’s best to click the “Sit Out” button and go get something to eat to take your mind off the hand.

But sometimes thirty minutes or an hour won’t be enough. You may need to take a day or two before going back to the tables. There’s no rush. If you try to go back before you’re ready, you risk taking another bad beat and really losing it. Never play when you’re not in the right mindset.

Take A Break From The Game

Occasionally you’ll suffer a beat so horrible, due to play so egregious, that it brings you to the edge of insanity. One day won’t help, two days won’t help either and the mere sight of your poker books will make you want to light some matches and commit arson. When you reach that point, it’s time to take a break from poker altogether.

We’re talking total avoidance of all things poker. Hide your poker books (so you don’t commit a felony), shut down your computer, and don’t even watch poker on TV. Take your mind off the game for as long as necessary. Three months was my longest break. It’s a long time, but my bankroll is still intact because of it.

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Tilt is a poker player’s worst enemy. Learn to recognize it and how to handle it. Knowing how to manage tilt properly will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the long run.