Tilt and Emotional Control

The biggest difference between long term winners and losers in poker is not skill. Skills are no use if a player doesn’t know how to remain calm and utilize them. The real key to success as a poker player is found in the ability to control your emotions. Have you ever seen Phil Ivey get angry at the poker table? Of course not, he knows that it wouldn’t do any good for him to get angry. Phil Hellmuth, on the other hand, gets angry all the time. His success has evaporated as all of the players have flown by him in the past few years. Doyle Brunson is another great example of a player who is known for his calmness at the poker table. These players are some of the best poker players ever, and they all know that emotion control is incredibly important. Successful online poker players are no exception to this rule. Online play can be extremely frustrating and it is crucial that a winning player be able to remain calm and play their best.


Tilt in poker has been around for as long as poker itself. Tilt is when players get angry or are otherwise not in the proper state of mind. Tilt is generally envisioned as a player getting visibly angry, but there are many other forms of tilts that plenty of poker poker players don’t even know about. A bad beat might infuriate a player and they may then go on tilt, but you can also be on tilt if you are hungry, sick, or under the influence of alcohol. Bad beats are the most common form of tilt as it is what poker players see on TV or are likely to recognize themselves, but when you are sick you will be prone to tilt as well. When you play sick it is likely that you will be upset over small losses that would not normally bother you. This irritation is just another form of tilt. Hunger and being under the influence operate the same way. Even if you are tired you will have an increased chance of going on tilt. All of these factors will make playing your best that much harder which as a result will put you on tilt.

Stopping Tilt

One of the hardest things to do in poker is stop tilt. Since it is such a challenge to wipe the tilt out from your game once it has set in, the best choice is usually to simply quit. If you do not want to totally quit your session, the other option is to cut down on your play. There are a handful of different ways that you can cut down on your play. If you are playing multiple tables you can cut a few of them out. This will make it easier to focus on your play which will ideally help to eliminate some of the tilt. Another option is to move down in limits. When you move down in limits it is likely that there will be less stress on your shoulders. This too will help to alleviate some of the tilt.