There is only one legitimate way to manage tilt at the poker table. Stop playing.
It really is as simple as that. Bankrolls are lost faster than you can say ‘Phil Ivey’ while on tilt.
So we all know and agree that this is a foolproof method of avoiding losing money while tilting, but realistically, it’s not easy at all. This article assumes that you are unable to stop playing when on tilt and how to minimise your losses, or even turn a profit.
Avoid alcohol or caffeine
While you’re at the poker table, you do not want to alter your mood in any way. A clear mind will equal profits.
Would you go to your 9-5 office job after a few beers? No. If you’re a serious poker player you want every possible advantage over your opponents. If you’re the only sober one, your edge is much larger than in a normal game.
If you need caffeine to stay alert at the poker table, then it is time to go home. A well rested player is going to have more success. Players tend to play long hours due to convenience and other reasons. These players are generally more susceptible to throwing money away or missing good spots to collect.
Go to the bathroom
Did your quads just get crushed by a rivered straight flush? Get up and take a walk to the bathroom. On the way, take some deep breaths and regain your composure. The hand is over. It happened. You need to move on and think about the rest of the game.
Wash your face and get back into your poker mindset. These things happen all the time, so when you return to the table, try and put the hand out of your mind and concentrate on the game at hand.
Understand poker variance
Understanding the concept of variance in poker is extremely important for long-term success. This is probably the most important lesson to learn to avoid tilting. You will take horrible beats, but you will also put horrible beats on your opponents.
If you’ve just taken your 100th bad bead, you have probably put 100 bad beats on other players.
The key is to make sure you maximise your profits during your winning hands and minimise your losses during your losing hands.
Shorter poker sessions
If you have a set amount of hours you play poker per week, try and play more but shorter sessions. This ensures that if you are on tilt, you are at the table for as little time as possible.
While this method will not stop losses while on tilt, it will considerably reduce the time you spend at the table in a bad mindset.
Don’t let your ego influence your game
Did your table nemesis just play a hand terribly, yet take a big pot off of you? The biggest mistake you can make here is to try and win your money back.
Let it go.
If you target that one player, you will miss out on some great opportunities against other players.
If your opponent realises that you are trying to win your money back, you may fall into their trap which will cost you even more.
Just remember there are a table full of players, so get revenge by taking money from other players so he cannot win it himself!