Tilt is a mental state or emotional frustration which leads to a bad play. It may be caused by bad beats, not being able to catch bluffs, long stretches of being card dead, losing a series of coin flips, losing big pots to fishy players, or just being upset by something said by your opponent. Some external factors that are not part of the game may also lead to tilt. Yes, things outside the table, such as stress at home, financial troubles, inadequate sleep, alcohol, drugs, etc. – may also affect your ability to play. When you are so ‘tilted’, you hardly play your normal game. You start chasing your losses, re-buy multiple times and continue to play while upset. As a result, you lose more and more!
How to manage tilt comes out only through experience and knowledge of the game. Here are some crucial tips on ‘Tilt Management’ from 2018 WPT Vietnam Main Event champion Dhaval Mudgal, Adda52 Team Pro Kunal Patni and former DPT champion Ashish Ahuja – all very experienced and talented poker players who have been through the highs and lows of the game over the years.
Tips By Delhi Pro Dhaval Mudgal
2018 WPT Vietnam Main Event champion Mudgal is one of India’s top players with an impressive $505,800 in live tournament earnings till date. Currently ranked 9th on India All Time Money List, the Delhi-based musician turned poker pro has 5 major titles, more than 50 final tables and plenty of deep runs to his name. Playing poker for more than 9 years, the veteran pro has deep understanding of the game. We caught-up with him to know how he personally deals with tilt.
1. Learn to detach yourself from results. As long as you are playing well, results should not matter. Focus on the process and not the outcome.
2. Remember you are incredibly lucky to be playing this game in the first place and surround yourself with people who care about you.
4. Do meditation to relax your body and mind.
5. Take time off. Do things that make you happy, like spending time with family, going out and doing other things to help take your mind off poker. Worry about the things you can control instead of how the cards fall which you have zero control over.
Tips By Adda52 Team Pro Kunal Patni
Currently ranked 10th on India All Time Money list with $466,324 in live earnings, the 2018 WPT Berlin Main Event runner-up Patni is one of the prominent names in the Indian poker circuit. With already two major live titles, multiple runner-up finishes and plenty of FTs on his resume, he is one of the very talented and experienced players who have been through the highs and lows of poker. We caught-up with him for some tips on ‘how to deal with tilt’. Here is what he had to share:
1.The best way to avoid tilt in Poker is to take a break. If you are playing online cash, then take a 5-10 minute break to cool off. If you are playing an MTT online, then avoid using the re-buy button immediately after getting a bad beat. Just take a breather and come back after a while to re-buy into the tournament. While playing live, you need to follow the same strategy. Walk off the table and come back after you have cooled down.
- There is no point in discussing your bad beats with anyone. It only aggravates the tilt further and doesn’t calm you down.
3. Don’t make it an EGO issue. If we have been given a bad beat or have been coolered off by an opponent, we usually make it an ego issue and want to play more hands against this opponent to get back the chips. We almost always over-estimate our hand strength in this case and get into an ego battle with the opponent. This is a recipe for disaster.
- Listen to some soothing music. This would help you stay focused on the game and also help you avoid getting into verbal arguments with the opponent on the table. This will help you immensely in staying away from negative energies.
- Take that extra 20 seconds in taking your decisions instead of snap-calling a bet or shove. Trust me that extra 20 seconds will go a long way in helping you take the optimum decision.
Tips by Lawyer-Turned-Poker Pro Ashish Ahuja
Ahuja is also a well-known name in the Indian poker circuit and has created quite an impression on the felts especially in the last one year. The lawyer turned poker pro from Chandigarh has been on numerous final tables with many podium finishes. That also includes his first major live title, which he earned by taking down the 20K NLH Bounty Event at DPT February 2018. He was one of the most consistent player from Team India with as many as 9 cashes at the 2019 WSOP. When approached for his advice and tips on dealing with tilt in poker, Ahuja shared the following tips for poker players:
1. I usually always have some soothing music on while I’m playing and if I get a bad beat, I switch to my favourite track and put on maximum volume.
2. I try to avoid watching runouts in the hands I’m all-in pre flop.
3. Poker is like any other profession. You need to take a break from it like you do in your other jobs. Playing 7 days a week is only gonna deteriorate your mental state. Try taking 1-2 days break every week and one full 7-10 days break after every 3-4 months. It’s necessary.
4. Devote some time to some physical exercise. A healthy body is key to a healthy mind. If you feel confident about yourself, you’ll put in better efforts on playing better game too.