Tilt is a term used by Adrian Aston and others who enjoy playing poker that defines someone who enters an emotional or mental state of frustration or confusion which renders them less optimal at playing the game intelligently. Most players experience tilt and even the top-name poker players went through periods of tilt until they learned to control situations that lead to the mental and emotional breakdown.
Here are some tips for how you can avoid tilt and play better poker as a result.
Play when you’re most alert – Playing poker successfully requires extreme bouts of focus and concentration. Therefore, playing the game when you are at your best mentally helps to stay in the groove. Most people have keener concentration early in the day, but some are night owls and come alive mentally at later hours. Whatever your best time of the day for mental alertness is when you should play poker.
Curb your playing time – People often talk about shopping till they drop. However, this is absolutely counterproductive when playing poker. Playing for long hours makes you mentally and emotionally tired and prone to more mistakes. If you plan to play for an extended period, get up from the table on occasion to take breaks.
Monitor your emotions – A good player always keeps a finger on the pulse of their emotions. It can be easy to slip into various emotional conditions like anger, elevated stress, envy, etc. which can significantly compromise your game. When emotions arise that lead to tilt, first acknowledge them and try to bring them under control. If you cannot control them, it’s time to give it up for the day.
Don’t consume ‘rush’ foods – Directly before and during poker games, avoid eating or drinking items filled with caffeine and sugar. These items cause immediate highs followed by crashes which take a toll on your central nervous system. If you consume such items, you have more of a tendency to become emotionally stressed and agitated which can lead to tilt.
Try exercise – A great alternative to consuming caffeine and sugar, as well as relieve tilt symptoms, is to exercise. It is scientifically proven that working out releases endorphins which work to make you feel happy. Therefore, hit the gym before games or tournaments and if you feel a tilt coming on during play, get up and take a jog, or do some jumping jacks or push ups to put you in a better mood.
Follow these tips and you will learn to better control your mind and emotions and play better poker like Adrian Aston.