Tilt happens to everyone, from the biggest poker pro's and up to beginners who just finished reading the Hold'em poker rules. Tilt is simply losing mental control or 'cool'. It might happen to you after losing a very strong hand to an opponent who drew a lucky card on the river. One of the most disturbing things that can happen in Hold'em poker is to be called to the river when you hold a solid and even top hand and see your opponent catching a set on the final card and taking away the stacked pot. It might happen when it seems you just can not get a decent hand for ages or their good hands just keep getting outplayed. Sometimes players even go on tilt after winning one or two major pots and they begin playing like their invincible. Either way, tilt will cause you to lose a lot of money, both on the short run and the long run.
To try and avoid getting caught into tilt think about a time when you pulled off a bad beat on someone. Of course it does not mean you should do any silly moves more often (or at all) or stop paying attention to poker pot odds but it can remind you that you to had some lucky long shots in your games. Many professional players use music to calm them during the big tournaments. This might well for you too. Listening to some music you love might be helpful and help you to calm after a particularly bad bead. Change the music you are listening to once every while. Remember the music should be such that will not take your attention of the game and will not get you to relaxed and unfocused.
Many online poker players tend and me among them, tend to get pretty worked up in front of the computer. If you can remember yourself yelling at the computer or banging the table, then you know what I mean. Although it might help you to let out some steam at one point it is really a bad habit (think how this behavior will look next to a real casino table and how casino security will react). This sort of behavior will also get you madder and more emotionally involved in the game – a guaranteed way to keep losing money. After losing a big pot because someone pulled off an extremely stupid move, just take a moment to clear your mind and breathe. When you are relaxed again, get back into the game.
Peter Garret, Editor