Overcoming the Mental Game: 7 Ways to Avoid Going on Tilt in Online Poker

We’ve all been there before. You’re having a great poker session, steadily building your chip stack through patient and calculated play. But then the cards turn against you – that miracle river card your opponent needed to crack your pocket aces, the seemingly never-ending streak of bad beats. Before you know it, you feel your frustration levels rising as you watch your chip stack dwindle. You try to get back on track but you’re so emotionally affected that you can’t think straight anymore. You’re now officially on tilt.

Going on tilt is a mental state where a poker player at MrGreen becomes frustrated, angry, or confused, causing them to start playing recklessly without logic or reasoning. It’s one of the biggest pitfalls in poker and can quickly undo all the hard work you put in up until that point. But tilt doesn’t have to spell the end of your poker session – there are ways to identify when tilt is setting in and steps you can take to regain control. Here are 7 tips to help you avoid going on tilt the next time the poker gods turn against you:

1. Take a Break

When you feel yourself getting frustrated, one of the best things you can do is step away from the virtual felt for a few minutes. Get up, walk around, splash some water on your face – whatever you need to disrupt your emotional state and reset mentally. Taking even a short break gives you a chance to clear your head so you can come back grounded and focused.

2. Review Your Play

Often when tilt sets in, there’s a voice in the back of your head replaying all the bad beats you just took. Shift your focus instead to objectively reviewing the plays that led up to those losses. Think through each decision point clearly and consider if there were any leaks in your strategy. The goal isn’t to beat yourself up but rather to learn something that will strengthen your game going forward.

3. Check Your Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is key to avoiding tilt. If you shoot way above your bankroll limits during your session, that stress can contribute to frustration when the cards turn. Before you play again, reassess your bankroll rules to make sure you’re playing at stakes you’re rolled for.

4. Adjust Your Mindset

Tilt often stems from feeling like the poker gods are against you. The next time you sit down to play, consciously adopt a neutral mindset. Forget your previous bad beats and approach each hand with zero expectations. Remember that the outcome of any one hand ultimately comes down to math and probability. Some days the cards will fall your way and some days they won’t. What matters is making +EV decisions.

5. Table Select Carefully

The players you’re up against can also impact your mental game. Recreational players who play lots of hands loosely or maniacs who go all-in every other hand can increase variance and induce tilt. Next time, select a table with players using solid, fundamental strategies. The play will be more predictable and easier to plan against.

6. Stop Chasing Losses

When on a losing streak, a common rookie mistake is to try to immediately win it all back by playing more hands and more aggressively. But this reckless approach is exactly what leads to catastrophe. When tilt starts setting in, fight the urge to chase losses by digging in and playing your A-game one hand at a time.

7. Know When to Stop

At the end of the day, poker is just a game. If you recognize your decision-making abilities are truly compromised, the best thing you can do is log off and come back another day with a fresh start. There’s no shame in stepping away to preserve your bankroll and sanity.

Going on tilt can undo all the hard work you put into your poker game. But by leveraging these 7 tips, you’ll be well-equipped to minimize frustration, regain control, and make the best playing decisions possible – even when luck isn’t on your side. Stay focused on making +EV plays, stick to good bankroll management, and keep your mindset in check. This measured approach will carry you much further than any short-term winning or losing streak ever could.

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