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Controlling your Emotions at the Poker Table

Article By: RuffPoker.com

Have you ever heard someone say “That man is playing on tilt”? If you play poker, than you have more than likely heard that before. The expression “going on tilt” means that you have just made a bad play sometime in the last couple hands and you are now playing stupidly and uncontrollably because of it. It is possible to be playing great poker all day, making the right decisions when it counts and reaping the benefits and all of the sudden start playing like a crazy dumb person instantaneously following a bad beat or a mistake you made. You have to slow yourself down and control your emotions at the poker table. You have to be like a stone gargoyle at the poker table or else other people will take advantage of your emotions and you will end up blaming all your loss on them later.

Controlling your emotions is plain hard and not everyone can do it. After all most poker games include large amounts of money to win or lose so there probably is a reason for you to get upset – but you can’t. There are tons and tons of different ways to keep your cool at the poker table. After a bad beat you should always get up and walk around. You have to “Walk it off” basically. Like an ankle sprain, your hurting real bad, and you have to get up, take some deep breaths, and keep the blood flowing. If you ever play in a poker tournament that takes those 15 minute breaks for smokers or for whatever reason you’ll find that those 15 minutes are substantial and crucial to winning and having a fresh mind – whether you get a bad beat or not. So it’s always good to take breaks, but you should make it mandatory if you have just been the victim of a very bad beat.

Maybe you’ve played poker lately with one of those “idiots” that is wearing their iPod and constantly singing out loud at the table. Granted it is very annoying, but that person just might be on to something. There are many professional poker players that actually endorse such behavior. People that wear headphone all have one thing in common – they all claim that there music it what keeps them calm, cool, and collective. It is something that you should look into. Maybe it will work, or maybe it won’t but if it does, than you will be playing in control.

Talking to your friends is another good way to get all of your anger out. Sure they’ve heard a million and one poker stories from you but that’s what they’re there for. Chances are the person that just reeled in all your chips has a big smile on his face and talking to your neighbor who is plotting on how to take all your money now that you’re on tilt just won’t do it. When you get up and take your little break go over to your friends and discuss how “messed up” the hand was. If he is your friends then he’s going to be mad too and that always helps take a little of the anger away. Maybe he’ll have some good advice on how he would have played the hand. Hey, that’s what friends are for.

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Maybe you have to find something else that calms you down. Maybe its text messaging your spouse, or playing Tetris on your phone, or eating a gigantic hot dog that calms you. Whatever it is you should find it fast because there is absolutely no point at even sitting down at the poker table if you can’t control your emotions. That’s how gambling addictions are created and we’ve all seen those commercials.