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A Historical Look at Tilt

A Historical Look at Tilt
by Loki Luchs of Predictem.com

The most common metaphor for poker is that it is war. Each hand is a skirmish; each force has tactics and shoots volleys at one another until one side withdraws or is defeated. In this spirit, I would like to take a moment to look at a military blunder that Napoleon Bonaparte ruined the French. Everything people hate about the French, Napoleon is to blame for. In the post revolution era, he was able to turn their war-broken country into a military powerhouse that dominated Europe within a decade. However, when he asked Czar of Russia for his daughter's hand in marriage, he was refused and humiliated. As a response, he mounted the largest land attack in history, 750,000 strong, and marched across Europe. As Russians tend to do, they retreated (burning all crops and food sources as they went) leaving the French to fight the cold winter and starvation rather than the Russian army. 500,000 of France's strongest and smartest would never return from the campaign. Of those that did, half would die of disease or complications within a year. These men were the genetic and social cream of the crop, since every able-bodied man was enlisted. This left the scrawny, weak, and the moronic to run their society… and to breed. Thus, 200 years later, we have the French of modern society.

TRYING TO DEPOSIT USING A CREDIT CARD AND BEING DENIED IS ENOUGH TO PUT ONE ON TILT. TO AVOID THIS ISSUE, PLAY USING YOUR CREDIT CARD AT PLAYERS ONLY POKER

The decision to invade Russia was impulsive and implausible, yet the greatest military mind since Rome couldn't see past his own anger and destroyed his entire country in the process. Despite his best efforts, Napoleon was human. At the poker table, we too, are human. It doesn't matter how long you've been playing or how much better you are than your opponents, you will not win every hand. You will not win every session. You will not win every month! One of the most fundamental issues that makes poker a skill game is recognizing that there is no luck; there's only fluctuation. Having three or four opponents draw out on you back to back is not the end of the world. This will happen from time to time, so don't let it get under your skin! Making bad decisions because of your anger isn't going to help out! It's only going to get you deeper in the hole and tilt you further! This downward spiral is the reason why many people don't have anything put an A-game and a D-game; the moment they tilt, their game drops so quickly that they don't have a chance to cool off.

The player who is most famous for this kind of meltdown is Mike Matusow. Infamous for his final table chokes, Mike is among the worst tilters in the business. Despite being an outstanding player, when he takes a bad beat, it ruins his game. This was never more obvious than during the 2005 Main Event. Mike was the second chip leader when he was crippled by the hand of destiny: Aces Vs. Kings pre-flop. This hand (which even flopped him a king to tease him into think that he might yet win the hand before his opponent went runner-runner for a flush) is the reason he does not count himself among the champions. What crippled him was not the number of chips he had left after the hand, as much as it was the way he played afterwards. Taking bad beats can feel like you've been physically beaten, but Matusow tilted like the Tower of Pisa and was eliminated shortly thereafter.

When it comes to tilt, remember how easy it is to lose sight of what your goal is. Napoleon wanted to get laid, Matusow wanted to be the champion you want to win money. Your ego, hubris, pride, and genitals are irrelevant! Don't become the player that defeats himself.

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