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Introduction to Tilt

An Introduction to Tilt
By Loki Luchs of

Living in Las Vegas has taught me many things. Allow me to enlighten you about a few things that are different here than in less extreme parts of the world:

1. Wearing a dress doesn't mean it's a woman.
2. Modern corvettes and mustangs are only impressive cars when you don't see them every day.
3. Women who have surgical (ahem) enhancements feel that ownership belongs to the person wearing them, not the person buying them.
4. While the likelihood that you'll die from a mugging is low, the odds that you'll die from road-rage accidents is ridiculously high.

Las Vegas road-rage is unimaginable to a small-town hick from a Podunk town called Detroit. I'm used to cars whizzing down the I-94 at a reasonable 95 miles an hour. We have an understanding in Detroit that there are places that we need to be and we all accept the fact that if a few people need to die for us to get there, so be it. Why is this better than road-rage? We mid-westerners are a stoic lot; we accept that bad things happen to good people and that life isn't always fair. In Las Vegas, however, there is no such understanding.

In gridlock traffic, with no one being able to move, you'll still see the emotions flying in every possible direction. People who can see that there is nothing but cars piled up for a mile, will still blare there horns as though it would do any good. Individuals at long stop lights will lean out of their windows to scream at you if you aren't rolling forward before the light turns green. If you, God-forbid, don't let them cut you off, they might wave a gun at you. All of this because they are suffering an emotional response to something they can't control.

Tilt is the road-rage of poker. It's an emotional response to the external stimuli the game presents. In short, you deviate from your rational strategies and begin making decisions that are no longer logically justifiable.

How does a person recognize that they're on tilt? It depends. I usually ask myself if I'm playing my A-game; do all of the decision that I make have a reasonable premise? For instance, even if a play doesn't work, will it make money in the long run? Did it make sense from a mathematical standpoint? Was I playing the player and thought I had a read on his action? If not, then I'm probably letting my emotions or my apathy dictate my play.

Since there are varying degrees of tilt, it will effect you differently every time. Sometimes tilt is gradual and will naw at you; other times, it will be a single hand that knocks you off your game. While there will be times that you can overcome tilt, don't try to be a hero! The easiest way to stop losing money is to just leave the table. There's no better way to get ahead than by not falling behind.

A Historical Look at Tilt
Tilt: Metamorphosis


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