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Putting an Opponent on Tilt

How to Put Another Player on Tilt
by Damian M. Moorman, Writing Staff

Mike Matusow and Antanas “Tony G” Guoga are two of the best at putting their opponents on tilt. These guys can talk, but they also have game to back it up. Matusow and Tony G have combined to make over seven million dollars in tournament cashes over the last ten years. This terrible twosome yells, points, mocks, and even sings their way to controlling the table, and with it, their opponents’ emotions. So how can we use similar tactics to put our opponents on tilt? Let’s take a closer look at the two players mentioned above.

Mike Matusow is known, for better or for worse, as a talker. He is nicknamed “The Mouth” for a reason. He throws his opponents off by using many different tactics. It is not a coincidence that he is most talkative after someone loses a big pot. His non-stop chatter angers many players at his table. He also verbally taunts other players when he wins a pot or when they make a bad play. He makes other players scared to play against him in fear of what he might say next. The Mouth will say, or sing, just about anything to get opponents on tilt. No one likes to be mocked or disturbed when they are concentrating. Mike Matusow knows this and utilizes it at the table.

Now let’s take a look at Tony G. If you are not sure if you have ever seen him play, I would bet that you haven't. Tony G is one of the most memorable players in the game today because of his antics at the table. Many people believe his tactics to tilt opponents are disrespectful and immature, but few claim that they are not effective. Tony G might even be a level above Mike Matusow as a trash talker because he usually gets even more personal with his words. While Mike Matusow may force his opponents to play worse, due to annoyance or frustration, Tony G makes his opponents play the way he wants them to play.

We are most likely not going to be as good at being bad as Mike Matusow or Tong G, but we can still put players on tilt. I am not advising you to taunt or berate players because I do not know who you sit down at the table with regularly. After seeing many of the things these two characters say to other opponents, it may be safer for you to pass on the verbal attacks. Still there are other ways to force your opponents on tilt.

One player I believe is very good at frustrating his opponents does so without ever saying a word. I see this man playing $2/$5 No-limit side games at Argosy casino, located in Lawrenceburg, IN. He is not an arrogant and flashy player like The Mouth or Tony G. He uses his silence to aggravate players. I have seen this guy play multiple times and have yet to hear him talk. It upsets other players so much when he doesn't respond to their small talk. This is not the only passive way he can tilt his opponents. When he raises another players’ bet, he uses both hands and crosses the chips in the shape of an “x”. Besides realizing that they have just lost the pot to this man, his unique way of raising them adds insult to injury. I have seen players so upset with the creative way he raises that they have slammed the table and walked out of the poker room cursing. One player, an older lady, was so upset with him after a pot she lost that she attempted to mock him by mimicking the way he bet for nearly an hour. In his quiet and non-confrontational way, he managed to put players on tilt without saying one word.

It is a gift to be able to get inside the mind of another player and figure out what kind of a hand he is holding. This is the same for figuring out what makes an opponent go on tilt. Work on it the next time you play. Don't lose focus of the ultimate goal, which is to make your opponents play worse. Avoid being rude for no reason but try finding out how to make a player lose concentration. Sing an annoying song, make a sarcastic comment about a bad play, bet in a weird fashion when raising another player, or remain quiet when asked about a past hand. Put your opponents on tilt and reap the benefits.

Related Articles:
The Anti Tilt - Tips on how to avoid finding yourself on tilt during a poker game when the cards aren't going your way.


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