UK Poker Player Poker Strategy Articles Coping with Reverse Tilt

Coping with Reverse Tilt

Posted by David Cowell on July 24, 2010 at 12:36 GMT

Poker is much more fun when you are winning, but just like in other games, when you are winning all the time, it gives you a feeling of invincibility and can cause you to lose your focus on what created that winning streak in the first instance. This is known as “Reverse Tilt” and it can be equally as damaging as the tilt that everybody knows and fears.

Poker has a funny way of bringing players down to earth, and the feeling of euphoria that one feels when picking up a series of monster pots can be quickly deflated when a rush of blood to the head causes you to start betting on marginal hands and trying to bluff calling stations – you know it doesn´t work, so why do it?

We are not advocating that you should not try to win every hand that you have the right to win, or where the odds are in your favour, just that you should try to detach emotionally from the welcome situation you find yourself in, and there are two recommended steps you can take to do this.

The first is to leave the table and go and play at a higher level (which you should be able to do if your bankroll has benefitted from a series of large wins). The change of scenery will do you good and help you to re-focus. It will also make you tighten up your game initially, as you take your time to interpret the dynamics of the table and study the ways in which your new adversaries play.

If you are playing on top of your game, you will continue to win, but in a much more responsible manner and without the risk of blowing all your winnings whilst in an exhilarated state of mind.

The second step you should take is to record the circumstances that led to your fortuitous run. If you can understand what happened before, during and after your winning streak, and pinpoint those factors, you may be able to apply them again with the same results.

In fact, this process is just as useful as making notes on other players – effectively making notes on yourself – and it is a discipline that many pro poker players utilise to interpret both their winning and their losing streaks.

One of the great side effects of experiencing a major winning streak is that you become more positive and optimistic throughout your session. You will find that the standard of your game improves, you enjoy your poker more and it becomes increasingly profitable.