How to put me on tilt

by PokerAnon ~ March 14th, 2010. Filed under: Poker psychology, Weaknesses.


I was just thinking about how various types of players, various situations put us on tilt.

We spend a lot of time, discussion, thought, about how to avoid tilt, how to deal with tilt, how to get off tilt. But it’s often interesting to look at things from different perspectives. For example, if I wanted to put myself on tilt, how would I go about it? If I were doing a psychological exercise and trying to devise as many methods of putting someone off their game, what techniques could I use? We get the same random cards as anyone else, so manipulating cards to suck out isn’t an option.

Then the next step might be assuming that most players do not intentionally try to tilt us, that often it’s pure ignorance that they chase weak draws and always seem to hit, or get in our way when we’re trying to isolate and eliminate a short stack from a tournament, or bet into dry side pots on the bubble. We know what they’re not seeing, but what are they seeing? And how can we exploit that?

So first, here’s how to annoy me at the poker table:

  • Bet into dry side pots on the bubble
  • Iso-raise instead of calling a short stack on the bubble with a marginal hand
  • Spend time in the chat box calling players names, even if it’s not directed at me
  • Chat in another language, particularly if the site specifies chat in English only
  • Keep trying to engage me or the table in general in chat when no one shows any interest
  • Constantly take the maximum amount of time to fold your hand
  • Bet at all unopened pots
  • Minraise preflop often
  • Minraise my flop bets
  • 3 bet me in position or raise or check-raise my flop bets every time we’re in a hand together
  • Limp AA/KK utg
  • Slow-slow-slow play flopped sets

Now, I know some of these are reasonable actions even if I find them distasteful, like limping big hands or slowplaying to the max, but still they annoy me, personally. I get particular satisfaction when I raise a marginal hand which has little implied value because I’m not going anywhere with less than two pair, and then I stack AA or KK that tried to trap, or bet my flush draw and hit, getting paid off by a set on the flop that opted to slow play. And playing aggressive against me is a good plan because it’ll cause me to fold some marginal hands and make me likely to increase my aggression level and spew.

I play various levels, from freerolls on sites where I have no bankroll to 0.25/0.50 cash tables on sites where I do have a bankroll. I don’t usually play a lot of tournaments or sit and goes, but when I do they might range anywhere from 0.25 to $10 + 1 buyin levels so that explains why I run into some of these plays which are typical of bad or beginner players.

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