Tilting in poker is something you need to train yourself to avoid. Surely you know that already, but watching another participant tilt is no grounds for you to play horribly yourself. The problem that poker players often go through when they realize another player is on tilt, is that they begin making maneuvers themselves whereby they risk too many chips in marginal spots.
Part of the reason why even good players tilt sometimes is because they see denser players get very lucky with sick hands and even worse strategy. There are so many fishy players online that it isn’t extraordinary to see insane plays dominate a table. Now if you play your average tight-aggressive way, it can be painful to see these insane participants rack up big tourney stacks or cashes at ring tables. You know they are playing bad, but they are getting rewarded for playing that way.
It’s difficult to not feel remorse about missing a hand that you would have won, holding something like king-eight suited or five-seven offsuit.. Theoretically you know you shouldn’t be playing those hands, but tilt can be contageous because you see other players winning who are simply playing too many hands. What is worse is that they are raising with weaker hands than yours and they are winning! Talk about discouraging poker.
The truly good players only get engaged when they should, and they recognize tilt is not a reason to play a hand. They could nonetheless play as a result of preferential position, lucrative pot odds, powerful hands, and over-aggressive opponents. They also recognize when to drop out of a hand and not let the pot get over-sized with narrow hands. Even if they think they are ahead, they prefer not to let the pot get too big – even against a weak player, unless they are sure they are a huge favorite. These are smart plays, not tilt response plays like your opponents are doing.
I’m sure you’ve seen such players, but such faults can be averted by taking the time to reassess the situation and getting rid of your emotional whim from the game. There is a simple remedy to the tilt virus and all it takes is a few seconds of self-control. This is why it’s always best to count to 10 before you make your all-in reraise or try and bluff a fish off a pot.
You should always look to preserve your stack to take advantage of your opponent’s tilt situation, not for when you are inclined to tilt yourself.