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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

November 15, 2005

Poker Tilt: Definitions

by Otis

Mrs. Otis sat on the couch and looked back and forth between the computer screen and my face. The images on the screen represented her bi-weekly paycheck being eaten by the dog then subsequently thrown up on the kid. The look on my face was not unfamiliar. It's a slight flush in the neck, followed by a sigh leaking from my mouth, followed by the words, "Oh, well."

Then she spoke. "So, is that what you people call variance?"

This scene actually played itself out in my living room a couple of weeks ago as I began what I have affectionately come to call the "November Slide." It wasn't until last night that I remembered that every November for the past three years, my game has gone in the crapper. As they say, bad players always remember their wins but forget their losses. I'd chosen to forget, for whatever reason, that November is always a bad month for my game.

As I sat to write out the reasons behind the "November Slide" (by the way, not at all related to the Electric Slide, other than they are two completely irrational and ugly things you'll hear idiots talk about), I decided to read about G-Rob's Card Dead Tilt (CDT). It's little secret that I enjoy reading about G-Rob's failures. I figure if he can make jokes about my hairline, I can take a minute amount of pleasure in his losing a few hundred bucks when he's playing badly.

As usual, G-Rob provided us with a good, introspective reflection on a bad night. Though I like to poke fun, G-Rob is not alone. Of course, we all like to say we are un-tiltable. I've said it more times than I can count. I also used to say, "I like to wait." It took me five years to admit I was lying to myself. I don't like to wait. And, though I am not easily tilted, I am tiltable.

As the "November Slide" continues unabated and my bankroll begins to consult with domestic violence counselors, I thought it might be a good time to expand on G-Rob's seedling of an idea. With that I offer...

The Nearly Comprehensive (but likely quite incomplete) Glossary of Tilt


(1) n. A altered state of mind that adversely affects a poker player's game
(2) v. The act of altering an opponent's mind so that his game is adversely affected
(3) n. A reprehensible and disgusting ESPN drama that was likely written in consult with Russ Georgiev

Bad Beat Tilt--Perhaps the most common form of tilt, Bad Beat Tilt often appears in concert with one's opponent sucking a two-outer. Bad Beat Tilt is often exacerbated by said opponent using the phrase, "I felt it."

Card Dead Tilt--See G-Rob's lengthy definition here.

Stuck Tilt--This tilt appears after having played a lengthy session only to find one's stack is smaller--usually significantly smaller--than it began. Stuck Tilt manifests itself in a common symptom of unfortunate poker play: "Getting Even." (See "Taking a Shot Tilt")

Taking a Shot Tilt--When Stuck Tilt lasts for more than a few sessions (as seen in such recent tales as "November Slide", which is not at all like the song "November Rain" unless you count the screaming that occurs in both), Taking A Shot Tilt walks hand in hand with Stuck Tilt. When under the influence of this kind of tilt, a player decides to play above his normal limit in an effort to win back his losses at a faster rate. Of course, this often results in more losses (see the unwritten and never to be published "Experiment with $50/$100")

Big Blind Defense Tilt--As the masters have taught, big blind defense is an art. When Big Blind Defense Tilt affects a player, one begins to believe an opponent is indiscriminately attacking his or her big blind with trash. A choice is made to defend the big blind, which (being out of posisiton with 73 offsuit), even with a suitable amount of aggression results in ultimate failure and the loss of three more big bets than one would've lost otherwise.

Happy Tilt--Another common form of tilt, Happy Tilt appears in the middle of a profitable or otherwise fun session. Whether a player is winning or simply having fun with his buddies at the table, Happy Tilt can prove to be an unhealthy leak that causes players to "gamboooooool" indiscriminately. Happy Tilt is often made worse by mass consumption of alcohol (See also Whiplash Tilt)

Whiplash Tilt--A form of Hapy Tilt brought on by Whiplash the Dog-Riding Money. This form of tilt first raised its happy head during the 2004 WPBT Holiday Classic.

Fake Tilt--A stategic play aimed at making one's opponent believe one is on tilt, when, in fact, he/she is in complete control on one's faculties. Some scholars warn that Fake Tilt can mysteriously morph into full-blown Real Tilt without warning or explanation.

Red Ass Tilt--A form of tilt that has no explanation. The Missouri Crew co-opted the phrase from the 1985 movie "Moving Violations." It's one of these not-quite-tangible moods. If you accuse a person of having it, they have it by default. They can't deny it. Denying it only makes it a worse case of the Red Ass.

Cackling Wife Tilt--A form of tilt brought on by one's wife laughing heartlessly at your failures and bad luck. For futher information on this topic, see this scholar.

Tommy Tilt--G-Vegas-specific form of tilt, identified by a solid/rockish player finally deciding make a play at a pot and having G-Rob (not in the pot) call his hand and announce it to said rockish player's opponent, inducing a call and a subsequent loss by said rockish/solid player. Tilt is exacerbated by G-Rob's assertion that he really thought he was helping said rockish/solid player.

Alright, I've run out of steam for the moment. Do me a favor an help us out here. If you have a favorite form of tilt, serious or not, leave it in the comments. If we like it, we'll include it--wth credit, of course--in the main body of the post.

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