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Sports & Gaming

Managing and Exploiting Tilt

Daniel Negreanu

Lesson time 19:11 min

Daniel encounters TILT just like every other player. Learn the mantra he uses to keep his emotions in check, and how to use TILT as a weapon against your opponents.

Daniel Negreanu
Teaches Poker
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So there's three basic characteristics that make an elite poker player. One is just the raw fundamentals and skill. The other is a fundamental understanding of the mathematical side. The third part is what I'd call discipline. Right? And that is the most important part of the trio because you can have all the talent in the world, know all the math, but if you start ignoring the disciplined focus of what you're supposed to be doing, you're chasing. Poker is a very stressful game in that, as I said, you don't get a paycheck that looks the same every week. So sometimes when things go poorly, it's a real test of your mettle. And discipline is what's going to see you succeed in the long run. You can take two specific players-- and I have examples. There was a guy named Huck Seed, who was a World Champion of Poker, one of the most skilled and talented players you've ever seen. And when he's on his A game, nobody could touch him. Problem was, half the time he played his F game. There was another gentleman by the name of David Grey. David Grey. Didn't really have an A game. He was just OK. But he was steady like the tortoise. He just continually always played his game, never got out of line. And over the long haul, David's the guy who ends up with money. Huck would be one who had to deal with demons because he was so focused on playing his A game that when he didn't you'd see him falter. So super important to have discipline because talent alone is not enough if you're not able to execute. What exactly is tilt? Well, tilt comes from pinball games. I don't know, for a lot of you younger people, you don't remember pinball. But pinball was-- the game would tilt if you smashed it around. If you were angry and you moved it left or right then the game would stop working and you'd be on tilt. Well, that happens in poker too, to a different degree. And tilt essentially is born out of frustration, anger, sadness, fear, a wide spectrum of emotion that doesn't really belong at a poker table or in a poker decision. So let's say you come into a game with a full game plan of how you're going to play and it goes really poorly for two hours. And everything goes wrong. You're making the right decisions but-- you're playing the right way but nothing's working. And you just keep losing. And you just have bad luck. Now the real question is, how do you handle those situations? And for a lot of players they go on tilt. So they veer from the strategy that is always ideal, the one that they want to employ. And they start playing hands they shouldn't play. They start bluffing more. They start calling more. They're just not focused at all. And if you do find yourself on tilt in a tournament, you don't really have the luxury of saying, well, I quit. Tournaments, they don't work like that. So much like in golf, analogy of Tiger Woods, who hits a bad shot, hits one into the trees. So it's not a good thing for him. But if he focuses on that shot for the rest ...

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Put yourself across the felt from Daniel Negreanu, the biggest live tournament poker winner of all time. The six-time World Series of Poker champion teaches poker strategy, advanced theory, and practice through hand-reviews of his winning games. Learn how to sharpen your mental game through demos on reading opponents and spotting tells. Join Daniel at the table to increase your win rate, grow your ROI, and get your game “in the money.”


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Has helped me with my overall poker strategy and approach at the table, as well as some of the more-detail oriented issues I've had in my game!

Many terms are taken as granted at the beginning of the course and explained only after. The content is great but it needs some ordering to make it more progressive (first the basic definitions and then up to the complex stuff)

Learning Poker and it really helped to go through this class

I learned more about players range and adjusting your playstyle. Learning to pay attention for tells.


A fellow student

it is pretty good, planning to read BLINK book soon. I recently had a tilt in a final table being a chip leader, there was short stack guy went ALL in and I was big blind called him along with small blind and on turn small blinds bets 25k and I folded with decent hand and after river I see small blind had nothing except one ACE and 5 he bluffed me that got me TILTED, wanted him OUT of the tournament and refused to CHOP until he was out but I ended up getting out. So YES TILT is dangerous and NEVER GO Personal revenge with ANYONE


I so wish I had gotten to this lesson yesterday. On the button, flopped the straight, bet it hard I was up against a really good and deepstacked player in this cash game. He called. the turn gave a second spade, but added to my straight. I bet hard he calls, the river was another spade. He checked I bet hard again. He sits there, talking to himself out loud running off possible hands I could have. Then he raises $300. I had lost every race that day, but had battled back from being $200 down, to back up to $500. I call. He had the flush. I got caught up in his act, my own vision that I had it, because I did until the river. Went on full tilt. At least this time I realized it and said I'll take the $170 I still have left and call it a day. Love the course. It has really been helping.

A fellow student

Thanks for spolier warning, some people really appreciate that like me. Great lessons, thank you.

Steve L.

Absolutely. Knowing what you should do and doing it consistently are two completely different animals.

A fellow student

Great lesson. Side note, I don't think Daniel has seen Rounders. Teddy KGB and Mike weren't playing a tournament. It was a high limit cash game.