Poker is a game of tension and extremely high emotions. To be successful, you must be able to control yourself, particularly if you’re not having the best of luck.
If you can’t do that, you are very likely to end up on “tilt”, or “tilting”.
This term refers to a player being overly frustrated and then aggressive in how they play their hands.
Usually this tactic is harmful to the player’s chances, because they aren’t betting sensibly and are therefore vulnerable to opponents taking advantage of them, having spotted their tilt.
Commonly, a tilt is caused by a damaging defeat like getting a bad beat, or losing a big hand with a massive pot.
Players can be negatively impacted by that, which ultimately clouds their judgement for any future hands as they attempt to right the wrong that they feel hit by.
It can also be created by an argument amongst players following a past hand, and they then desperately want to get one over on their opponent.
5. Tony G vs Marcel Luske
A prime example of a poker player being on tilt is Tony G in this clip against Marcel Luske, showing no composure whatsoever.
Tony G begins with Pocket Aces, and Luske has a King and a Queen. Before the Flop, the former decides to raise the stakes to $23,000, which is called.
Luske amazingly gets Two Pair with a King and a Queen produced on the Flop, and Tony G makes an aggressive play with a $35,000 bet.
After Luske raises this to $85,000, Tony G decides to go all-in, and he is distraught when he sees his opponent's cards.
He stands up and briefly leaves the table while talking to himself, and bemoans his lack of luck.
Luske eventually completes Four of a Kind with his Kings, and Tony G is punished for his all-out attack.
4. Vanessa Selbst vs Scott Seiver
Going all-in before the Flop is an incredibly risky move, as Vanessa Selbst shows in this clip against Scott Seiver.
Selbst has an absolute nightmare when she does so with an Ace and a Jack against Seiver’s Pocket Aces. That leaves her with only a 4% chance of winning the hand.
To make such a move you would have to be tilting, especially when she only had to match her opponent’s $6,000 bet.
Instead, she put her entire $150,000 stack on the line, and when Seiver goes all-in with his $632,000 she knows it’s all over for her.
The Flop adds a 4, 5 and a 10, doing her no favours at all, but to rub salt into the wound the final Ace is produced on the Turn, confirming her exit.
Selbst is quite clearly livid and leaves the table straight away, but the camera follows her walking away.
She then tells the cameraman to stop filming and to “go away”, before physically moving it away from her.
3. Vanessa Selbst vs Bertrand "Elky" Grospellier & Scott Seiver
Known for her volatile betting, it's no surprise to see Vanessa Selbst making the list again.
Having Pocket Aces in two hands, she shows all the hallmarks of a bad tilt and chasing the win, even when she should be able to work out she doesn't have the best cards.
In the first hand against Elky, the Flop does her Aces no favours, producing a 5, 8 and 10.
That does give Elky a Straight Flush draw, and makes him the more likely victor.
After some bets and subsequent raises from both players, Selbst makes a seriously over-aggressive move by going all-in, and after calling the move Elky completes a Straight Flush on the River.
Then in a different battle with Scott Seiver, she makes an initial raise with the Aces, and is matched by Seiver's suited Ace and King.
Two Kings come up on the River, meaning Seiver has won barring a miracle.
Selbst calls Seiver's $28,000 raise, and then calls his $35,000 bet after the Turn.
She then checks after the River, but when she is met with an $87,000 bet she should take the hint and fold.
Inexplicably, she decides to match the wager, and ends up losing a fortune.
2. Scott Seiver vs Phil Laak
Having taken Vanessa Selbst out with Pocket Aces in the earlier video, Scott Seiver finds himself on the wrong end of a tilt with the same cards against Phil Laak.
Seiver immediately raises to $10,000 after the deal, but is called by the other three players.
He then has a massive 73.5% chance of winning when an Ace comes up on the Flop to give him Three of a Kind, alongside a 10 and a 5.
At that point, Laak’s eyes begin to light up, as he holds a 4 and a 2 from the deal, so he now only requires a 3 to be produced for a Straight.
After calling Seiver’s $17,000 bet, his luck is in on the Turn.
When Laak adds another $15,000 to the pot it should be a warning sign for Seiver, but he totally ignores it and raises to $50,000.
The River delivers a King, so Seiver should realise at this point that he is in trouble.
Unbelievably, he goes all-in with his $231,000 stack, and Laak calls with his remaining total of $81,500.
The cards are turned over, and Seiver looks furious at his defeat and starts talking to himself, though not quite as passionately as Phil Hellmuth is famous for.
1. Phil Hellmuth vs Daniel Negreanu
Speaking of Hellmuth, he showcases another of his infamous mental explosions in three consecutive hands against Daniel Negreanu.
In the first of those hands, Hellmuth manages to pull a Full House of two Kings and three 9s, but still loses.
Negreanu gets into his head from the deal, and despite having nothing but an 8 and a 6, raises to $140,000.
Incredibly, Hellmuth folds immediately despite his position, and the tilt really begins.
In between hands Negreanu continues to wind his opponent up, while Hellmuth bemoans his supposed bad luck.
When he is beaten in the next hand with only a Pair of 5s, missing out on a pot of $250,000, he puts his head in his hands and walks away from the table while repeatedly swearing at himself.
After returning to the table, he is still angry about his lack of success to the amusement of the commentators and the other players.
It only takes Hellmuth until the Turn to pull off a straight, but he gets an awfully bad beat on the River when Negreanu completes a Flush.
The Canadian bets $50,000 just to annoy Hellmuth even further, and when the cards are turned over Hellmuth starts to fume again.
Hellmuth leaves the table once more before continuing his rant, while the players and commentators cannot control their laughter at his expense.