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When to step away from a Poker Table - Part 1

The most money a poker player will lose at a table happens when they should already have left. They will then proceed to name every position in which they should have called it a night, and saved themselves several buy-ins. Knowing when to leave a table and end your session is a valuable trait to master, as it will save you several buy-ins each week, month and year. This article does not contain information on using systems such as stop-losses or quitting when you reach X amount of profit at a table etc. But more signs which should inform you to stand up and end your session there.


Fatigue is possibly the hardest thing to shake off whilst playing poker and to be honest, sitting at a poker table isn’t the most breath taking of experiences. When your brain is tired, simple decisions become major tasks, making playing poker virtually impossible to do whilst making a profit.

Another consequence of tiredness is the shortened attention span. It becomes increasingly harder to concentrate on an activity when tired, and attention is paramount for playing profitable poker.

Judging the amount of time you should play a session of poker depends upon a wide range of factors. Firstly, the amount of tables you play will heavily contribute to the amount of time you can play, as the more tables you have open the more decisions and strain you put on your brain. Also the length of the session is important. If you are playing just one table you will obviously be able to play for much longer then if you have 10 tables open.

Other personal factors come into play when deciding the right amount of time you should play for. Things such as age, personality e.g. if you are a person who cannot concentrate for long on one thing, medical factors etc. Also the sort of activities you have participated in the past day. If you were out drinking heavily the night before, you shouldn’t really be playing long sessions into the night the day after.

Constant distractions

Although many people will disagree, it is impossible to multi task whilst playing poker. Sure you might make a sandwich while playing on your laptop, or browse the internet whilst playing, but can you honestly say you are fully concentrating on the game and playing your A game? Of course you’re not.

Most players will become distracted by just about anything when they are ready to stop playing, but they carry on regardless. If you seem to start becoming engrossed in a television programme, or something on the internet has caught your eye, close down the table or even just sit out, because it is obvious whatever has caught your attention has obviously interested you more then the poker game has.

A lot of people become obsessively distracted by a sports game and try to play poker at the same time. When this happens, you have to choose which one you want to focus your attention on, and just switch off the other. If it is a big important game to you, switch down the laptop. Relax and enjoy yourself, the poker game will be there when the game finishes. This will also save you a lot of money because when they game is highly important to you, your mood switches as the game progresses. So if you have just viewed your team get slaughtered, it will reflect upon your bankroll.




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