The TWO Things You Must Know Before Your Next Poker Session

The TWO Things You Must Know Before Your Next Poker Session


What’s the longest session you played? It’s almost as if gloating about some epic 50 hour session warrants us a reward. While it is cool and makes for a good story, it doesn’t often produce the best results.

And here, we’re all about making winners.

I’m a big fan of working backwards, particularly because most common knowledge is just that; backwards! So let’s look at the flip side of this: what is the shortest session you’ve ever played?

If I’m being honest, I’m hard pressed to think of times where I sit down for less than 4 hours. I take for granted that I’m going to perform my best for as long as I’m at the table.

But we all know it isn’t that easy. To really ensure top notch results, we have two options: improve our stamina, or play shorter sessions.

Improving Stamina: There’s many things I have suggested on how to do this, including improving diet, exercising and through connecting with a purpose. But even the best of the best have a limit. It’s important to be honest with yourself, and use introspection to find where that limit is for you.

Poker is very much like yoga in that you’re on your own journey. Your seat at the poker table is your sanctuary, so don’t worry about the person next to you. Don’t compare yourself and check your ego at the door. It’ll save you a few thousand dollars.

Sometimes, what we really need is just to get up and walk away. We’re at our limit, our focus changed or we simply lost the motivation to play. That’s okay! There’s nothing wrong with stopping; after all you’re going to have to eventually.

I swear sometimes it feels like people’s objectives is simply to be the last man standing. This may be trivial, but we often forget that the objective is to leave with more money than we came with, not play more hours!

But we all know that quitting (especially when losing), isn’t always easy. In today’s video I offer some tips into how you can practically set boundaries for yourself and know when the right time is for YOU to walk away.

What did you guys think? Do you struggle with quitting? What has worked best for you? Leave your thoughts in a comment below.

Have questions of your own you want answered in a video? Get in touch with me and I’ll respond personally. For the fastest feedback, subscribe to the blog and click “reply” to the welcome email.

Can’t wait for more of you questions. You guys are doing awesome with this!

See you soon!


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  • Stephen Beyer November 6, 2014 10:22 am

    I find I struggle with quitting when I’m winning. It goes something like this… I’m having a winning session and out of nowhere the thought comes, “I should quit now.” But I don’t. Because I’m winning. Then I’ll lose a few pots. Now I HAVE TO keep playing until I get back to at least the spot I was at when I had the original thought of quitting. But I hardly ever do. So I quit but now I’m not as pleased with the session (even though it was still a winning session) because I didn’t quit when I knew I should.

    I know it’s a sick mind trip but it happens more times than I’d like to admit.

    Main lesson from this is to follow my gut. Period. It’s more intuitive than my mind.

    • Alec November 6, 2014 10:53 am

      Great stuff Stephen.

      I totally know the feeling. As you’re starting to realize there’s a really, extremely window of when you can and should profitably quit. Stay too long and you risk complete disaster.
      I’ve been experimenting with some techniques to implement to make that work, and more broadly, why we have these feelings in the first place and what they mean. By knowing where they are coming from and how to interpret them we’re better equipped to make the right decisions.


  • Stephen Beyer November 6, 2014 12:54 pm

    Awesome. Looking forward to hearing what you come up with. Without trying to get too mystical it really does seem to boil down to be completely present in the moment and highly alert to all the information available to you. Some of which you may not understand the origins of. None the less it is information that should be put to use. If some part of me senses it’s time to quit then I think I should obey. Basically if I’m not 100% committed to staying in the game I should get out. Despite the urge originating from logic or intuition.

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