11/05/2009

When is the Best Time to Leave an Online Poker Game Part 1

Carl Sampson 'The Dean'

I have noticed over the years that my attention span when playing online has been getting less and less. There was a time when I could play forty or fifty hours a week quite easily but now that would simply drive me nuts. Some people are just happy to sit there all day playing poker but they must be made of totally different stuff to me that’s all I can say.

But yet live poker is a different story, even though I haven’t played live casino poker for a few years, I do remember being able to sit there from 9pm until kicking out time at 4am playing nothing but poker and the time seemed to fly by. But yet after 45 minutes online I start to get itchy feet and crave to do something else.

I really think that some players are just not cut out to play full-time online. But the rapidity in which you can lose focus and become bored online can be frighteningly quick. I try to play no longer than an hour now at the most and I think that setting out with the intention to play no longer than an hour actually helps me mentally because I know that I am not sitting down at the beginning to play a long grind.

This also brings up the question about when is the best time to leave an online poker game. I really think that there are no set definitive answers to this question and it depends on so many different variables. For instance I have never been that good of a player when I have been losing. This is just something that has stuck with me over the years and I try to work around it now.

If I am going to lose an amount of money then I would rather have that amount fragmented than happen all in one session. This allows me time to cool off and it also allows me to keep on playing decent poker during a bad run rather than play when I am losing and risk turning a losing session into a catastrophic one.

So I have no set times to leave a game but I will leave once I hit that certain point in which it is starting to affect me mentally. On the flip side is if I am winning, I then figure that when I am winning then my opponents (if they have hung around) must be losing and hopefully some of them may be in the kind of mindset that I may have been in (and have been in) had I been losing and decided to hang around.

Hopefully this will mean that someone may compound their loss while I on the other hand am in a good frame of mind. Its hard to quantify just how much this puts in your pocket by the year end but I bet the amount is substantial. But poker is a mental game and it isn’t always about trying to use ones superior knowledge to beat that of another player. If you are not in the proper mindset for whatever reason then you are no longer playing to your optimal level.

The natural follow on from this is that whatever overlay you may have had previously may now be reversed and bad players could now have the edge over you and that to me is a cardinal sin. If Manchester United play a lower league team in a cup tie then any drop in performance by United based on carelessness or not taking their opposition seriously enough will drastically affect the overall result. It hasn’t affected the ability of the players but it has affected the ability of the players to play to their optimal level. I don’t quite know the accuracy of this analogy but I hope that you get my drift.

But if your mentality is more suited to live play than online then this doesn’t mean that you cannot make money online. You can concentrate on playing short sharp sessions where you are always on top of your game mentally. Then you can look to possibly prolong the session if you are winning as winning players tend to be on top of things mentally anyway.

So the best time to leave a game doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the quality of the players. If all you play is live poker then I can understand players hanging around but in most levels online, you will always find decent games without having to risk going over the edge with your mindset.

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