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February 19, 2006

Mental Alertness

Posted at February 19, 2006 05:06 PM in Beginner Topics , by The Padawan.

In reviewing my hand histories with Poker Tracker I noticed a pattern. I was losing consistently at certain times, and winning consistently at certain times. The players did not seem to be any better during my losing times. In fact, I think I saw more fish at the table when I was losing. So what was the problem.
The problem was me. I work midnight to eight am, and typically played a couple of hours in the morning after getting home. These were my biggest losing times. I also played in the evening before going to work, and those were my biggest winning times. This told me that after spending 8 hours grinding away at work, I was not mentally sharp enough to play good poker. It was obvious when looking back at the hand replays. I would watch and ask myself why did I bet or why did I call those hands. I was like a bull just plowing through and not paying any attention to how others at the table were playing. When a rock who has not raised a hand in an hour suddenly re-raises your bet, you better pay attention.
My analysis also told me that after getting a good sleep, I played much sharper poker. I was alert, relaxed and focused on the game. Also I was now fresh and playing against people who have spent the day grinding away at there own jobs or school. This probably means they are not as sharp as they could be (kind of like I was) Let’s face it, wouldn’t you rather play against someone who was tired and distracted than someone who is sharp and fresh? I would. And now I will.
So from this I have decided to cut my poker time a bit and play the quality times. I would rather play 2 winning hours than 4 break even hours. Or worse, 4 overall losing hours.
I confess that I find it exciting to find these leaks in my game. Each one I find makes me a better player, and hopefully more prepared to move up when I feel my bankroll is ready.

The Padawan

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