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Why You Should Allow Yourself Plenty Of Time To Play Poker

Oct 12, 2007
There's no question that online poker has opened up poker to so many people and given players who usually play offline the convenience of switching on their computer and sitting down at a (virtual) table any time they like. However, it's vitally important that you give yourself plenty of time when playing poker.

An exception to this is possibly sit and go's which generally take the same amount of time to finish, ie an hour or less, but in cash games and multi-table tournaments you really need to give yourself plenty of time.

Take multi-table tournaments for instance. These are real endurance events and can last seven hours or more so it's no good entering one of these events if they start at say 9.00pm if you know you have to be up early the next day.

You have to go into these tournaments with the aim of winning it, so always make sure you can play through seven hours or more with no distractions. You also need to play with focus and discipline as these can be very tough events to win, and will require your full concentration from start to finish.

This often comes with experience, but try not to start to play more loosely after a few hours when your energy levels and motivation starts to drop, as this will generally lead to you going out of the tournament and you will have wasted your time and money.

It's the same with cash games as well. To give yourself every chance of making consistent profits from the cash tables, you have to make sure you only play if you have plenty of time.

I personally learnt this the hard way early on in my poker career when I quickly discovered that if I only had say an hour or less to squeeze some poker in, then I nearly always left the session out of pocket.

This is because playing under time constraints doesn't allow you to settle into a game, weigh up your opposition and get a feel for the table. It can completely change the way you play because the time constraint will force you to play a more loose and aggressive game which although can pay dividends in some cases, can also make a serious dent to your bankroll.

Since then, I've always made sure I have at least a few hours to sit at a cash table, as this is more than enough time to feel yourself into a game, and sit patiently for premium hands.

So to conclude, always allow yourself plenty of time when contemplating a session of poker, whether it's an epic multi-table tournament or a simple cash game, as this will allow you to play your natural game without any self-imposed time constraints.
About the Author
James Woolley is a regular poker player and the author of a poker blog which is a complete guide to internet poker, and contains the very latest holdem poker tips to help you become a better poker player.
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