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Getting back to Poker…Your PreSession Routine

published about 6 years ago

Put yourself in position to win.
Recently a new friend and I were talking. He was a bit frustrated with poker. After talking about what’s been going on, I realized that he had no pre-session routine.

Well when you play poker you do the same thing. You sit, you read your cards, you wait your turn, you read your opponents, you make a decision. Over and over and over, this is your in-session routine. Of course there are all sorts of things you can do to improve your in-session routine but that’s another topic…

So, what’s a pre-session routine?

A pre-session routine is everything you do before you start your session. This includes everything from going the bathroom to calling your mom to reading a poker article. But what I would like to focus on here is those moments that lead up to your session. So my friend was saying, recently when he goes to play poker he’s

1. Tired

2. has to get hands in

3. has only so much time

4. has been very busy

This is no way to win. This is recipe for disaster. So I quickly told him that when I go to play poker I try to put myself in position to win. So, what does that mean? “put yourself in position to win?”

I’ve watched many a sports interview with the worlds top athletes, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Tom Brady and they all have said the same thing, or something similar. They “put” themselves in the moment. They see themselves holding the trophy, making the winning play, taking advantage of their opponents tendencies, right down to the very details. They think of each move, how to implement it, who is going to help them and how. They put themselves in the moments leading up to win.

So I decided before every session, I would do this myself. So beyond making sure I go to the bathroom and call my mom, I think of how I’m going to make sure I play my A-game. Work on my A-game. Stay focused. And win. So if I had a pre-session list, similar to my friend it would look like this:

1. Take a deep breath before I get dealt a hand.

2. Look left to pick up preflop folding tells (when I play live)

3. Play the “folded” game, where you put your opponents on hands and watch the hands play out.

4. Take frequent breaks.

This is recipe to win. This is putting myself in position to have a good session, stay tiltless, and on top of my game. This is what I strive to do over and over. And I can only hope this short article might help you to do that same.


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tubasteve

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7647 posts
Joined 11/2007

Tommy Angelo has taught you well! Wink

Nice article Joe.

Posted about 6 years ago

BrentonMac

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88 posts
Joined 01/2008

Nice article Joe!

Wish this was written a couple of days ago before I sat down in a 'wrong state of mind' after finishing work and proceeded to lose two buy-ins quite quickly Frown

Posted about 6 years ago

Nexus

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101 posts
Joined 12/2007

I like this idea Smile consider it implemented in my game. Cheers Joe

Posted about 6 years ago

Amaryllis

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431 posts
Joined 09/2007


1. Tired

2. has to get hands in

3. has only so much time

4. has been very busy



I do all of the above.


1. Take a deep breath before I get dealt a hand.

2. Look left to pick up preflop folding tells (when I play live)

3. Play the “folded” game, where you put your opponents on hands and watch the hands play out.

4. Take frequent breaks.



I do none of the above.

The future looks bright to me!

Posted about 6 years ago

jayjaypg22

Avatar for jayjaypg22

2 posts
Joined 02/2008

What is a good frequence for break? I play online poker with 4 tables. I recognize I don't take break actually but thought about it each time I fall in routine and B- game. Which frequency do you recommend? Once an hour, 2 hour? How many times for a break? 5-10 minutes?
I know it depends on each player but an example would be good to start!

Nice article, I will take it into account next session!

Posted about 6 years ago

grebgokz

Avatar for grebgokz

35 posts
Joined 02/2008

What is a good frequence for break? I play online poker with 4 tables. I recognize I don't take break actually but thought about it each time I fall in routine and B- game. Which frequency do you recommend? Once an hour, 2 hour? How many times for a break? 5-10 minutes?
I know it depends on each player but an example would be good to start!

Nice article, I will take it into account next session!



I accully almost never take a break either (most often my sessions varies between 90-120min). But when I recognize that Im playing badly I usually take a break. And then its 5-30 min long where I do something diffrent. Taking care of the dishes or take my dog for a walk. When I play after the break I usually have had time to refocus (and sometimes cool of) and then I usually wins when I get back.

Think the importance is to start recognize when your focus is starting to slip and then take a break or call it a night.

Posted about 6 years ago

SNOWBALL138

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8 posts
Joined 09/2007

Hey Joe,

Nice work. I think my new presession routine is going to be reading this article. Thanks!

Posted about 6 years ago

Joe Tall

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6690 posts
Joined 11/2006

What is a good frequence for break? I play online poker with 4 tables. I recognize I don't take break actually but thought about it each time I fall in routine and B- game. Which frequency do you recommend? Once an hour, 2 hour? How many times for a break? 5-10 minutes?
I know it depends on each player but an example would be good to start!

Nice article, I will take it into account next session!



This is really personal. I call the break moment a "trigger point." Such that when I think, "I really need to do X."

1. I'm not thinking of playing my best poker.
2. I'm thinking of doing X.
= 3. Time to quit/break.

Use Online poker to you benefit! You can come and go at wilL!

Posted about 6 years ago




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