Building a habit to quit poker session on time!
Quitting poker session and identifying when you should not be playing any more poker hands is essential. Some of you think about this while other newer do that. What is the best way to decide when to quit poker session and how this can help you to improve your win rate? It is an important question to answer, so let us talk about it.
Sadly, there is no, one fit all strategy, but it is worth taking your time and thinking about what you can do about it. To be honest, there are quite a few things that you need to take in consideration.
By far the most important part is keeping your concentration and playing your “A” game. As long as you are able to do that, you should keep playing and when you cannot, probably you should quit. It is as easy as that.
Stop/loss limit should not prevent you from playing
I do not suggest having a stop/loss limit in your game, it just not make much sense. I am fully aware, that it is something, that many players advice to adopt in your game, but did you ever thought why? I think it is going to be quite hard to find a reasonable answer to it.
If you are able to play with full concentration and keep your “A” game, it should not matter either you lost or won a couple of buy-ins. In today games, edges are quite small, so naturally, you going to encounter bigger swings and if you quit poker session every time when you lose few buy-ins when you are going to play? If this is the case, you will totally miss playing on some days, if you start a session with a bad beat or a small swing. That will cost you a lot of money in the long run and you will end up wasting your time on something else when you should be playing.
Of course, if you change your game after losing few buy-ins and start playing in the way you should not play, like playing any two cards, chasing draws trying to take back your money – then you should quit. But it is not because you lost some money, it is because you started playing poorly.
Same goes after winning some money. I saw many players starting to play in a very different way after winning a few buy-ins, just because they do not want to lose it back. If this is the case, then you should be quitting poker session as well. You should not be playing in a harmful way just because you want to prevent yourself from losing money. This is not a winning strategy and will lead you to make many -EV decisions. So again, if this is the case – run away from the table. However, if you are able to keep up with your strategy and play your “A” game, you should continue playing despite small swings that you could and will encounter. This is simply how this game works.
If you are feeling good, it does not matter either you won two, three or five buy-ins or lost few. You should be playing your game if you are able to concentrate and this is the most important part. Most professionals agree on this topic and even guys from Upswing poker lab backs it up, so make sure to listen.
Quitting poker session based on your emotions!
Another thing you need to take into consideration is your emotions when playing poker. If you are feeling bad, angry, tilted or if you just lost a big pot and do not feel good because of that, then quitting is fine. But do not let this to become a habit. You need to learn and deal with your emotions, otherwise, it will become your enemy and you will be very limited on the time that you can play. As we already know, this is not very good 🙂
Quit playing when you get distracted!
Same goes when you start thinking about something else, that is not related to your current game. Maybe you start thinking about going to the movie, meeting your friends or anything else. If you take your mind from poker, it is a good sign that you should quit playing. You will not be able to play effectively if your thoughts will be somewhere else. If this is the case, you will not be able to keep your concentration up and make good decisions. So quitting is totally fine. It is much better to play less, but quality poker than grind through days while being distracted and making random decisions. This is not going to help you win more money.
As you already know – the mental game is a very important part and if you want to learn more about it, I do have a FREE poker book which includes this topic, self-management and much more. Just get it and I am sure you will be able to prepare for your games much better, keep your concentration longer and play your “A” game much more consistently. As I said, it is a very important part. Also, even such a small thing like knowing your opening ranges can be a big help for keeping your concentration and preserving energy so make sure to get my Texas Holdem cheat sheets and keep your head calm.
You need to develop some discipline to, actually, stick with this strategy. But when you learn to get up and quit poker session when you feel frustrated or bad, you will be amazed how much money you can save and what impact it could have on your win rate.
Make sure to learn and recognize those spots, develop a habit of quitting poker session on time, leave you games when you should and you will be up for the good start.