Originally Posted by BiWinning
I've been trying to play more live games recently and have noticed that I have difficulty staying as focused as I'd like to be and remembering opponents' tendencies. Do any have you have any tips, or exercises for improving on these skills?
It's really a discipline and like with any discipline it is usually rooted in a pattern that will always have a starting place. This can also be a trigger point like you are talking about with Galfond. What is it that connects you to your game face (focus/concentration)?
For me it always starts before I get to the table, many times before I get to the casino. For me it is getting ready for the competition and putting my headphones on with some driving, pumping music to help the adrenaline flow. usually accompanied by some self talk.
Now when I arrive at the table I have a mission and it is not waiting for a hand to plan. My mission is to determine who at the table I can exploit and take advantage of - who do I want in a hand with? Also, who would I just as soon avoid being in a hand with for a while. If it's a tournament this always starts with the 2 or 3 guys to my left since they will be in the blinds when I have position.
So I guess in a nutshell, you have to have another game level in your head to operate off of. Another game to play. Just playing the cards will get boring and will result in your focus drifting off. Even worse it sets you up for giving off a huge tell (all of sudden going from bored to high focus level).