Controlling Emotions For Long Time Periods
I enjoy playing poker and when I am in the right mood and on my A-game I can grind and double-up a couple of times quite quickly at the start of my sessions (generally peaking about 20 minutes in).
However, after that initial time period of intense concentration I quickly change moods and can assume donk/recreational mode far too easily for my liking. I know this mood enough now to take my money off the table, however it frustrates me when I can't trust my B/C/D-game enough to grind at the tables for a longer period of time.
Often, when I recognise I am no longer on my A-game and I am up a few buy-ins, I will resume playing with lower stacks, but it will still too often lead to tilt and destruction of my previous good decisions.
I hear players like Negreanu who says the way he got better was working out an hourly rate and forcefully playing for a time period each day no matter what but it often backfires for me and makes me chase even more-so.
I am at my best when I am just playing poker for short bursts in the right mood. The problem is I generally can't sustain that optimal determined mood for greater than 20 minutes.
Is there anything you guys do to stay in the zone for longer sessions? Failing that, what do you do when you want to play poker but know you are not on your A-game?
As always, thank in advance for any help. I hope this thread can improve someone else's game as well.