Online poker mentally draining

David macdonald

David macdonald

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I have been playing poker most days for a very long time and before covid I was in the casino every day. I never ever got tired of " live poker " but online poker is different.

Live poker you are chatting to poker friends, chip shuffling, reading your opponents and it's more relaxed. I am finding days and days of online poker tiring and mentally exhausting, sometimes I just want a break from it which I never had with live poker.

I am putting this down to multi table action , constant analysis of hands and faster variance due to more hands played.

Also the emotional side of this drains me too, seeing coolers/bad beats and feeling angry because your opponents played a hand badly and taken your hard earned chips. Or you play a hand badly and you are upset with how you played it.

Internet poker you a playing thousands of hands more than a live game, in my opinion if you can play well online you can play well live.
 
Matt_Burns88

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Hi David,

I definitely think online poker can be draining, especially when you're on a downswing. Live you get to socialize and talk through hands and figure out what you did wrong, or get reinforcement from peers that you played it well and got unlucky.

Variance is definitely higher online, not because the sites are rigged, or anything like that. Variance is a bigger issue online because there are bigger fields, faster structures and more aggressive opponents.

You need a change of mindset when it comes to bad beats and coolers and there are a few things you should do to help with this:
> bankroll Management - Playing with a substantial amount of your net worth is a guaranteed way for the losses to be way more painful than is healthy. Personally I never buy-in for an MTT for more than 1% of my BR and my poker money is completely separate from my "real life" money, so if I lose for weeks on end, I'm never worried about how I'm going to pay the mortgage.
> Hand Analysis - For me, reviewing hands is a brilliant way to get over frustration because hands almost always fall into 4 categories, or a mixture of 2 or 3. 1) Bad beats, I got it in waaay ahead and the opponent makes a big mistake. You should be happy about this every time. The outcome really isn't important because if you run that situation time and again, you're just going to be printing money. 2) Flips, You're going to win flips and you're going to lose flips. Getting your last 10BB's with AQs is the right move. It doesn't matter if you get called by 99 or whether you win or lose. 3) Coolers. If you flop middle set against your opponents top set, you just can't get away from that, you're destined to lose your stack and that's OK. 4) Mistakes. You're never going to play perfectly. I love it when I review my games and I find mistakes in my game, because it gives me the opportunity to improve my game and next time I play, I will be that little bit better and avoid make the same mistake again.

I touched on this earlier, but you have to forget about the outcome of each individual hand. Instead focus on the equity your play is worth. You could get AA vs KK in preflop 5 times in a row and lose each time, but overall you are killing your opponents in this situation in the long run with as much as an 82.6% favourite. Before the river it is very rare that you will have 100% equity, which means you are SUPPOSED to lose some percentage of the time. Coming to terms with this is a really important factor of the game. If you're flipping out every time you're losing to the 2 outer on the river or the runner runner, you're thinking too much about the short term outcome, rather than the long term equity where you are printing money.

I totally agree that if you can play well online, you can play well live, but remember that limits are not immediately transferable. A £50 live tournament at your local casino is likely to be quite soft, whereas a £50 online MTT is likely full of very capable players. Same with cash. A £5/£10 game probably plays more like a $0.50/$1.00 game online.
 
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Qrise

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Do not play too much, because it is too tiring and it affects the game negatively. Better to play only 3 or 4 tournaments a week, and you can give your best in them
 
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StreetPhd

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I have been playing poker most days for a very long time and before covid I was in the casino every day. I never ever got tired of " live poker " but online poker is different.

Live poker you are chatting to poker friends, chip shuffling, reading your opponents and it's more relaxed. I am finding days and days of online poker tiring and mentally exhausting, sometimes I just want a break from it which I never had with live poker.

I am putting this down to multi table action , constant analysis of hands and faster variance due to more hands played.

Also the emotional side of this drains me too, seeing coolers/bad beats and feeling angry because your opponents played a hand badly and taken your hard earned chips. Or you play a hand badly and you are upset with how you played it.

Internet poker you a playing thousands of hands more than a live game, in my opinion if you can play well online you can play well live.


I agree, I am playing more online during covid than I ever have.
I am actually concerned that once I can play Live again, I'll have a hard time adjusting to the slower pace.
Am I over thinking that? I can't wait to get back in the Casino and believe that it will take some time to adjust.
 
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PrinceJigger

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I have been playing poker most days for a very long time and before covid I was in the casino every day. I never ever got tired of " live poker " but online poker is different.

Live poker you are chatting to poker friends, chip shuffling, reading your opponents and it's more relaxed. I am finding days and days of online poker tiring and mentally exhausting, sometimes I just want a break from it which I never had with live poker.

I am putting this down to multi table action , constant analysis of hands and faster variance due to more hands played.

Also the emotional side of this drains me too, seeing coolers/bad beats and feeling angry because your opponents played a hand badly and taken your hard earned chips. Or you play a hand badly and you are upset with how you played it.

Internet poker you a playing thousands of hands more than a live game, in my opinion if you can play well online you can play well live.

Interesting. I'm actually the opposite.

I find live poker more mentally draining because you have to calculate stacks and pot sizes, pay attention to whose turn it is to act, read physical tells, maintain your composure, etc.

Personally, if I play eight hours of online poker versus eight hours of live poker, I find I am more tired after the eight hours of live poker.
 
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77ecos

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He always dedicates a day to clear his mind, without playing, enjoying a hobby, and getting used to the fact that online is different and what bothers you will happen daily, that will not be able to change but if you can change the one that does not affect everything what you mention, it will take time but you will get used to it:jd4::jd4::jd4::jd4:
 
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martinf1971

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The worst games I find online are Turbos and hypers before you know it your in a position where you are either going all in or folding. No real thought to the game. Live you start 25/50 blinds and have a 20000 stack so 400bb levels are every 16 minutes so you can be more picky about what spots to play in. So the best tournaments online are the regular 5000 starting chips. Problem online is I lose my concentration so easy live you talk to people and it helps in keeping your mind active.
 
ninjareal

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hi all , I think everyone has given very good ideas , as mentioned above it's easier
to play so much more games online than live, so more "burnout" is possible, too
many bad beats caused by seeing too many hands, if you see 10k hands live you will probably see similar beats ,
so as mentioned, play less games of a slower format maybe, better game selection vs better opponents if possible, take it easy and see u at the tables :)
 
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ChuckNola

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The worst games I find online are Turbos and hypers before you know it your in a position where you are either going all in or folding. No real thought to the game. Live you start 25/50 blinds and have a 20000 stack so 400bb levels are every 16 minutes so you can be more picky about what spots to play in. So the best tournaments online are the regular 5000 starting chips. Problem online is I lose my concentration so easy live you talk to people and it helps in keeping your mind active.


Yeah Turbo tourneys are like scratch off lottery tickets. It’s not real poker I’d avoid those types of tourneys.
 
Hitmanshoot

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I totally agree that if you can play well online, you can play well live, but remember that limits are not immediately transferable. A £50 live tournament at your local casino is likely to be quite soft, whereas a £50 online MTT is likely full of very capable players. Same with cash. A £5/£10 game probably plays more like a $0.50/$1.00 game online.
 
rictor99

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I'd rather play online. I can play multiple tables to keep from getting bored, no cigarette smoke, no drunks, no weirdos. I'm also an introvert, so I like avoiding human interaction as much as possible, LOL.
 
saha2000

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Therefore, in my opinion, it is important to relax well during the days off from poker. If a person is tired and the more mentally tired, he will certainly make more mistakes.
 
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I didn’t even play live, and I cannot judge the ease of playing live. I like the online poker game at the moment. And I can't say that I get tired of playing poker online. I try not to overload myself with gaming tables.
 
Lena M

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Hello.
For me, poker is a hobby, but not a job. I actually play for fun. So I play 3-4 days a week, 3-5 hours a day. Maybe if I played 8 tables at the same time and 12-14 hours a day, I would also feel stress and fatigue. But I believe that a hobby should be fun, so I always play as much as I want and never force myself.
 
vnnby

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Take a break and relax, online poker is exhausting. It's much faster and not as atmospheric as live poker.
 
nba2009

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without a doubt it is much more exhausting and suddenly a little less fun than live poker where with anything you get distracted and have fun greetings
 
David macdonald

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Hi David,

I definitely think online poker can be draining, especially when you're on a downswing. Live you get to socialize and talk through hands and figure out what you did wrong, or get reinforcement from peers that you played it well and got unlucky.

Variance is definitely higher online, not because the sites are rigged, or anything like that. Variance is a bigger issue online because there are bigger fields, faster structures and more aggressive opponents.

You need a change of mindset when it comes to bad beats and coolers and there are a few things you should do to help with this:
> Bankroll Management - Playing with a substantial amount of your net worth is a guaranteed way for the losses to be way more painful than is healthy. Personally I never buy-in for an MTT for more than 1% of my BR and my poker money is completely separate from my "real life" money, so if I lose for weeks on end, I'm never worried about how I'm going to pay the mortgage.
> Hand Analysis - For me, reviewing hands is a brilliant way to get over frustration because hands almost always fall into 4 categories, or a mixture of 2 or 3. 1) Bad beats, I got it in waaay ahead and the opponent makes a big mistake. You should be happy about this every time. The outcome really isn't important because if you run that situation time and again, you're just going to be printing money. 2) Flips, You're going to win flips and you're going to lose flips. Getting your last 10BB's with AQs is the right move. It doesn't matter if you get called by 99 or whether you win or lose. 3) Coolers. If you flop middle set against your opponents top set, you just can't get away from that, you're destined to lose your stack and that's OK. 4) Mistakes. You're never going to play perfectly. I love it when I review my games and I find mistakes in my game, because it gives me the opportunity to improve my game and next time I play, I will be that little bit better and avoid make the same mistake again.

I touched on this earlier, but you have to forget about the outcome of each individual hand. Instead focus on the equity your play is worth. You could get AA vs KK in preflop 5 times in a row and lose each time, but overall you are killing your opponents in this situation in the long run with as much as an 82.6% favourite. Before the river it is very rare that you will have 100% equity, which means you are SUPPOSED to lose some percentage of the time. Coming to terms with this is a really important factor of the game. If you're flipping out every time you're losing to the 2 outer on the river or the runner runner, you're thinking too much about the short term outcome, rather than the long term equity where you are printing money.

I totally agree that if you can play well online, you can play well live, but remember that limits are not immediately transferable. A £50 live tournament at your local casino is likely to be quite soft, whereas a £50 online MTT is likely full of very capable players. Same with cash. A £5/£10 game probably plays more like a $0.50/$1.00 game online.


You are right Matt, I really enjoyed this and I will definately follow your advise. Sometimes I cant control my tilt its crazy and I get really annoyed. I am trying to work on this all the time and believe it or not Im way better than I used to be LOL.
 
David macdonald

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I agree, I am playing more online during covid than I ever have.
I am actually concerned that once I can play Live again, I'll have a hard time adjusting to the slower pace.
Am I over thinking that? I can't wait to get back in the Casino and believe that it will take some time to adjust.


Dont worry about that because you will have the banter and chat at teh table, plenty of entertaining things go on in live games.

I cant wait to go live again, theres not as much pressure live.
 
David macdonald

David macdonald

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The worst games I find online are Turbos and hypers before you know it your in a position where you are either going all in or folding. No real thought to the game. Live you start 25/50 blinds and have a 20000 stack so 400bb levels are every 16 minutes so you can be more picky about what spots to play in. So the best tournaments online are the regular 5000 starting chips. Problem online is I lose my concentration so easy live you talk to people and it helps in keeping your mind active.


I agree, I prefer turbo sit and gos though and I try to stay away from hyper turbos.
 
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I know the feeling

I have been playing poker most days for a very long time and before covid I was in the casino every day. I never ever got tired of " live poker " but online poker is different.

Live poker you are chatting to poker friends, chip shuffling, reading your opponents and it's more relaxed. I am finding days and days of online poker tiring and mentally exhausting, sometimes I just want a break from it which I never had with live poker.

I am putting this down to multi table action , constant analysis of hands and faster variance due to more hands played.

Also the emotional side of this drains me too, seeing coolers/bad beats and feeling angry because your opponents played a hand badly and taken your hard earned chips. Or you play a hand badly and you are upset with how you played it.

Internet poker you a playing thousands of hands more than a live game, in my opinion if you can play well online you can play well live.


I am alive player as well and the pandemic forced me to play online. Easy trick though just make sure your getting good pot odds for your card odds and play solid. yes the coolers will happen cause the fish online are plenty but we know better and we want them fish to keep shoving silly. Mentally draing most def. idk what stakes you are at but from 3 to 15 dolla buy ins tourney ( my speciality) i just play tight and make itm sometime i run deep sometimes coolers take me out but profit is always there.
 
David macdonald

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I'd rather play online. I can play multiple tables to keep from getting bored, no cigarette smoke, no drunks, no weirdos. I'm also an introvert, so I like avoiding human interaction as much as possible, LOL.


Thats good, I find it really tiring at times when playing alot of hands and doing the calulations.
 
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I feel mentally drained

Concordo. Há dias em que termino os torneios sem chegar lá, sinto-me mentalmente esgotado
 
Riccoboni

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online poker is not fun

"Also the emotional side of this drains me too, seeing coolers/bad beats and feeling angry because your opponents played a hand badly and taken your hard earned chips. Or you play a hand badly and you are upset with how you played it."


So David I have the same opinion as you.
I learned to play live poker and due to the pandemic I was forced to play poker online. I play poker because it is fun, strategic, romantic, but those qualities are not in online poker. Furthermore, observing players, and perceiving reactions and emotions only in live poker is possible. Another thing is really the variance, which in my opinion is ridiculous. There are many more bad beats onlive than live. And there is no one on this planet who can prove that the shuffle and variance is the same as live poker.

I remember that in live poker (root poker) there is no software to assist the player. And whoever uses software in my opinion is cheating. I play online, but only freerolls. I just put money on the live poker table.
 
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fundiver199

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I think, decision making load when multitabling is definitely a big part of it. For me if I start to feel tired during a session, it can help a lot to let the number of tables drop.
 
David macdonald

David macdonald

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So David I have the same opinion as you.
I learned to play live poker and due to the pandemic I was forced to play poker online. I play poker because it is fun, strategic, romantic, but those qualities are not in online poker. Furthermore, observing players, and perceiving reactions and emotions only in live poker is possible. Another thing is really the variance, which in my opinion is ridiculous. There are many more bad beats onlive than live. And there is no one on this planet who can prove that the shuffle and variance is the same as live poker.

I remember that in live poker (root poker) there is no software to assist the player. And whoever uses software in my opinion is cheating. I play online, but only freerolls. I just put money on the live poker table.


I understand your frustration, and my point is that there is way more hands played online at a quicker rate and constantly doing the math can be tiring. I used to believe that you get more bad beats online than live too but it just seems that way due to the amount of hands played.

However there has been discussions in the past questioning the integrity of online poker, especially after Ultimatebet and Fulltilt scandals. Of course you have the HUD situation which is another story, some sites allow them and some dont.

Anyway good luck

See you at the tables:)
 
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