Serious Improvements from Limiting Playing Time

O

onlyifsuited

Rising Star
Joined
Nov 15, 2020
Total posts
1
I used to simply track my performance using an Excel sheet, since I mostly played offline. But the pandemic has made me focus on online play, and I recently started using a HUD. I noticed a very important trend.

When running 3 tables for cash games, my performance starts to decrease after playing for about 30 minutes, then plummets after an hour (no breaks). I noticed even before employing a HUD that my BB/100 was actually lower if I was running 4 tables, so I dropped to 3 tables and saw improvement.

But it was enlightening to see graphical proof that fatigue influences decision making.

I always felt that I played much better at the casino for longer periods of time (even accounting for softer players, etc), and I believe a part of the reason is because the pace of the game is much slower. I am making far fewer decisions per hour. Poker is clearly taxing for the brain, and it seems like the more decisions we make, the faster it becomes fatigued.

I'm sure being more experienced helps the player's brain use less energy per decision since they have a solid strategy for every situation they run into.

These are my personal limits for now, and I hope further study and experience will help me play for longer sessions.

But for now, I've started using a Pomodoro App - play for 15 minutes, take a 5 minute break to get some water and rest. Then play for another 15 minutes, then take another 5 minute break, and such.

If you have any suggestions for managing fatigue during sessions, let me know!

-OIS
 
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DizzyDeb717

DizzyDeb717

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Joined
Mar 9, 2018
Total posts
618
Awards
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CA
I love this post. Just yesterday I was talking to someone about how poorly I've been playing lately because I'm jumping in so many games. I really don't have any answers, just wanted to thank you for putting this out there. I'll be following this thread, hoping someone's got some good tips. More downtime is a definite start anyway...

I used to simply track my performance using an Excel sheet, since I mostly played offline. But the pandemic has made me focus on online play, and I recently started using a HUD. I noticed a very important trend.

When running 3 tables for cash games, my performance starts to decrease after playing for about 30 minutes, then plummets after an hour (no breaks). I noticed even before employing a HUD that my BB/100 was actually lower if I was running 4 tables, so I dropped to 3 tables and saw improvement.

But it was enlightening to see graphical proof that fatigue influences decision making.

I always felt that I played much better at the casino for longer periods of time (even accounting for softer players, etc), and I believe a part of the reason is because the pace of the game is much slower. I am making far fewer decisions per hour. Poker is clearly taxing for the brain, and it seems like the more decisions we make, the faster it becomes fatigued.

I'm sure being more experienced helps the player's brain use less energy per decision since they have a solid strategy for every situation they run into.

These are my personal limits for now, and I hope further study and experience will help me play for longer sessions.

But for now, I've started using a Pomodoro app - play for 15 minutes, take a 5 minute break to get some water and rest. Then play for another 15 minutes, then take another 5 minute break, and such.

If you have any suggestions for managing fatigue during sessions, let me know!

-OIS
 
T

TomWH

Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 11, 2018
Total posts
41
I don't think most people realize playing poker more than once a week, and in my case everyday, is akin to a regular job, and the stresses that entails. My strategy applies to tourney's, but not so much cash games. In micro, and freerolls I watch YouTube or what have you between hands. This eliminates having to see I would have flopped the nuts had I played. This also eliminates a lot of the stress while playing as you are only concentrating on the one hand out of many hands you didn't play, and you avoid seeing all the hands you would have won had you put your chips in.
 
I

iamKK

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 7, 2020
Total posts
55
I used to simply track my performance using an Excel sheet, since I mostly played offline. But the pandemic has made me focus on online play, and I recently started using a HUD. I noticed a very important trend.

When running 3 tables for cash games, my performance starts to decrease after playing for about 30 minutes, then plummets after an hour (no breaks). I noticed even before employing a HUD that my BB/100 was actually lower if I was running 4 tables, so I dropped to 3 tables and saw improvement.

But it was enlightening to see graphical proof that fatigue influences decision making.

I always felt that I played much better at the casino for longer periods of time (even accounting for softer players, etc), and I believe a part of the reason is because the pace of the game is much slower. I am making far fewer decisions per hour. Poker is clearly taxing for the brain, and it seems like the more decisions we make, the faster it becomes fatigued.

I'm sure being more experienced helps the player's brain use less energy per decision since they have a solid strategy for every situation they run into.

These are my personal limits for now, and I hope further study and experience will help me play for longer sessions.

But for now, I've started using a Pomodoro app - play for 15 minutes, take a 5 minute break to get some water and rest. Then play for another 15 minutes, then take another 5 minute break, and such.

If you have any suggestions for managing fatigue during sessions, let me know!

-OIS


It’s always hard to move from live to online and people get too cocky and think they will be fine doing the same thing online. You made a good choice by taking it slow and don’t feel like you got worse because it takes some time to adjust to the change. The best way to improve your endurance is to really push yourself everyday by adding 5-10min everyday. I was only able to play 30min on 4 regular tables. Now taking this strategy, within a few weeks I was able to go from 30min to 2h 30min. During this process I found out that looking at the clock makes it harder pull through the session. So when you feel like it’s hard to pull off your session just don’t look at the clock.

Also remember the only way to increase endurance is to gradually increase your time. Sometimes it’s fine to cut your session short so that you don’t end up spewing and tilting since online will really get you tilted in matter of minutes. Good luck!
 
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