Golden Rule #1: Poker time is POKER time.
When you play poker online it’s a very different experience to playing live in a bricks and mortar casino, or even a home game. There are so many potential distractions that it can be very easy to falling into the trap of just checking your email, browsing the web, sorting out those files that are in the wrong place on your computer, and so they go on and on and on…
I have to remember that every distraction costs me money! Poker time has to be poker time. Nothing else. No distractions. No TV, no talk radio, no emails, no blog. The only thing in poker time is poker. And maybe some music.
Golden Rule #2: I should always be talking to myself
Having an inner monologue running through my head about everything that’s going on at the poker table can help to ensure that I am not only properly thinking through each situation, but also helps to keep concentration. After all, how can you fail to concentrate on something when you have to provide a running commentary on it.
I also find that this often slows me down in the actions that I take, which I think can have it’s advantages. If I take a considerable portion of the time I have available for each action consistently, I think it can throw off players who look for patterns in decision length.
Golden Rule #3: No Multi-Tabling
This is a rule that I’ve never been too sure about. Initially I put it to myself that I couldn’t justify any multi-tabling whilst I wasn’t crushing the games that I was playing. That soon changed when I found a balance of cash and tournaments, paying 80% attention to the cash game then leaving that when the tournament got a little further down the line. Since then I’ve become a bit too liberal with it to be honest. It’s probably the same reason that I still smoke. As soon as I let myself have a little drag on a night out, I’m back on them in no time.
I find that with tournaments I can get frustrated. With massive field tournaments where the first prize can be a really decent pay day, it has become far too regular for me to get into the cash but not to the point that it decent enough to justify the time invested. I’m trying to switch to shorter field tournaments. I think that in terms of life balance, when I do play massive field tournaments, I can justify not giving my full attention to the early stages. Perhaps any other activities should not involve another poker table though.