Playing while tired still does not work for me!

Very sleepy dogs
Image by Zevotron via Flickr

I am sure that I have mentioned in previous posts that it is not a good idea to play when one is not fully rested and that was still true this weekend for me.

My wife and I had an Arts and Craft exhibit at a local Massachusetts  park Saturday, where we set up a tent and exhibited our products (which may be seen at www.brogan-arts.com). The process of setting up is labor intensive; putting up the tent and staking it down so it won’t blow away; setting up our display racks and tables; displaying the merchandise and getting ready to greet our customers. After the fair is over the reverse process happens: putting away the merchandise; taking down the display racks and tables; taking down the tent; packing everything back into the van.

So after all this work in the hot sun, I got it in my head that I wanted to play in a couple of higher priced buy-in poker tourneys. I did not know just how bad of an idea this was until I lost the first tourney with a $25.00 buy-in. My second tourney was a little more modest, a $4.00 buy-in, but with similar results, another bust out and no return on investment.

I was bemoaning the fact that I had not been catching cards when Diane pointed out to me that perhaps I was too tired and did not realize it. After all, last Thursday I won first place in the #TPTE and I was not catching cards then; at least during the first hour. Getting good cards is nice, but you don’t always need them to play or win a hand.

After careful assessment of my play during these two tourneys, I realized that due to exhaustion, I did not bring my “A” game to the felt.

Have you ever played because you wanted to, not because you were able to? Are your decisions to play poker based on a whim or are your decisions planned to take advantage of your skills and experience? Why and when do you choose to play?

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9 thoughts on “Playing while tired still does not work for me!

  1. Great post Steve. I am constantly playing under consistent distraction. I mean, I have 4 daughters ages 10 and under, and it is a really rare case that the house is quiet. And even after the kids go to bed, Traci is so often in need of attention for something or another, that rare is the case that I can simply focus on playing poker. There's just too much else going on.While Traci was in the hospital, I had the kids spend the night at their grandparents. She emplored me to spend a night at home, and relax, and get a good night's sleep. With no distractions, I finished 1st in a 45 person $1.25 S&G, 2nd in a 27 Person $1.25 S&G, and then 1st in a $2.25 45 Person S&G. I was shocked. I mean, yes there was definately some luck involved, but I found that when I was concentrating solely on the poker, I played better. In yesterday's deep run in the Carbon $50k, Traci and the girls were all gone at Traci's Bridal shower. I had 4 uninterupted hours of play that I think that I can directly attribute to the reason that I played so well. It was interesting that I busted from the tournament within 10 minutes of everyone coming home at the same time. I don't want to lay blame on the distractions as “The Reason” that I fail. Sometimes, I make bad decisions, and sometimes I just play poorly. But I can say that when I am distraction free and well rested, I play better.

    • Paul, that is a great observation. Lately I have been playing the tourneys on the large screen and Diane rails me. I am able to discuss each move before I make them. It does help to have the right atmosphere to play. Having said that, some day I would like to play in some of the WSOP events and I know that there are hundreds and perhaps thousands of distractions there. Consider your hectic home life as the training you will need at the WSOP. When you play at a casino, how are the distractions there? Is it a noisy place? Are there TV's on? I do play best when I can concentrate – which is why I don't chat during a game for the most part. Good jog on Carbon. A great bankroll builder. Use bankroll management and your win to start a #Raceto2500!

      • I think that its one thing to have all the games going on, and the noise, and the people etc. etc. It's entirely different when that noise wants/needs something from you. I too would love to play the WSOP at some point, and I'm targeting 2010. But to me, playing in a Casino is no different than having the TV on here in the living room, and the tweetdeck open, an IM chat going on…etc. I can handle those things. It's the “Daddy can we…” “daddy, so and so did….” “Paul, I'm really Hungry, can you make me a ….” ” I need…..” I think you get the point. The house full of kids and stuff just makes for interupted poker. Thanks on the Carbon win. Definately I'm going to build that bankroll. 🙂

  2. Nice post Steve. Tiredness and poker don't go hand in hand for me. I actually play better when intoxicated which seems odd. Most of my big wins have come with a beer or ten in my belly. Didn't realise you came from the capital of Maine, a beautiful part of America indeed. Someday I will return to sample that lovely lobster.

    • William, our family's most favorite place in the world to have a lobster feed is at Young's Lobster Pound in Belfast Maine. You pick out your lobster and they cook it right there. Bring your own beer.

  3. When I first started playing and heard how important eating right and getting enough rest was so important to poker, I almost laughed. What else do I need, athletic ability?But after a couple tired sessions, the truth is clear. Nice post.

    • Grundy, thanks for the comments. @AmericanPoker, George Iacovacci, goes for a run prior to playing in a tourney. So there is a physical endurance aspect of poker tournaments. If I ever plan to play in a WSOP event, I need to get into shape,

  4. Grundy, thanks for the comments. @AmericanPoker, George Iacovacci, goes for a run prior to playing in a tourney. So there is a physical endurance aspect of poker tournaments. If I ever plan to play in a WSOP event, I need to get into shape,

  5. I think that its one thing to have all the games going on, and the noise, and the people etc. etc. It's entirely different when that noise wants/needs something from you. I too would love to play the WSOP at some point, and I'm targeting 2010. But to me, playing in a Casino is no different than having the TV on here in the living room, and the tweetdeck open, an IM chat going on…etc. I can handle those things. It's the “Daddy can we…” “daddy, so and so did….” “Paul, I'm really Hungry, can you make me a ….” ” I need…..” I think you get the point. The house full of kids and stuff just makes for interupted poker. Thanks on the Carbon win. Definately I'm going to build that bankroll. 🙂

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