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What Is Most Likely To Prevent You From Playing Optimal Poker?

A lot happens in life and many of those things can be distracting, especially if you want to play optimal poker. Here’s the most common!

For every poker player you will find in a bricks and mortar casino, there are thousands more that play at home. Often online via their desktop or mobile device.

The poker boom has seen a vast increase in the number of online players. This popularity has led to a huge increase in online poker rooms and tournaments. All to cater for their every growing desire for more fun at the baize.

But playing at home online is very different to playing at a casino and there are plenty of things that could happen that could stop you from playing your best.

So, in this article, we are going to take a look at what can and will stop you playing optimal poker. We’ll also look at ways to rectify them, so you play as well at home, or on the go, as you do in a casino or poker room.

If you are looking for a quality online poker provider then bet365 Poker is a fine choice offering a great welcome package for new customers, a vast range of games and tournaments to play, plus plenty of freerolls for you to try your hand at.

You can even try your hand at Casino Hold’em at bet365 Games too!

However, whatever game you play, you need to play your best in order to stand the best chance of winning. So what kinds of things can disrupt your flow at the poker table when playing at home, or on the go?

Here’s some of the most common things that can break your concentration and affect your poker game negatively!

Common Distractions For Online Poker Players

  • Young Children

While older children can generally get on with things themselves, if you are watching over younger children while trying to play poker, it is a recipe for disaster. Young kids get up to mischief and plenty of it which will really put you off your game.

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  • Pets

Pets can also be a distraction, especially if they are young or boisterous or not in a mood to lie down and sleep at your side or feet. There’s nothing fun about playing online poker, smelling a bad smell and then having to deal with the present Fido left you on the carpet because you didn’t let him out into the garden.

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  • Other Adults Present

Trying to be antisocial and play poker when you have other adults, or older children present? It’s not great etiquette as a host to be honest and it certainly doesn’t help you focus on a poker game if you are trying to be polite and engage in conversation.

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  • Phone Calls/Messages

Ting! Ting! Ting! Some people seem to get a message a minute, others their phone rings constantly and dealing with them on your mobile, especially if you are playing poker on it at the time, or even if you are not, does take your attention and focus off the game.

  • Money Worries

If you are gambling of any kind when you have money worries, then you are not going to play optimally. You need to address your money worries first before even considering any form of gambling and if required, seek help through one of the many organisations offering customers help with problem gambling.

  • Not Gambling Responsibly

Had a bad month of losses so have used up part of the rent to try and win that cash back? Bad move. If you don’t gamble responsibly, which means accepting your losses, then you’ll never be able to fully focus on your game and you’re more likely to make poor strategic decisions too.

  • Internet Reliability/Speed

One sure way to distract you when playing is to have your Internet glitch out constantly while playing in a game or tournament. Hell hath no fury like a poker player dealt bullets, only to see their internet drop out and the game time them out from the current hand. I know. I’ve been there.

  • Drinking Alcohol

I don’t want to be a spoilsport but drinking alcohol while you play may be a great way to enjoy your evening, but it does dull the senses and lead to mistakes. Many top professionals nowadays will only drink water when playing.

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  • Playing Tired

There’s lots of things you should not do when you are tired. Drive, operate heavy machinery, trying to solve the mysteries of dark energy and dark matter. You can add playing poker to that list. Dulled senses mean mistakes, which means losing your chips.

  • Buying Into A Game Or Tournament That Costs More Than You Are Comfortable Spending

So, you’ve just spend £100 entering a tournament when you usually only spend £10? You’ve probably realised that this was a mistake already. That big spend for you will affect how you play and how you approach the game. Worrying about losing all that cash won’t help you play better. It’ll do the opposite.

  • Eating The Wrong Type Of Food

There’s plenty of studies that the wrong type of food; caffeine, chocolate, sugary items, fatty items, can impact how well you feel during a game and that these effects are more marked the longer a game goes on. Healthier items include fruit (banana’s especially) and oily items such as fish.

  • Having Unresolved Work/Family Issues On Your Mind

If there is something eating away at you mentally, whether work, family or personally related, then anything that distracts your thinking away from the game won’t help you play to your best. Of course, sometimes this cannot be helped if you are waiting for the result of a medical test for example, or the result of a work interview for a better paid role. But be aware that mulling on these while playing will detract from your attention on the game.

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  • Trying To Play While “Doing Something Else’ – Multitasking

My wife tells me she can multi-task. I cannot. I’m willing to bet that if your attention is not focused on your poker game and you are also doing something else, then your concentration will falter and you will make mistakes.

  • Playing Poker at bedtime

Playing poker in bed is never a good idea. On the one hand, you can fall asleep while playing a game and ruin your chances of a win. Alternatively, you can ruin a good night’s sleep if you get engrossed in a game or a tournament goes on a lot longer than you planned. Keep poker out of the bedroom!

As you can see, there are a myriad of ways that life can get in the way of a game of poker at time. Just remember to play well, poker should be your focus at that time. Playing less poker, but with full focus, is a much better option than playing more often, but with other things taking your attention away from the game at hand!

Ian John

Working my way though the UK's top online poker sites (and some of the ones near the bottom as well) to bring you a first-hand take on the absolute best choices for online poker players from the UK.

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