Got bored on concerta and just started writing....I liked the idea, but it didnt come out nearly good enough to be an article....but I figured I'd post on here and hopefully get a discussion started.
You're a full table sit and go player with 40 minutes until you have to meet the family for dinner and you decide "Well, I guess I can fit a few turbos in real quick."
Or, you're just a kid with nothing to do for three hours and you're itching to play a tournament. You think "I have that meeting in 3 hours...oh well, I'm sure I'll be out by then."
These, and other examples, are thought processes that most of us have been through. We're itching to play a game of cards, but we know there just isnt enough time.
<span>Problem 1 - Playing a game that is not your strongest</span>
For example, I know that I can make my most money by 3 tabling 20$ sit and goes. With only 45 minutes until I have plans, I can surely fit a few turbos in, or even 45 minutes of a cash game, but my expected value goes down because I know I have better ROI in full table sit and goes than I do in cash games or turbos. Because I am playing these games because of time restraints, rather than playing them to make the most money I can, I lose in the long run.
<span>Problem 2 - MTTs</span>
Let me start by saying, if you are going to play a big MTT, make sure you have NOTHING to do for the next five hours (on average..some shorter, some longer). If its 2:00 and you have a class at 5:00 that you know you can't miss, DONT PLAY AN MTT. You may think "oh well I'll easily be out by 4:30", but here is why it is not a good idea.
a.) 4:30 comes along, you have an average stack, and you decide that you're either going to get a huge stack, or go to your 5:00 class. This leads you to play differently than you are used to playing, which will cause a loss very often.
b.) You end up doubling up and making it into the money. With 27 players left at 5:45 you donk off your chips and come away with 3x your buyin. "I just missed an important class to make 20 bucks...great"
Its pretty simple once you learn the discipline. Know what your schedule looks like, and if you don't have time to play a game you feel very comfortable with, play later. Online poker isn't going anywhere.
A very simple concept, yet one that is commonly overlooked.
About your MTT comments, I agree completely, but that's not the extent of it. By saying that "I'm sure i'll be out by XXX", you have the completely wrong mindset. You are playing to lose, and that's never good. Why would anybody play poker with the intent to lose?
If you are just itching to play poker, play some kind of low stakes game. For example, if you have 45 mins and your bread and butter is 50 SNGS, play a low buy-in turbo. Yes, it is -EV because its not your specialty, but you can treat that as entertainment costs, much like going to a movie.
I agree completely Askesis...when you decided you're going to be out by a certain time you hurt your confidence, which is a key to winning poker.
And about the lower buyin comment, I know what you're saying, and I think it is crucial that this is done sometimes. I hope most of us started playing (and kept playing) because it was fun. Dropping down to a very low level takes away the money issue generally, and helps keep the game entertaining. People get wrapped up in the money and lose the entertainment value a lot of times, so it is important to keep the game fun.
I'm just a casual player/turns a profit for gas money. I'm lucky enough to be good friends with a poker pro who tutors me for free. I'm about to be a senior at Emory University and when I'm dying to play but have class in about an hour, I just sit at a HU game. I mostly play 6 handed Sng. They usually take about an hour to finish up. Instead of worrying, I just sit at a 5 dollar HU sng to get my fix. It's a part of people's games, especially being a sng player, that really helps to gain experience. Since it's only 5 dollars, I can mix around and practice different styles of playing against my opponent and if it starts to get lengthy and I have to go somewhere, I can just shove any two everytime, hoping for a call to bust him out, or to lose myself but since it's only 5 dollars, I can write it off as an entertainment/practice session and at least I know I got my 5 dollars worth, working on my game.
Yea I guess I should've mentioned the entertainment factor (when dropping down)...but I'm talking about someone who plays strictly 55$ sngs (for example) deciding to play a 60$ turbo to play in the normal bankroll range...
Nice article because it hits home. I do this ALL the time. I have one hour until my dart league starts, so I figure why not a quick $25 Turbo SNG...and I play like a total spazz. Or I start a tounament at 11PM thinking, "well if I make the final table it will be worth it"...The bubble comes along 4 hours later at 3AM and I have to get up at 7...I am so tired and no thinking straight and all of a sudden my AQ looks good to a raise and a reraise and I go all in...and bubble out....4 hours wasted..when I could have wasted only 5 minutes having sex with my girl...and now she is asleep..and I am left with my *&%$% in my hands...In other words I will pay more attention to my time management...Thanks for the article.
Yes time managementis important, as described, but in another way too (I think).
How many hrs are you going to play per week? Do you have an upward amount? I try to keep my poker hobby at 20 total hrs incuding this web site, about 15 or so playing and 5 hrs reading / writing / watching.
20 might sound like a lot for a hobby, but: the average American watches 4 hrs of TV per day = 28 per week. (I don't watch TV as much any more: Sure TV doesn't give as many bad beats, but TV NEVER sends me a cheque in the mail.).
What is your upward hrs / week poker limit? is that too much? (not enough!?)