Remove ALL Distractions and Concentrate on the Poker Game

Poker DistractionsI know that many players like to play 2, 3, 4 or more tournaments at a time. We talked about multi tabling earlier in the guide.  Personally I don’t, I play one tournament at a time.

My philosophy in general is ‘to each his own’.  As long as your not hurting anyone and are obeying the laws of the land, you do what you want.  If you want to play 2 or more tables at a time then you do that but indulge me for a moment and let me make some arguments as to why I think you should only play one tournament at a time.

In the early stages of a tournament your table is full so it takes some time for all to act and for the action to get around to you.  Most times you are folding (I will assume that you have now taken my advice from the last article and are folding a lot early!) so I can definitely see where you might get bored.  There may even be some players that just take their time and slow the game to a crawl.  It’s tough to endure sometimes.  It’s quite easy to start up another table and play.

Focus on the other players

I would argue that early in the tournament is a good time to try and focus on other players and try to get a fix on what type of player they are.  Are they in a lot of pots?  Are they raising a lot?  Are they playing like a maniac?  Try to identify some of the weaker players at your table at this point in the tournament and take advantage of that.

I think one of the best tools you can utilise online is the taking notes function found on every poker site or at least every site I have been on. If you run into these players again you will have a head start by knowing some of that player’s characteristics.  I highly recommend using this specific tool because I believe every poker player should take advantage of anything they think can help their game.

Confusion… now which table was this again?

When you do sign up for more than one tournament you might get yourself into a position where you have to switch gears quickly.  One table might be very aggressive and have a high percentage of players seeing the flop.  Another might have some very tight players.

I don’t know about you but I might get confused as to what table I’m on after a while and make an incorrect judgement which might cost me some chips.  I would also mention that it is possible that it is your turn to act on 2, 3 or more tables at the same time leading to all sorts of panic, confusion and bad decisions.

Multi Tabling can detract from your game

In that situation you have literally seconds to act on all your hands.  Given that, I can’t see a lot of thought going into making an ‘informed’ decision on how to play the hand.  Early on there might be nothing to think about as you would be folding many hands but as the tournament progresses you might find that you need a little more time to think about how to play the hand in front of you.

Some might make the argument that they can start one tournament and wait until you get about ½ to ¾ of the way through and start another.  I think that argument has some merit but you still risk the chance of having to act on both tables at once.  Your chances are certainly less but … I will stick with the benefits of concentrating on one tournament at a time.

Didn’t you listen … I said remove ALL distractions

At this point in my poker career I would say I am a good player, not a great one but a good one, there is always room for improvement no matter how successful you are.  When I first started playing online I would have the television on or my daughter might come and ask me a question or I may have some other minor distraction happening while I played, and that’s exactly what they are, distractions.

They take away from your ability to fully concentrate on the task at hand.  Over a period of time I eliminated those distractions and noticed a distinct improvement in my game.

Please note that for many music is not a distraction.  You’ll notice many in live poker tournaments that have headphones on in the early stages of a tournament and it doesn’t seem to bother them, it’s not a distraction.  Well it would be for me but you have to decide what are distractions for you and eliminate them accordingly.

Even if you think something isn’t a distraction to you, experiment and see if eliminating it helps you out, you might be surprised.

Concentrating on one game at a time can increase your opportunity to do well in a tournament.  For me, it improves my ability to make good decisions and if you can do that then everything else will follow and you can be a successful tournament player.

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