Some of us find it very hard to get up and walk away from the poker table, but there are many circumstances when this is just what we should be doing. Being a good poker player means that when it is time to leave you go, even if you don’t want to. The whole purpose of playing poker is to make money, so if the table you are at is stopping you from doing that then you need to leave the table at once, before you begin to lose in earnest.
Playing poker is an intense psychological game that takes tremendous exertion and concentration to play, and there is no doubt that a long session of playing poker will leave you drained. Just look around the table at the end of a long day of playing and you will not see the same level of energy that you started with. Keeping track of the cards, hands, people as well as your own thoughts and feelings will keep you on your toes all day long.
When you start to get tired you cannot focus as well as when you are not tired. There are sometimes when it is good to play through fatigue and win even when you are tired. For many people however, this isn’t an option.
Learning to work through your tiredness is something that takes some practice, but it can be done. It is something that every player should learn to do if they want to become a great player.
After a while you will find that the exhaustion is pushed to the back of your mind and you can continue with your entire focus on the game, but before that can happen you will need to know when it’s time to call it quits.
This is the time when you should cash in your chips and consider yourself lucky that you got as far as you did. The next time you play you will find that you will be able to play longer, and eventually you won’t notice the fatigue at all because you will be fully concentrating on the game. If you can’t fully get away then at least take a break and let yourself recuperate.
Another very good reason to get up and leave a table is because of tilt. When you get a bad beat and go on tilt you will start doing thoughtless things and you won’t think clearly. Even some of the best players go on tilt, but the ones that truly have this game mastered do not let it affect their game.
Getting over a tilt takes experience, and once you are able to let go of a terrible game you can consider yourself a much more balanced player. The fact is that sometimes you will get beat, badly, and the sooner you move on the sooner you can start winning again.
Until you start to accept tilt, you must be able to get up and leave a table when you feel yourself get heated. Unless you manage to get lucky, there is nothing good that could come from being on tilt. Just get up, walk away and come back after you have cooled down. Playing at that state of mind is going to mess everything up for you. If you are thinking about what happened in the last hand or 100 hands ago, you cannot put your focus towards what is going on now.
Overall, you must leave the table when you know you should leave it. Even with the examples above, nobody needs to tell you to leave the table. You know that you should leave the table, you just don’t do it. Get some discipline and leave the table when it comes time to do so.