Turn Off your TV

playing pokerYou’ll find most casinos and poker club players prefer to play in relative isolation where they can remain focused and observant. Tracking and mentally recording your opponent’s behavior is a fundamental aspect to good poker playing. That is why live cash games and tournaments are typically played in a closed off area that minimizes the amount of outward distraction. Without the physical constraint of having to sit at a table, many online players find ways to fill the time in between hands and keep themselves entertained. More often than not, this involves diversions like eating, watching television, talking on the phone, or surfing the internet.

Not surprisingly, these distractions often cause players to make mistakes. Distractions like these can cause you to play a hand poorly or miss out on important information, in turn costing you money. If you find you have reached the point that you can comfortably handle one table with time to spare, it’s probably a good time to consider adding another table to your normal routine.

Develop the same professional attitude towards playing online as you would in any brick and mortar establishment. You may be playing on a laptop in your underwear, but this small amount of focused professionalism can translate into you becoming a great online poker player. Eliminating outward distraction seriously improves your focus and will ensure you do not make stupid mistakes because you were watching TV or chatting on Facebook with an old friend from school. Start by arranging your environment so that it is free from distractions. Don’t just plop your laptop down on the coffee table and play in front of the TV. Play at a desk or dining room table if possible and switch your phone to silent if you’re not waiting pressingly for a call. Find a musical playlist of your favorite songs to listen and relax to and make sure you have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages in the refrigerator (Play smart, play sober). Making your play area comfortable and inviting is a crucial element to successful online poker that many players outright ignore.