The Tao of online grinder: how to prepare for poker session
Poker theory and maths are very important for profitable poker players. But these are still not enough to become the best of the best.
If you want to win, you need to pay attention to every detail. Proper preparation is the key to success.
Poker sessions can take hours, especially if you prefer multi-table tournaments (MTT). Some of them can last for 8-9 hours in case you run deep.
During all this time you have to sit and it’s a serious pressure on back muscles and spine. To feel sick at the final table is not something you would dream of, so a comfortable armchair is a good investment in your future wins.
Some poker pro players prefer creative approach. For example, popular streamer and member of PokerStars Team Mikhail “innerpsy” Shalamov has got a table that can be easily transformed into a running track. He runs several kilometers before each session, at the same time analysing poker hands he played previously.
If you want to climb to the top, you have to pass all the way from micro stakes to high stakes.
Currently the highest cash game limits can be found at PokerStars: $200/$400 (small and big blinds) for NL and PLO, $1k/$2k for FL games. Previously high-rollers preferred FullTilt which offered $500/$1000 NL and PLO games along with $2k/$4k FL games.
Use your brain and don’t tilt. Money are your bullets and opponents at the poker table are your targets.
There’s no consensus in poker community on a perfect workplace. Some players think that everything should be in its right place and any foreign objects might distract attention. Others insist that every useful thing has to be always at hand.
You can get hungry or thirsty at any time during poker grind, so a plate with light meals and a bottle of water have to find their place on your table. Also there should be a pen with a notepad where you can make necessary notes.
Many manufacturers offer convenient desktops for gamers, with special slots for computer chassis, ventilation, keyboard, etc. You can easily find a place for two monitors on such desktop – a very important thing for multi-tablers (those who play at many tables simultaneously).
Good mouse and keyboard will allow you to smoothly and easily control playing process.
It’s very important to check your mouse and keyboard before every session. Only after making sure that everything is functioning well you can start your poker battle. Nothing could be worse than a device malfunction in the most important moment: your pocket aces would be automatically folded because you just couldn’t act in time.
It’s better to use wireless models, and to have an extra kit at hand.
There are several very helpful services for poker players:
Sharkscope.com — largest database where you can find statistics of many online tournament players. It includes profit, average buy-in, tournament history and other info.
GTO-trainers (for example, simplepoker.com) which help you to improve your skills for playing difficult spots. You can use them before sessions to set up your mind or afterwards to analyze mistakes.
Tracking software (holdemmanager.com, pokertracker.com) which keeps track of all your opponents’ actions: how often do they raise, make a continuation bet, attempt to steal, fold to continuation bet, etc. It will help you to be a step ahead of all those players who don’t use such programs.
Watching films and TV series while grinding may affect your game in a negative way. It’s hard to do several things at once. Music would be a good option to help you concentrate, it could create harmony and inspire you.
Poker is more than just a game. It’s a long battle with opponents and with yourself. And you should never give up.
Remember: the road is made by walking.
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