First Posted: Tuesday, Feb 20, 2007

I said in the last entry I would tell you my ideal preperation before playing poker – online anyway. So here goes. It is very basic and is a bit of a no-brainer, but trust me…. very few people take ANY time to prepare for a game.

Now, I’m not talking about cheap and cheerful tournaments here. I don’t really do any preparation for league games, apart from a few beers or so, but that’s because I’ve played there long enough to know how the members play. I’m talking more about multi table tournys with between 50 and 500 people entering, with buy-ins ranging from $10 upwards. But for the novice playing lower buy-ins, it would be good to try and get into a routine, so this may help.

First off, select your game. Don’t make it a last minute entry to it. Look for a game thats maybe 2 hours away from starting. Register for it early. You don’t want to leave it only to realise you forgot to register once it is underway. This might sound silly, but it happens…. a lot!

Once you’ve selected your game, walk away from the computer. Do something relaxing. Go watch some TV, listen to some music, have a nap, read a book…. whatever you like to do to relax. Reading a poker book at this time is a good idea, as you might be able to impliment what you’ve read into the game you will be playing. Even crack open a beer. Just don’t start guzzling them though, or your concentration will be impared when you come to play the game.

Try to remove any obstacles that could cause distractions during the game. For example, if you have kids, make sure they are not around, whether in bed or staying over at relatives. And for that matter, get rid of your spouse/partner. Slip therm £20 to go out with their mates or something. You don’t want them interupting your game.

Think about the tactics you are going to use in the game, and most importantly be confident in your own ability to follow those tactics through.

Self belief is really important. Without self belief you will not win a bean. You will be the fish in a small pond of sharks – and thats even before a card is dealt.

Come game time, you should be prepared for a long haul. If you smoke, have plenty of ciggies close to you. Have a drink within easy reach of you. Have some munchies ready in case you get hungry. Basically, you don’t want to leave your computer for anything other than paying the bathroom a visit.

So now you are relaxed and prepared, shuffle up and deal! Now put that strategy you were thinking about into gear and go get ’em!

Now, here is a must for the novice and the more experienced players out there. Go have a look at my mate Blaggers blog. This week he has a video to show you. In it he plays a sit and go and takes you through every step of the way of how he played the game. Now as one of his mates who plays quite regualrly against him, it gives me an insight of how he plays. Good stuff for me. But I know he is more than capable of adapting to different situations and players so he’s not given away as much as he thinks.But if you want to learn, and I do mean LEARN an effective way of beating the sit and go tournys, then this is a must watch moment. I can’t stress enough how much you can learn from this. Go check it out!

I have to say, it took some balls to make the video as he knows all the league members will be looking at it, but as I said, I know him well enough as a poker player that he can adapt to almost any situation, so I don’t fear for him. Enjoy!


Svcmgr: Well said Gofer.
The only other thing I would mention is that if it is a MTT, you need to make sure you have allocated enough time for the tourny. The MTT’s with a few hundred people can go on for hours if you do good. So, be prepared to spend that time if needed.
Feb 22, 2007, 12:23 PM
PinkDog: Right on the mark Gofer, but even the best laid plans go south sometimes.We should all figure 10% of our “Home” games will be interupted and make the porper adjustments to the buy-in’s for our bankrolls to absorb that fact.
Feb 22, 2007, 10:39 PM
netsson: Oooh how i know the situations of being interrupted in the middle of a thrilling pokertour. OK uou can get a babysitter or slip your spouse some dollar to spend with the mates but what to do when the cat drags the birdcage just in front of you in his trial to play with the little birdie! oh my that actually happened to me during a game! Had to save the bird who the cat got stuck upside down behind radiator? oh my It’s not easy to get cat and birdsitter. But i do agree that preparations can be the difference between dollarwinnings and suckouts!
Feb 23, 2007, 06:33 AM
Dagopher: Thanks for the comments guys and some good points added too. Very good point about the time allocation Dave. Something I should have commented on…
Feb 23, 2007, 11:55 AM
Blagger: Nice one Gopher… again..coolSound advice for anyone .. Thnx for the plug too wink
Feb 25, 2007, 06:52 PM
Blagger: Well having 20 minutes on my hands here gives me a chance to comment a little more thoroughly.You are right on the money here Gopher, we all know how much we have to mentally put into a game we are involved in. Yet many of us do not realise how much easier that can be if we put in the mental prep before hand.

Quite often I rise around 5:30am and play a game around 6:00am. Without checking back through notes I know I have higher percentage of money finishes at this time.

At 6:00am there are absolutely no distractions, I am relaxed and mentally “free”, meaning I know there is no work or chores I can be doing at that hour. No subconscious nagging of things to do etc.

I also agree with having a plan or strategy in mind, infact have several plan B’s too. This is just such a logical approach I can’t fathom how people can not take the advice.

Can you imagine any sportsman, businessman, analyst etc. Just going into their game/work with the philosophy of ‘well i don’t know what I am going to do, I’ll just wait and see what happens‘.. Those that do have this ethos will probably be unsucessful.

I agree reading a poker article or two is a great warm up for a game and we are spoilt for choice these days on the available information out there online, so no excuses

Keep up the good thoughtful articles Gopher, good reading for all.

Feb 26, 2007, 06:44 AM
Dagopher: Thanks for the comments blaggs…..I have to say that since my fall from grace at the poker table…. ok.. doing absolutely abismal at the poker table, I have been going back to basics and this is what I’ve been puting into words in the blog. These ramblings of mine are helping me to overcome the bad month I’ve had, to the extent that I’m hitting final tables again – even winning one this past weekend. It goes to show that if you give yourself that little refresher course, you can come out of a slump with renewed vigour and self belief, all the while reinforcing the basics in your head. After a good run at the tables, you can become a little too confident in yourself and start to dismiss the basics. I think thats what happened to me.
Feb 26, 2007, 07:33 AM

One Response to Preparation

  1. IRISHEYES46 says:

    Great Article Gofer very interesting reading keep up the good work.

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