Being a winning poker player isn't only about playing good cards – it's also about making good decisions. And there is one important decision you face every time you sit down in a cash game: Should I quit, or should I keep playing?
When should you keep playing?
I see so many players playing short hours when they're winning, and long hours when they're losing. It should be the other way around.
When you are winning in the online poker game, at least a few of the other players must be losing. And when your opponents are losing, they often aren't playing their best. But you are.
When you're winning, other players fear you; you have a good table image. And when you have a good table image, you can get away with things that you can't seem to when you're losing. For one thing, you can bluff more. Usually a losing player is scared to get involved with a winning player, so it's easier for you to pick up pots. You can represent more hands than you actually have because your opponents believe you're hitting every flop.
The only time to quit when you're winning is when you are tired, or when you start playing badly.
When should you call it a day?
Many players can't seem to quit when they are losing. You have to remember that there will always be another poker game — if not tomorrow, then the day after, or the week after. I like to think of poker as one continuous game going on for my whole career. So, if I'm losing more than 30 big bets in the game, I usually quit.
There are a couple of reasons I do this: For one, if I lose a ton of money in one day, I don't feel so hot the next day. That means if I go in to play the next day, I might not be able to play my best game. I might actually have to take a few days off to get my head straight.
Another reason is that when I'm losing more than 30 bets, I might not be playing that well. I might think I'm playing my “A” game, but in reality, I'm probably not. You can't be as objective about your play when you're losing. After all, we are not robots; we're just human beings.