Fail To Prepare, Prepare To Fail

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail is a motto all poker players should live by

“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” are the famous words of Benjamin Franklin and they ring true to poker players. One of the great things about poker, especially online poker, is you can jump into a game whenever you wish. You simply find a seat, sit down, and play cards.

This is all well and good but it’s not a recipe for success. Even the very best players who have learned everything there is to learn about poker prepare themselves for a session.

It is important to prepare yourself for playing poker whether you grind cash games or tournaments. Failing to do so won’t necessarily result in a losing session, but doing so increases your chances of booking a winning one.

How To Prepare Yourself to Play Poker

Everyone is different when it comes to preparing to compete in any sport or game. You know your own body and mind best, but you can follow our tips or incorporate them into your own preparations.

Making sure you’re not tired is key to success in poker. Tired people can’t calculate pot odds and probabilities as easy as a well-rested person. Playing tired also leads to lapses in concentration and they can prove costly.

Ensuring you have a good night’s sleep is the only way to combat tiredness. This can be difficult if you’re playing in a big buy-in event the following day and your adrenalin is flowing, but you need to try getting your head down.

The top and bottom of this are to never play tired.

Eat and Drink Well

Poker sessions can last for several hours, even more in the biggest tournaments. You need the energy to get you through these sessions, but be careful what you eat.

It is tempting to force down a large meal so you don’t have to eat while playing poker. The human body works hard digesting large meals and it diverts a lot of blood to your stomach. This leads to tiredness, which is one of the things you definitely don’t need.

Eat a healthy, light meal instead. Pasta-based dishes are great as they are packed with carbohydrates for energy. Prepare a few snacks and have them within easy reach. Nuts are perfect as they’re crammed with energy and don’t fill you up too much.

Your choice of drink is important too. Poker and beers go hand in hand, but try avoiding alcohol. The late Gavin Smith believed everyone plays better poker when they’re a couple of drinks in. The problem, according to Smith, was nobody knows how to stay only two drinks deep.

Alcohol lowers inhibitions and slows your thought process. It also severely dehydrates you, which leads to tiredness. You’ll also need the toilet more often, taking you out of the game.

Avoid sugary drinks and caffeine because their short-term boosts result in crashes.

Online Players Need To Set Up Their Grind Station

Live poker players have no choice in their surroundings. Turning up nice and early to scope out the poker room is all they can do to prepare.

Online poker players are different because they’re playing poker from home. Set up a dedicated poker grind station if you’re serious about winning regularly. This should be in a quiet area of your home away from distractions.

Invest in a quality chair; a gaming chair is perfect. It should have ample back support, a comfortable seat, and be able to recline. You will be sat in this seat for multiple hours so don’t scrimp here.

Make sure your desk is at a height where you’re not stretching and straining. You can probably work out it is important to be comfortable. Again, tiredness and fatigue are common in people who are uncomfortable.

It’s a good idea to have a neat desk where you have snacks and drink to hand, also.

Finally, prepare to bring your A-game to the tables by turning off all social media. The same goes for Netflix and other streaming sites. Your game should receive your full attention at all times. Approaching the game professionally is your best bet for pro-like results.

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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