What should I do to prepare myself for a long poker grind? It's not something that should just come naturally, especially if you'd like to be at the top of your game. Don't just jump into it hoping for the best. Here are some tips:
- Get some sleep. If you aren’t well rested, it is not possible to play your best, at least not for long. You’re going to need every scrap of energy for that epic grind. Get as much sleep as you can in a Circadian rhythm - resting when the sun is down. This is going to be worth twice the sleep you get at 5am when the birds are up and chirping.
- Stay fed and watered. Even being mildly dehydrated can affect your concentration badly. Bear in mind you can’t hydrate on soft drinks, juice or alcohol! The sugar content is too high to properly hydrate you. Drink water or diluted juice. If you’re lucky enough to have someone bring you food, you’re already a winner. Eat small amounts of healthy food regularly, this is best for deep focus.
- Your immediate environment will have a big influence on your focus. Make sure your grind station is in a quiet space where you can concentrate. If you want music on the grind, choose relaxing, upbeat music that is not too distracting. Use headphones if there are distractions around. Keep the space clear and tidy. Don’t watch anything while playing! We’d also suggest avoiding spoken word - it’s very distracting, even if it is a poker podcast!
- Posture and physical health are very important for strong performance and mental aptitude. Make sure your computer chair is ergonomic and try to keep good posture. Get up and stretch, and walk, and look away from the monitor whenever you get the chance. Take regular breaks. Get outside and get some exercise when you have a longer break. Use f.lux to keep your computer screen gentle on the eyes.
- One thing that will always play a key role in excelling during a long grind is resetting your intention. It’s on you to remind yourself through the grind that you came here to do your best, to learn and enjoy the game and to be a top competitor. Only you can ensure that you set these high standards, and then go on to keep them. Don’t let yourself down. Don’t auto-pilot and click buttons, choose instead to stay in the zone and play your A game.