While it can be pretty obvious that there will be circumstances that are absolutely not conducive to playing poker properly, such as being under the influence of mind altering substances, stress, ill health and so on, for other (common) negative factors we need to evaluate their significance in the situation as a whole rather than arbitrarily deciding to stop playing.
A key sign of experience is the ability to weigh up the pros and cons of how a game is going in order to determine if it is worth staying involved. Let’s say that we are doing well in a game because we have a slight edge over a few players, have excellent position relative to one or two who we have been able to exploit thus far, the table’s gambler – who seems to approach every few hands like a drunken machine gunner – shows no intention of leaving and our table image couldn’t be any better for us. In this case, even if we start to become conscious of growing tired, for example, there are clearly more reasons to continue playing than there are to stop. Quite simply, we might not find ourselves being presented with an opportunity as good as this for a while.
Of course it is important to monitor our own physical, mental and emotional state continuously, but this being only part of the process, we should also remember that other players are susceptible to the same pressures and potential handicaps that we are. Consequently, despite the level of advice we are given to ‘always’ stop playing when tired (I’ve suggested the same precautionary measure, but mainly to newcomers and, significantly, when losing heavily), it would be a mistake to do so without giving every aspect of the scenario proper consideration.
Good luck at the tables!
Angus Dunnington (AngusD at the tables)
32Red Poker Ambassador