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Top 10 tips for improving your poker game during the COVID-19 outbreak

13 April 2020

Some poker players are used to sitting at home in front of their computers for multiple days. For those people, the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lock-down is not causing them too much of a struggle, while others are freaking out not knowing what to do with their time.

The good news is that poker teaches us to react only to the situation that we can control, and this is one of those situations.

We are forced to sit at home, so we can’t change that, but we can use this situation to become better players and even have some fun on the way. Here, I share with you the top 10 tips for improving your poker game during the coronavirus outbreak.

10. Watch poker movies
Firstly, you surely need to have some fun to get in the zone for playing and watching a few movies related to poker can definitely motivate you to take action.

However, it is critical not to take it too far and spend your days watching Netflix or spending too much time without any purpose. While it is essential to relax, it should not become your prime activity, so limit your time watching TV.

9. Read some books
Now, reading poker books might need more effort on your part than merely watching a movie, but they can also be a great pastime activity and not only help you relax but also teach you a thing or two.

In his latest interview, Jonathan Little shared his thoughts about poker books and what he has learned from reading. Knowing that he had written quite a few of those books, you can surely find up to date information if you decide to go with this option.

Of course, it will require some time, but time is something you have at the moment.

Start an online home game with your friends.

Start an online home game with your friends. (photo by Pexels)

8. Organize an online home game with your friends
Another option that can help you enjoy your time at home and put some money into your pocket at the same time is organizing an online home game with your friends.

If you never tried it, it is actually easier than you think, and all you need is an account to a poker site that allows such games.

Even if you have no access to real poker rooms, you can always find a play chip app and use it to play with your friends. You can pre-assign some monetary value to chips and organize your games without much effort.

7. Try a new game
On top of this, you can always try a new format as well. If you’re strictly a Texas Hold’em player, trying PLO, Razz, Stud, or anything else would surely help you enjoy poker even more, and motivate you to get back to the tables.

Six-Plus Hold’em is getting more and more popular these days due to high-roller action streamed on YouTube, so you might want to learn this game and give it a try.

Since it is very similar to Texas Hold’em, just played with deck from sixes to Aces, it will not take much time to understand all nuances, and it is really a fun game to play.

6. Review your play
Having fun is great, but you also need to get some benefits from all of this time you are putting in to help your game, and working on your game is one of the best options to do it.

The easiest thing you can do is actually mark questionable hands while playing and then review them later on or analyze them with dedicated poker software to spot your mistakes.

You can also try recording your session by capturing your screen and then reviewing how you played when you are not in the heat of the moment. I am sure that you will see everything in a different light and will be able to notice where you are leaving money at the table.

5. Revisit poker forums
If you mark some hands as we just discussed in the previous point, you can visit poker forums and post it to get an opinion from various players.

While you should not blindly follow the advice from a stranger, you will quickly identify people in the forums who know what they are talking about and you can track their answers.

On top of that, you can also find all new information regarding poker in once place and can quickly catch up with what is happening around the globe in the poker scene.

4. Work on your mindset
While you have all this extra time, you can finally do what most players avoid and work on your mindset.

While this is not an easy thing to master, you should take advantage of this situation and finally build a pre-session routine that will help you stay calm and concentrate during the games.

While everyone is different, and it is hard to say what will help you the most, I can share how I spend my 15 minutes before every game:
  • Remove all distractions that can take my thoughts away from poker (phone, messengers, TV, etc.)
  • Take a couple of minutes to warm up (review some hands)
  • Listen to Elliot’s Roe mp3 recording (it's like meditation that gets me in the zone for playing)
With this routine, I can better control my emotions and perform at my best, which brings us to...

3. Improve performance
It might sound boring, but improving performance and boosting energy is one of the most important things for all successful poker players, yet something very few talk about.

If you want to play long sessions consistently, you need to get proper sleep, eat healthy food, and do some exercising since you surely will not be moving much while in isolation due to coronavirus.

If you haven’t noticed, most all of the top poker players are in good physical shape these days, and most even have personal trainers to help them reach peak performance. While you do not need to take it that far, all of these simple tips will help you more than you could imagine, so do not shy away from proper resting and at least some exercising every day.

Take advantage of this time and play online.

Take advantage of this time and play online. (photo by Wikimedia Commons)

2. Play more online
Of course, it would be strange not to take advantage of this situation by playing as much as you can.

If you are already playing online, I hope that my previous tips will help you have more energy and focus on the games so that you could play even more.

However, even if you come from the live poker scene, you should, try playing online and take advantage of all the new players coming into these games. While it might not be as easy as your regular games, you will surely improve a lot and can even put some money in your pockets if you select the right tables.

1. Join a training site
Last but not least, you should take this down time to seriously work on improving your poker game.
If you have never joined a training site, now it would be the best time to do it since you can learn at a better pace than yourself.

So, instead of wasting your time, pick what works for you best, and invest in your education.
If you take this seriously, after a month of studying, you will come back to your poker game much stronger than before. You are even likely to leave your competition behind since they probably been watching Netflix, so take advantage of this situation.

What you do now can define your poker career in the future.
Top 10 tips for improving your poker game during the COVID-19 outbreak is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
Tadas Peckaitis

Tadas Peckaitis has been a professional poker player, coach and author for almost a decade. He is a manager and head coach at mypokercoaching.com where he shares his experience, and poker strategy tips.
Tadas plays poker, mostly online, but also manages to play live events while travelling through Europe and the U.S.
He is a big fan of personal effectiveness and always trying to do more. Tadas regularly shares his knowledge about both of these topics with his students, and deeply enjoys it.
Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, or visit www.mypokercoaching.com
Tadas Peckaitis
Tadas Peckaitis has been a professional poker player, coach and author for almost a decade. He is a manager and head coach at mypokercoaching.com where he shares his experience, and poker strategy tips.
Tadas plays poker, mostly online, but also manages to play live events while travelling through Europe and the U.S.
He is a big fan of personal effectiveness and always trying to do more. Tadas regularly shares his knowledge about both of these topics with his students, and deeply enjoys it.
Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, or visit www.mypokercoaching.com