Signs your poker session has gone way too long

You know you should be taking a long break from the poker table when…

“I think there’s a bear behind me. Is there? Is there…?”

When you first start to play poker, your sessions most likely won’t be long. However, to become a good and winning player, it is inevitable that you spend long sessions at the felt, whether live or online. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that after 9 or 10 hours at the table you’ll be imagining strange sounds coming your way. If you mistake that cocktail waitress behind you for a bear, or if you start cackling like an animal – well, maybe poker shouldn’t be your main concern.

‘Hey, I’m sure I had six of a kind on this hand!’

If you start seeing things that usually shouldn’t be part of poker, live or virtual, it’s time to leave the table and hail a cab to your bed: You reach for a drink that isn’t there. You confuse $5 chips with $20 chips. And, worst of all, you misread your hand. Misreading a hand in poker is not the same as misreading a newspaper quote – the consequences can be devastating to your bankroll. When fatigue overtakes your poker senses, it’s time to pack it in for the night.

Very extreme makeover: poker edition.  When you find yourself spending more time adjusting your sitting arrangement instead of your poker strategy, it’s very likely that you need a bed more than a chair

Snooze Hold’em

This one is quite familiar to former high school and college students everywhere: The sudden lapse in concentration, tuning off while you lean on your arm or simply just ‘out of it’ for a few seconds.   This occurs when your body and mind are sleep deprived, and cause a brief and temporary pause (a few seconds, or sometimes even a few minutes) in your conscious awareness. And the thing is, you most likely are unaware when this happens. Don’t be surprised if half your stack is suddenly missing – especially if you are playing online and you’ve been auto-folded.

Multiplayer Dreamin’ If your idea for optimal multi-tabling conditions consists of being under the blankets and resting your head against a soft-feathered pillow, you won’t be don’t multi-tabling for very long. If you want to play on your laptop, if should be on your desk and connected to a relatively large LCD screen.

‘You look familiar. Where have I seen your face before…?’ When you find yourself seeing players who have left, gotten on with their day, fulfilled their human sleep requirements, and returned to the same table that you still sit at, that’s a surefire sign that you’ve been playing too long. Not only that, they might recognize you as ‘the guy who’s been playing way too long’ and try to capitalize on your fatigue.


When your boss calls and threatens to fire you if you don’t show up ASAP. ‘Nuff said.