It’s no secret that professional poker play can be demanding. Performing at our best and staying productive is something that many players fall short of accomplishing.

The following tips from 888poker should help us to stay productive and bring our best game to every poker session.

Tip 1 – Schedule Volume

Playing a decent volume of solid poker hand rankings will significantly impact how successful our career is. We’ll improve faster and make more money.

Playing good volume won’t happen automatically, though. Why not take some time to do the following?

  • Decide the number of hands you need to play weekly based on your winrate and required earnings.
  • Calculate how many hours it would take to play that number of hands.
  • Use a spreadsheet (or other tool) to plan precisely when that volume will be played across a standard week.
Poker Players Peak Performance Habits - Schedule Volume
Poker Players Peak Performance Habits - Schedule Volume

Tip 2 – Stay Organised

More than a volume schedule is required to stay fully organised. Staying organised in other areas of our lives helps to ensure that our poker grind is distraction-free.

Why not think about the following?

  • A second (perhaps online) calendar that allows us to keep track of non-poker events relating to family, work and special events?
  • On top of a calendar, a to-do list is beneficial to ensure we stay on top of miscellaneous tasks.

If we neglect activities outside of poker, we may eventually need to take a break from the game to catch up with the rest of our lives.

Tip 3 – Focused Practice

The key to this tip is the word focused.

Poker Players Peak Performance Habits - Focused Practice
Poker Players Peak Performance Habits - Focused Practice

Many poker players spend time “working on their game” but often feel confused about what exactly they should be studying.

Why not try the following?

  • Keep an active poker terms list of areas of our game that need the most improvement.
  • Prioritise the list based on the estimated impact on overall winrate.
  • Base poker study sessions around specific areas of high priority.

Tip 4 – Measured Sleep Patterns

Not getting enough sleep will likely result in a lack of focus and make it harder for us to maintain a positive mental state. Daydreaming about where to play poker in Las Vegas is no substitute for the real thing!

Adults typically need 7-9 hours of sleep to function best. Note that too much sleep is also linked to suboptimal performance and can cause negative impacts on our health.

Why not experiment with the following?

  • Create a specific schedule for sleep hours each day and stick to it. (Note: it should ideally be the same hours every day).
  • Consider using an app that tracks and provides insights into sleep patterns.
  • Consider using a smart alarm that detects sleep phases and triggers an alarm at the optimal moment.
Poker Players Peak Performance Habits - Measured Sleep Patterns
Poker Players Peak Performance Habits - Measured Sleep Patterns

Tip 5 – Healthy Diet

A good diet helps maintain our overall health and energy levels. Our objective should be to have a steady supply of energy throughout the day.

It’s much harder to maximise our productivity if our energy is a series of peaks and troughs caused by overeating or sugar and caffeine excess.

We should do the following -

  • Spend time researching ways to improve our diet.
  • Monitor the impact of a particular diet on energy levels.

Tip 6 – Fitness Routine

If we are in great physical shape, our brains will also be more agile. Think about that next strip poker home game!

Although fitness training might make us tired in the short term, it will increase our energy levels in the long run.

We’ll be able to deal with much longer study and grinding sessions without crashing.

We should -

  • Set up a plan for regular exercise and stick to it.
  • Experiment and compare different exercise plans.

Tip 7 – Networking

Poker Players Peak Performance Habits - Networking
Poker Players Peak Performance Habits - Networking

Whether things are going well or exceptionally badly, a network of poker friends can help us get through it.

It's common for poker players to join “study groups” where they review hand histories together and discuss poker strategy.

Poker is also commonly discussed on forums and messaging platforms like 888poker’s Discord and training sites.

We might -

  • Consider joining a poker study group or forum to discuss poker strategy with other players.
  • Sign up for a poker training site.

Tip 8 – Work on Mental Game

The best players don’t leave their mental game to chance. It’s a great idea to dedicate specific time to improving our mental state, not just poker combo strategy.

Many mental game resources exist, from books to courses to mental game coaches.

Try the following -

  • Research available mental game resources.
  • Include mental game work in your poker schedule.
Poker Players Peak Performance Habits - Mental Game
Poker Players Peak Performance Habits - Mental Game

Tip 9 – Limit Distractions

Whether it’s time to hit the poker tables or a study session, we need to be able to concentrate.

Find an environment that is as distraction-free as possible. Pick a quiet location and turn off any distracting notifications from devices.

We could also consider the following -

  • Analyse our current schedule and decide which blocks of time are most likely to be free from distractions.
  • Update our poker volume schedule to take advantage of distraction-free time.
Poker Players Peak Performance Habits - Limit Distractions
Poker Players Peak Performance Habits - Limit Distractions

Tip 10 – Appropriate Hardware

Our poker setup must contain all the right equipment and is ergonomically designed.

We should also make sure that our grinding environment is neat and organised. Our poker space should be conducive to high-level poker play.

Ask yourself the following -

  • Is my entire poker setup ergonomically designed?
  • Do I have the right type of hardware to support long grinding sessions?
  • Are there any upgrades that could increase my efficiency going forward?

Peak Performance – Essential Takeaways

Many of the above tips are not directly related to poker strategy.

When we are productive off the tables it translates into peak performance while on the tables.

Work through the above list of tips and make the necessary changes to unleash our most powerful poker game.

With over 10 million registered members worldwide, 888poker is the fastest growing online poker room, with a new player signing up every 12 seconds. 888 has been a forerunner in the online gaming industry and a pioneer of safe and responsible gaming since 1997. We are one of the biggest and most trusted brands in the world, providing one of the largest selections of games, high value tournaments and exciting live events for poker players around the globe.