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Pro Blogs: Know When To Fold’Em by Alec Torelli

Pro Blogs

Alec Torelli's latest blog is the conclusion to his series on learning when to quit.

Last week we discussed various options of deciding when to quit and the reasons why we love to pull those marathon sessions. In this blog, it’s more thoughts on knowing when to stop and learning to take control of our game.

When Tired

I often quit when I’m tired. Since there are varying degrees of lethargy, determining when to quit is difficult. If I’m feeling a little lethargic, I’ll usually have a tea or espresso and see how I feel in a half hour. If nothing changes, I take a walk. If that doesn’t work — if the game is nothing special — I’ll quit.

Then there is the other extreme, when it feels like I will miss a wedding to stay in the game. It’s easy to get caught up in the game and forget there is a world outside of of the casino. The delusion is only placated when I remember that no game is irreplaceable.

In the excitement of the game, it’s easy to feel a rush of adrenaline. Thus, I measure my lethargy objectively using the following guidelines.

I am tired if:

  • I’ve played eight hours or more
  • I’ve been up for 18 hours or more
  • I've slept less than five hours the night before.

As a general rule, if two out of three apply, I quit.

When the Game Breaks

If the fish leaves and the game is about to break, many will quit. If I just started playing and I’m craving some action, I will seek out another game. If I’ve already logged a decent session, I will take the day off and come back fresh.

Important Note

I never quit immediately after the fish does. I will always play at least until the end of the dealer, to ensure he has cashed out and left the casino. Remember, they are our customers and your job, like the casino, isn’t to earn money, but to create an environment where people can comfortably lose it.

Nobody likes to feel like they are the mark. There’s nothing worse than the fish quitting and three regulars not taking their big blind or after they lose, the players quitting immediately almost mocking his loss. Bad gambler!

Pro Blogs: Know When To Fold’Em by Alec Torelli 101

The Solution: Take Control

The overwhelming reason I always quit a game is if it will ruin my routine. There is nothing that can replace living a healthy and balanced life. Rarely do I think it’s worth pulling a 24-hour session to play in a “can’t miss” game. The reality is, those games are there everyday. Some hobbies are recession proof. Gambling, like alcohol is one of them.

Since we have to sleep some time, why not just do it when it fits into our schedule? One of the best things about a career in poker is that the freedom it affords. Why let the game dictate when we play?

There are thousands of other reasons I have quit a game. A friend calls and invites me to somewhere I rather be. A more lucrative opportunity arises. I have to be up early the next day.

The other day, I had trouble deciding whether or not to get up when I noticed my friend leaving a lucrative game. I leaned over. “Why are you quitting?” I whispered. He shrugged. “I don’t feel like playing anymore.” It was then that the light bulb came on.

The only reason I ever need to quit is because I rather be doing something else.

For all my blogs and content, visit Your feedback is important to me. Feel free to share your thoughts, ask me questions or leave a comment. Follow me on Twitter at @AlecTorelli. For other matters you can email me at [email protected]

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*Lead photo by Paul Berensen "Babinsky Cheating the Devil At Cards"

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