PokerStars Championship Prague
888poker
New poker experience at 888poker

Join now to get $88 FREE (no deposit needed)

Join now
PokerStars
Double your first deposit up to $400

New players can use bonus code 'STARS400'

Join now
partypoker
partypoker Cashback

Get up to 40% back every week!

Join now
Unibet
€200 progressive bonus

+ a FREE Unibet Open Qualifier ticket

Join now

888Poker Ambassadors Share their Pre-Poker Rituals

888Poker Ambassadors Share their Pre-Poker Rituals 0001
Sharelines
  • Like sports stars prepping for game time, poker players similarly have pre-poker rituals.

  • 888poker Ambassadors share their pre-poker rituals, like showering, snacking and working out.

Similar to sports players, poker players assume a certain state of mind before they start playing in a tournament or online. Some need more than that. Some have set up particular rituals, even unusual ones, in order to achieve the results they’re looking for.

For 888poker Ambassadors, it’s just another day in the life as a poker player, and actually, doing too much can be a detriment.

Chris Moorman

Chris Moorman

What are some things you do to prepare for a poker game?
I like to get up a couple of hours before play so I have time to go for a run, eat breakfast, shower, etc. I don’t like to be rushed before playing a tournament. Also, whenever I have time, I like to have a call with my mental coach Stephen Simpson.

Is there anything that you must do before you play (similar to a good luck charm or omen kind of thing)? Any of these unusual?
The only thing I always have to do before I play is shower.

What’s one thing you can’t leave home without when you prepare for a poker tournament?
Money to buy in and my phone in case I get bored at the tables pre-antes!

What rituals would you recommend for new players who are just getting into poker who may be both excited and anxious about the experience?
Just try to be mentally prepared to play and do the best you can. Don’t go out drinking the night before, get good sleep and have breakfast before you play.

Nicolau Villa-Lobos

Nicolau Villa-Lobos 888

What are some things you do to prepare for a poker game?
When I’m home, I must do some activities before playing online, mostly surfing or just going out to ride my bicycle. When traveling, I always think about a good meal to get me prepared for the marathon.

Is there anything that you must do before you play (similar to a good luck charm or omen kind of thing)? Any of these unusual?
Before playing a live tournament I try to "predict" what is going to happen. I just close my eyes and imagine good things happening at the poker table. This is something that I read about Phelps; he does the same thing. Can't be bad, right?

What’s one thing you can’t leave home without when you prepare for a poker tournament?
Music!

What rituals would you recommend for new players who are just getting into poker who may be both excited and anxious about the experience?
I think listening to good music before is a really good way to relax. The "predict" experience that I mentioned before works fine too.

Dominik Nitsche

Dominik Nitsche

What are some things you do to prepare for a poker game?
I don't do much preparation at all. I find the most important thing to do before a tournament is to be well rested and be on a good sleeping schedule that gives you plenty of time to wake up in the morning and have breakfast before you start playing. Poker can be exhausting if you are playing on a high level for 12-14 hours a day. It's hard to squeeze anything else into your day while you are on the tour.

What’s one thing you can’t leave home without when you prepare for a poker tournament?
Probably my No. 1 most important item would be my laptop or computer because it's where I do a lot of my studying and preparation in between tournaments. Computer programs make it very nice to review your own play.

On the same note, I also always have my phone with me, both to pass time during the early levels, take notes of interesting hands I played and discuss them with my friends.

What rituals would you recommend for new players who are just getting into poker who may be both excited and anxious about the experience?
The most important thing to do when preparing for a tournament is make sure you get enough rest. It's really very simple. If you are tired, you will make more mistakes and therefore be less likely to win. Just ensure that you are feeling great and focused when you are playing. So really there is no secret. Just do what you gotta do to put you in a good mindset. No need to buy lucky pink scarves. Unless you like it, then do it!

Kara Scott

Kara Scott 888

What are some things you do to prepare for a poker game?
If it's Day 2+ and you can take a look at your seat draw, it's not a bad idea to check out who you'll be sitting with and figure out what kinds of stacks are at the table. A good night's sleep is key. Poker days can be very long (if we're lucky) so you don't want to be heading into it tired or hung over.

Is there anything that you must do before you play (similar to a good luck charm or omen kind of thing)? Any of these unusual?
Hmmm. I don't think I have any pre-play rituals. I actually think they can do more harm than good because it takes the focus off the things that actually matter (like how you play). If you have a good luck ritual that you're NOT able to do, or if you forget your good luck charm, then you'll go into the game already feeling like you're at a disadvantage and that's not a good place to be in.

What’s one thing you can’t leave home without when you prepare for a poker tournament?
Snacks! The food options at casinos are sometimes not the best and since we're hoping to be at the tables all day/night, we're likely not going to be able to wander very far. I definitely see the difference in my play when my blood sugar gets too low, so eating before and bringing snacks can help keep me focused.

What rituals would you recommend for new players who are just getting into poker who may be both excited and anxious about the experience?
I always suggest to first-timers at the World Series of Poker that they visit the Rio the day before and just have a walk around and get used to the place. It's so huge! It's a good idea to get used to that BEFORE you sit down at an event. You want to know where the best food spots are for the breaks, where the restrooms are (and a second choice restroom for when the first one has a line of one million people already). Also, you can buy in and get your ticket all sorted out the day before, instead of winding up standing anxiously in a line at registration and missing your first WSOP 'shuffle up and deal.'

Bruno Foster

Bruno Foster

What are some things you do to prepare for a poker game?
For important tournaments I like to prepare myself physically and mentally. I usually workout three to four times per week in order to endure the long playing hours. And mentally I prepare myself by giving poker lessons (coaching), watching videos online and looking for new articles in forums.

Is there anything that you must do before you play (similar to a good luck charm or omen kind of thing)? Any of these unusual?
Yes. I like to watch videos of people overcoming themselves and doing their best, like The Voice, X-Factor, etc. This helps to improve my focus and it gives me emotional balance. This is like an extra "battery" for my soul.

What’s one thing you can’t leave home without when you prepare for a poker tournament?
In terms of material things, my cellphone… LOL (I can`t live without it!), and in mental terms, it would be my best weapon when I play poker: Keeping my mind clear to read people.

What rituals would you recommend for new players who are just getting into poker who may be both excited and anxious about the experience?
First of all, try to keep high levels of energy, keep your self-confidence and clear your mind so you don’t lose focus during the tournament. Apart from this, you need to study a lot in order to keep your self-confidence for the moments that you need to make big decisions.

Bruno Kawauti

Bruno Kawauti

What are some things you do to prepare for a poker game?
I always try to work out before. It helps me to think faster during the sessions.

Is there anything that you must do before you play (similar to a good luck charm or omen kind of thing)? Any of these unusual?
I’m not too superstitious. I try to eat well every time I play. Without having a good meal, I play poorly.

What’s one thing you can’t leave home without when you prepare for a poker tournament?
Snacks and headphones!

What rituals would you recommend for new players who are just getting into poker who may be both excited and anxious about the experience?
The first thing you need to understand is that success in poker is a result of many tournaments played, so don’t bother thinking about a bad beat or losing one specific tournament. Enjoy the time playing and try to do your best. There will always be another tournament to be played!

Lead images courtesy of 888poker

Be sure to complete your PokerNews experience by checking out an overview of our mobile and tablet apps here. Stay on top of the poker world from your phone with our mobile iOS and Android app, or fire up our iPad app on your tablet. You can also update your own chip counts from poker tournaments around the world with MyStack on both Android and iOS.

More Stories

Other Stories

What do you think?