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Pro Blogs: Know When to Hold'em by Alec Torelli

Alec Torelli's latest blog focuses on long poker sessions and knowing when to get up. A Personal Story: The Never Ending Session It was Sunday afternoon when I finally quit. Sixty-eight hours ago, when I started playing, I never dreamed that I could win more than a thousand dollars in a single session. I also never thought it was possible to feel that tired -- exhausted to the point of delusion. I simply could not continue. When I walked out of the poker room, I looked back at the table. They were still playing. What I was attempting is impossible. I had tried to beat a game that cannot...

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I don't understand how a "professional" player could be fully aware he's seriously tilted for whatever reasons, and not just get up and walk away for a while. To keep playing has to signal a big leak.
Does my huge ego tell me I can somehow adjust and win anyway?
Am I proud about strictly following my self-imposed work schedule even though it puts me at a disadvantage?

I heard this a few years ago while in Vegas: "Look up there. See those planes circling, waiting to land? They are full of tourists with pockets full of money. It's like that all day, all year long. There's no reason to be in a hurry."


Some people are really disciplined and can strictly implement stop losses. In my experience, most people don't. Look at it this way, if losing poker players can delude themselves into believing they are actually winning, then wouldn't it be easy for pros to convince themselves that they are +ev if they rebuy?

Another way of looking at it is this: If you asked every poker player whether or not they considered themselves "winning" I would be willing to bet the number is FAR higher than the truth. They've done studies for various tests: driving ability and attractiveness and the AVERAGE person rated themselves a 7.5 on a scale of 1 - 10. Given the way human psychology works, it's really not that far off.


youre the greatest


I guess my gripe is about the liberal use of the word "professional". To me it implies some measure of skill, talent, expertise and certainly includes LOTS of discipline.
Correct decision making is not nearly enough. Anyone can learn technique and strategy by reading books.

Perhaps the most relevant difference between the pro and amateur is the pro has a refined "follow through". Discipline is what allows him to execute those calculated decisions in even the worst of circumstances.. despite fears, faults, emotions, desires, and various other distractions and weaknesses.

And hitting a stop-loss might be viewed as nothing more than a good excuse to put the brakes on this run-bad, get the hell out of this stinking casino and away from these people for a while.


Nice. Most poker players are "winning" just more in a Charlie Sheen sort of way. I love reloading after some garbage run of cards, it makes me feel like Tony Montana in that final scene of Scarface.


Speaking of reloading, they say on live coverage of Day1a Vienna, listing some pros that busted out early, that Alec "..wasn't in the building for five minutes". .. and probably re-entered. No details about the hand. I'm gonna guess unavoidable cooler just to be nice.

And to all those players who fib about being ahead of the game: If you feel good about yourself, yer a winner in my book.

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