When to Quit Playing Poker

Some people may need to do what I have done many times over. Others may need to quit playing poker for good Throughout my years as a pro one of the most important parts of poker strategy for me has always been knowing when to quit playing poker for

  • that day
  • a week
  • a month or longer

It is not easy to do. Most people will just keep going and going til they are on what I like to call permatilt. Never able to regain their composure at the tables. Their poker strategy shot forever.

Give yourself a chance to regroup & focus. This will separate you from the rest as a skill they do not have. And therefore give you an advantage. That is what good poker strategy is all about.


To do this may require admitting you have something wrong with your game at the moment. You are not weak for it. You are stronger! Showing the discipline needed to do what it takes to play well & quit when you can't. Even the worst players know that discipline is one of the keys to good poker strategy. They just don't have it or use it.

Also realize it's just a good play to take time away even if you are not out of line. Some of the best help for my game has been in the form of vacations. Where I would not play during that time no matter what. Even when my game was as good as it gets I took long breaks.


My own experiences on when to stop

Before I became a pro I had to learn just like anyone. I played for two months before I made money. I would lose & wouldn't quit for anything even when too tired. Then I took a two month break. I came back to the game and won consistently from then on. Making a living off the game from that day forward. I has serious discipline after that break.

But sometimes especially early in my career I would have to take a day, week or even month off again anytime my game had issues. Sometimes I would travel all the way to the poker table. Play for less than two hours and be like that's it you are done. Because I had made some plays I absolutely knew were wrong because of anger issues. I would go home and then do better the next day. I had to do this a few times the first year or so.

After that it became rare. I would play awesome poker strategy with a few mistakes here and there. I knew that I was only human and would allow myself to continue as long as they stayed within the normal amount of mistakes for my game. Today as I write this I had ten years I didn't send myself home.

But this week I found myself playing in a limit holdem game. Making more mistakes than I consider my normal for me. Playing about one hand an hour more than usual. I racked up my chips, cashed out and went home. It has been a long time as I mentioned since I have had to do this. And I started thinking to myself. I've lost it. I am a failure. I felt like crying.

Then I remembered that knowing when I can't play well and actually quitting is one of the main reasons I ever made it. And one of the best parts of my overall poker strategy. So I quit for the day trying to hold my head up as high as I could.

It wasn't just my game. I have lost three close friends. Was attacked in my own home. And robbed on a poker trip. All just recently. I am shook up inside pretty bad. And needless to say it may be affecting my poker skills. Just like it might anyone no matter what their job.

Poker Strategy Home

Texas Holdem Poker Strategy Home

Top of Page