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BETA   •   TUESDAY, JULY 23RD, 2019

Sleep & Poker – The Long Grind

January 20 Sandra Wong
SLEEP +- POKER 

How many of you have been stuck and ended up pulling a 24+ hour poker session trying to get unstuck!?  My longest was probably 17 hours straight followed by a two hour nap then another full day, followed by another small nap and did this for two weeks on an online marathon session.  I was running hot til I was not…haha! You see, we all know about the pitfalls of drinking while playing cards, but not many adhere to the rule of getting a good nights rest before hitting the felts.

Sleep and Poker

Studies have shown that a lack of sleep is the equivalent of being intoxicated. The mind processes things slower, reaction time goes down, and one becomes mistake prone.  I remember during my two week long online binge folding the winning hand (straight in case you’re wondering) in a $2k+ three-four way all in pot.  It didn’t even register til a few seconds later after I clicked the fold button. Sob!!!  Had a friend who grinded it out in the casino in true degen fashion for 36 hours describing how he didn’t shower, brush his teeth, etc.  Apparently he quit poker after that.  Then we have true poker sickness in Phil “The Unabomber” Laak who smashed the record and made it into the Guinness Book Of World Records.

“Early in the morning on June 7th, Laak called it quits and went to bed.  Exactly 115 hours were on the clock when Phil stepped away from the table. He finished with a $6,766 profit en route to smashing the record by 37 hours.”  
Phil Laak can outplay sleep. The 37 year old poker pro set the Guinness World Record for longest continuous poker session on the felt by over 35 hours. He even kept a record of his upswings and down swings. For more about this poker world record in detail:
Here’s a fascinating study on sleep deprivation and correlation in playing tournament chess. This is actually what spurred my interest on this topic.  My performance level dipped down if I was a bit tired.  Now if I was exhausted from a long days of work I’d drop down a 100 elo points.  It’s that apparent.  I translated that to my poker game and realized how essential sleep is.
Quick “fix.”
Here’s the list of PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) for poker players and gamers alike I’ve witnessed.  Do so at your own risk.
*Disclaimer* Lucky Lady Games and writer is not liable for anyone who tries this.  

1.) Liquor (what…the entire article talks about lack of sleep and how not to drink and play poker.)  If it works for you then go right on ahead.  After all Scotty Nguyen won the $50k HORSE while hammered…lolz!

2.) Smoking greens.  If you’re in Canada it’s probably a norm.  It seems to calm ones’ nerves.  Personally I can’t tell whether the player is bluffing, tilting, has a hand or is too stoned to even know.

3.) Ecstasy – Probably not recommended.  The only advantage I could say is that one will probably be folding 99% of the times due to the fact that he/she is frying balls.  Can’t lose what’s not in the pot.

4.) Six hour power shots from 7-11.  Apparently it works pretty well!

5.) Coffee – Proven elixir.  Easily the most popular choice among the ‘squares.’

6.) Red Bull – Great for a 30 minute window til one crashes.  *World ranked #2 GM Hikaru Nakamura usually has a can nearby while playing chess.

7.) Cigarettes – While extremely common, it is a PED imo as it helps calms the nerves of stressed out players albeit temporarily.

8.) Shrooms & Acid.  Although I’ve yet to hear or see anybody play poker on shrooms or acid, I’d imagine it would be a major trip! ?

9.) Coke – Yep, good ol’ fashioned Coca Cola has caffeine and sugar to keep you up for a lil while for that extra kick.

10.) Coke – The urban fuel version.
In the end I think we all know what’s conducive to winning in poker. It all boils down to discipline.  How does one know when to call it a night.  The body gives us warning signs, but with the copious amounts of stimulants at our disposal why not indulge.  We can always win it back and some.
 
After all, who needs sleep anyways right…
 
~JJJ~
 

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