Focus, Focus, Focus! Article

My day is usually a whirlwind of activity, often accomplishing several tasks at once, or at least trying to. It is normal for me to be paying bills, writing a story and surfing the Web simultaneously. Some days the laundry is going, I have something cooking and I am ironing while watching a movie. Nothing ever gets neglected, and this multitasking works quite well in my life and has for some time.

Even when I play poker at a casino, I have my iPod going, and in between hands I am reading a poker magazine while watching the play at the table or talking to one of the casino employees. So when I wanted to play online, I thought it perfectly acceptable to play a couple of games while chatting with friends online. It proved to be a big mistake, and it didn't take to long to figure out I had made a bad decision not to give all my attention to the game.

My usual course of action was to play one game at a time online and concentrate on only the action at the table. I wasn't doing much of anything else and was having a pretty good routine of winning. The other night I was waiting for a $30 sit-and-go tournament to begin, and I signed up to play a $25 heads up competition. I got someone to join me, and we started playing back and forth. I figured I had plenty of time since the tournaments usually take a while to fill up. Well, I was right in the middle of making a decision to go all in with K-10 off-suit when the bell rang on my computer, signaling the start of the sit-and-go tournament.

It flustered me for a moment. I went to hit the OK button for the tournament and then had to get back to the screen where the heads up event was to make my call. It took a minute to get two screens situated where I could toggle back and forth. The only problem was I would be making a call at one table and the other would pop up in front of my screen demanding an action be taken because it was my turn. Then I would go back to the previous screen, make my move and then go back to the other screen and try and make an educated decision before the other screen popped back up. I talked to online poker expert Scott Fischman once, and he told me he has up to four games going at one time. I don't know how he does it. I couldn't handle two games, much less four.

The end result didn't go well with my games. I lost to a player in heads up whom I had beaten twice before. I was so mad from that defeat that I went on tilt and called a guy all in when I knew I was beat. I didn't get the draw I needed and finished fifth out of six players, my worst finish in a sit and go tournament. It was an expensive lesson, but one that I have vowed not to forget.

John Reger
Author Bio: John Reger has been playing poker for more than 20 years in card clubs and casinos all over the world and has been playing online for five years. He lives in Southern California and works as a freelance writer covering sports, travel and entertainment.

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