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Texas Holdem has come a long way since the game was developed in the oil fields of West Texas.  It was brought to Las Vegas by Amarillo Slim, Doyle Brunson, and Crandell Addington in 1967.  Now Holdem is the top poker tournament game.   It is also the top game at Juicy Stakes Poker.

How Can I Prepare to Play Texas Holdem in a Tournament?

This is a great question!  The answer actually has two main parts: how to prepare to play Texas Holdem and how to prepare for a tournament.

Preparing for a tournament doesn’t take study and practice; it takes getting used to a regimen that might be different than what you are used to.  Preparing to play Texas Holdem takes a lot of study and practice!  So, we will devote this article to tips about preparing to play in a tournament.

What are the Main Elements in Preparing for a Tournament?

This giant question can be broken down into its component parts.

  1. Physical preparation.
  2. Mental preparation.
  3. Emotional preparation.

Physical Preparation May Surprise You!

Physical preparation can be broken down into sleeping correctly, eating correctly, using alcohol in extreme moderation, and getting a substantial amount of physical exercise.

Most People don’t Sleep Correctly

Most people need either six, seven, or eight hours of sleep every night.  There is a lot of evidence that more than eight hours can actually be detrimental!  It will take some experimentation to find out exactly how many hours of sleep you need to perform at your highest level of competence.

You will not get far in a poker tournament if you aren’t playing at your highest level of competence.

Although you might feel that you are ready to jump into the deep end and enter a poker tournament, we think that you should take a few weeks to determine what your optimum sleep regimen should be.

Do Everything You Can to Eliminate Tension

A good night’s sleep is a lot more than hours spent in bed.  Any kind of tension will make any amount of sleep less effective.  Here is one of the many areas of overlap between the physical, the emotional, and the mental sides of poker preparation and excellence.

It is of vital importance to get your life in order so that your sleep can rejuvenate you.

It is an interesting aspect of sleep that everyone dreams and few people can remember their dream within seconds after they wake up.  Even though we usually can’t remember our dreams, we do remember if the dreams were positive or negative in nature.  Cultivating a good emotional state is important to having positive dreams.

What are the Basics of Eating Correctly?

Here we don’t want to get into the high carb - low carb debate. What we want to emphasize is that everyone has a set of foods that they digest well and another set of foods that they don’t digest well.

You might love meat but does’ meat love you?  The same applies to dairy products especially high fat cheese, spicy food, foods made from white flour such as certain kinds of pasta and bread, and many other categories of food.

If you digest fruit better than any other food group, you should emphasize fruit in your diet for at least one week before a tournament.  If you play in a tournament every day and fruit is your food, then turn yourself into a fruitarian!

If you find that you have to eliminate some foods, you might need to take a vitamin and mineral supplement to compensate for vitamins and minerals you lose by eliminating those foods.

Eating correctly has other subtle aspects.  Many people find that fruit as dessert is bad for digestion.  If that is true of you, eat fruit as the appetizer to the meal!  Many people also advocate separating fruit from all other foods by at least a half an hour.

When you eat may also be important.  If you are entering a mid-morning tournament, be extra careful about what you eat for breakfast.  Eating before going to sleep interrupts sleep for a lot of people.

It will also take a while to determine the size of meals and of portions.  A lot of people love cabbage, broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables but too much of a good thing can become a bad thing!  Especially if you're sitting at a poker table for HOURS - if you get the gist....

Alcohol in Moderation

Most people can handle a very moderate amount of alcohol on a regular basis.  We suggest that you redefine a regular basis downward.  In other words, we don’t say to give up alcohol altogether but to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink and the frequency with which you drink alcohol.

Alcohol in moderation may be the most obvious of all the areas we are discussing here.

Exercise Smart

We should get up and get moving.  Modern society is a sedentary society.  In addition, if you are studying poker, you are most likely sitting!  We have to make the time to stand and move!

The first thing is that not all exercises are created equal.  Exercise gurus talk a lot about the endorphins that are alleged to get into the brain when you exercise.  Endorphins make people happy.

How many people do you know who say that they don’t like to exercise; they don’t get that endorphin rush from exercise?

These people are doing the wrong exercises!  If walking or jogging doesn’t rock your bout, maybe you need to get out on the river or lake and rock your own boat!  Some people don’t like to run but love bicycle riding.  A lot of people like bike riding only in a forested area such as a state park.  Others love the openness of a desert ride.

People who love the water should join a health club so they can use the pool year-round!  Or live near a lake, ocean or river...

Mental and Emotional Preparation

We all need to learn to control tilt.  Tilt is the bane of all poker players.  Tilt is pervasive in modern society where we know it as rage.

Controlling tilt is not enough.  We have to stay mentally focused.  This is especially important after a bad beat or just a run of bad luck.  Another aspect of mental and emotional preparation is being able to recognize that we are or were playing in a game that was over our head.

Stepping back is a sign of excellence even if it means playing in a low stakes tournament!

Mental and emotional preparation is also an aspect of doing all of the things in the physical realm that we spoke about earlier.  This is another area of overlap.  We prepare ourselves physically and it can give us that extra boost of self-confidence that sees us through the tournament!

Juicy Stakes Runs Many Tournaments

We would like you to make Juicy Stakes Poker your go-to online poker room.  We offer regular games and tournaments.  Poker players who join Juicy Stakes enter a great world of online poker.



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