“Time equals money” goes the old saying. And it’s true that we exchange our time for money. But with poker our “hourly rate” isn’t a constant. Games have varying degrees of value, both in limit size and quality of opponents. Additionally, our edge varies with our current abilities.
It’s crucial to realize how much these differences affect our bottom line. We play in bad games because we’re stuck. We leave good games because we don’t feel good about blowing back wins. We play when we’re tired, unfocused or emotionally unbalanced for all sorts of reasons. And that time doesn’t equal money; that time equals a waste of time at best. At worst, it’s a quick way to vacationing in Tap City.
So, when you’re playing, continuously evaluate how you’re performing, and how the game is comparative to that performance. If you’ve got a big edge, extend your play. If you don’t, can you improve the situation by moving to a better game, or executing a mental makeover? Or, are you better off leaving and coming back to fight another time?
How you treat these situations may very well determine how you’ll do over time in poker. I’ve seen many a great player, playing two days straight, thinking they can still perform, and losing equity with every minute of play. Furthermore, these types of players tend to burn out, further decreasing their propensity to survive the “test of time.”
So, when you’re playing, make sure you’re putting in “good time.” Time in which you’re playing your best, against inferior competition. If you do that, the “good money” will come!