Preparing for cash games and my dream line up

I used to be more of a tournament player but that has changed in the last few years. I still play the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS stops but I have become pretty much a cash game player now. I set up and run the online cash games in Trickett’s Room and my live poker schedule pretty much revolves around big cash games at the partypoker LIVE stops and elsewhere. Here’s an insight in to how I prepare to play…


My preparation for big cash games

My preparation for cash games depends on the size of the game. If I am playing a SHR or a high stakes cash game, my preparation is decent but could still be a lot better. I know how to prepare because I used to do it so well in the early stages of my poker career when I was playing big tournaments.

Leading up to an event I would make sure I was watching poker, exercising, eating clean and resting as much as I could – rest being the most important factor. I found out early in my life that 7.5 hours was the optimal amount of sleep my body needs. Any more or less and my energy levels are affected. Also, if I ever woke up and went back to sleep for a hour I’d always feel groggy for the rest of the day, so I avoid snoozing the day of a big event. So I would make sure I get 7.5 hours sleep – no snoozing.

It’s a lot easier to be prepared and have a good routine if you play tournaments but its not quite so easy if you play cash games. I am often playing with friends and we like to drink wine and play really long sessions. So I’ll be going to sleep at a different time every day when I’m on the cash game grind. I’m often playing unrested, sometimes a bit worse for wear and nowhere near peak performance but the players I am playing against are doing the same as me so I’m OK with it. I’d rather have routine but its not really realistic when you play in the games that I do.

In terms of preparing for and playing the online games, it’s slightly different. I need to get better at single tasking. Sometimes when I play online its only one table so I find my self losing concentration and flicking around the internet or listening to music. This is for sure a leak of mine but I’m working on it.

A lot of big cash games I play are live streamed with us bringing back the Big Game on the partypoker LIVE tour. I do enjoy streamed games and I know people love railing the action but for me it’s important that the fact it’s on stream doesn’t slow the game down. I think people play worse on streams, including myself. People talk more and get involved in conversations and don’t follow the game as much.


My dream cash game line up

If I was creating my own cash game line up and could choose anyone in the world to play against it would be Micky Flanagan, Peter Kay, Cantona, Sir Alex Ferguson, Jimmy Carr and Stu Ungar. That would definitely be an interesting table!

I don’t like playing against Martin Kabrhel or Will Kassouf. Their tactics are to irritate their opponents as much as possible by wasting time and being obnoxious. I’m all for a bit of table banter but I’ve seen them upset players before and I think they take it too far. I prefer playing on a table where players are more respectful.


Next up

Next stop for me is DTD for the WSOP-Circuit event. DTD is one of my favourite places to play as it almost feels like a second home for me and I get to catch up with lots of old friends. It’s a nice idea of bringing the WSOP to those who may not be able to travel out to Vegas in the summer and it’s great that partypoker are supporting that. I hope to see lots of you there and in the meantime if there’s anything in particular you want me to write about here, let me know through my Twitter or Instagram.

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