Distractions And How To Avoid Them

As poker players we spend a lot of time at the tables. However after a long session it can be easy to become distracted and lose focus on the game. Here are some tips on how to remain focused at the tables.

Find a quiet place to play – While playing you want to play somewhere quiet where you won’t become easily distracted. If there’s a TV in the room where your playing I recommend turning it off or at least putting it on mute as the TV could distract you and take your mind off the game. You could also try listening to some relaxing music if that doesn’t distract you.

Don’t daydream – One thing I often find myself doing during a long poker session is letting my mind wander and taking my focus off of the game. Next thing I know I’m basically playing on autopilot and not really thinking about the game or the next move I should make. Try to be thinking about the game at all times while playing.

Take breaks regularly – This is a big time tip especially when playing a long session. Try to take a break from playing if possible. Grab a snack or some water before returning to the table. I try to take a break at least once an hour if I’m playing a long poker session. If I take these breaks I often find that I’ll continue to play good, consistent poker and not go on a tilt.

Do you have any tips on how to avoid distractions at the tables? I’d love to hear them!



Stay hydrated!!! Drink plenty of water, alcohol will not help you with your game. Water will keep you alert and stay focused.


and make you p…lol :grin:


Before you start to play,dont forget to feed your cat and play and enough attention otherwise that game is lost :slight_smile:




Do not play in bed with your laptop. Distractions :wink:


As I new cat owner, I can attest to this! If I turn my attention away from kitty to poker, bam! The complaints are lodged against me all the way up the ladder to God.

1 Like

I actually do simple, mindless knitting while I play. I don’t have to pay attention to the needles so my mind is free to pay attention to the cards. Without the knitting, I tend to get fidgity.


In long tournaments when I want to play a long, patient, disciplined game I make sure there IS a distraction! Watching baseball or something else I have taped helps me fold hands that should be folded (at least 90% of them). Otherwise, without a distraction, I get hungry (sometimes) to do something and bet junk I shouldn’t have because I am bored. That way I bet high percentage hands only (muting my intentional distraction) and let the field winnow itself out while I just observe people. Once it gets down to a competitive number, I focus just on the poker. (If my 18-pound Maine Coon cat wants attention that pretty much ruins the entire plan and we just hope for the best.)


Isn’t it funny how a big whining pet cat can spoil the ambiance? Especially with big paws across the keyboard.



There are a million different things that can
distract you while you’re playing poker. How
do you find a way to keep your focus? The
motivation for doing so is lost on many people
because they tend to forget that a slip up is all
it takes to lose a hand. If you’re playing a no-
limit game, it’s possible to find yourself broke
after just one bad beat. What happens if the
bad beat is brought on by you? You don’t want
to be the person who beats you and not your Opponent.

Get rid of any distractions

You want to play alone without anyone to disturb you. Put yourself in a room and close the door. You can’t, under any circumstances, allow yourself to be distracted. That means you need to turn off the television and your phone as well.
What you don’t want to do is fight for your
own attention. Keep your mind focused on
your cards and nothing else. More importantly,
you need to stay focused on the people you’re
playing against. The number of good hands
you get is limited, and most of the time, you’re
going to be studying how your opponents alone without anyone to disturb you.

Should you listen to music while you play poker?

If you watch televised poker matches, you’ve
probably noticed that many of the players are
listening to music. Why is that? Tournament
players must sit at the table for hours upon
hours without doing much. If the action is slow
at the table or if the player is card dead,
they’re not going to be doing anything at all.
Music helps pass the time, and it might aid
them in their concentration. Should you
consider listening to music while you play?
Listening to music while playing poker is a
good idea if it doesn’t distract you! If you’re
able to study the other players and continue
playing your hands appropriately, there’s no
reason why you can’t enjoy some tunes.


thank you for the tips


Decide what level of distraction doesn’t detract from you playing your best. Every player has their line where distractions cause poor play. Figure out that line for you.


My biggest distractions while playing are… 1 My dog trying to bite me or barking.2 Eating food.3 Bad Beats.

What might be a distraction for one person maybe totally different for another person. If you find yourself drifting away from your game play, switch gears until your back on concentrating at the task at hand.


God you are good

If you find yourself distracted, get a note pad and start keeping detailed notes, especially when you aren’t in a hand. If you do this consistently, you have to remain focused. Plus, generally, you’ll know more about your opponents than they will about you.


I would pay more attention if I would stop getting unplayable hands all the time. oh when do get a good hand , it gets beat anyway. so even more difficult to pay attention.


Just have a couple of kids so you learn how to tune out distracting environmental sounds like screaming, laughing, stomping, gunshots, women in general, dogs barking, and so on.

If you ever hope to play live (dreams really can come true) don’t avoid distractions… ignore them.

I got used to playing in my tranquil man-cave, in underwear that, while reasonably fresh, was about 50% likely to be inside-out. Then, through a very unlikely series of events, I found myself in Vegas in a room with 2,000 other players, with packed rails and cameras, producers, and all that. It was all so very very distracting.

Luckily, I was married and had 2 kids, so had the tools at my disposal to tone it all down to a soft distant buzz. So get married and have a few kids would be my suggestion. There will be distractions, learn to ignore them.