How do you deal with Fatigue?

Mario AMario A Red Chipper Posts: 73 ✭✭
I have a disease that limits me to 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night without fail. Caffeine doesn't work plus it impacts my stomach too much. How do you guys fight back fatigue and stay sharp when studying and at the tables?


  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 3,962 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • ChibberChibber Red Chipper Posts: 371 ✭✭✭
  • vandwellervandweller Red Chipper Posts: 23 ✭✭
    edited November 2017
    See if you can get a prescription for Modafinil.
  • SplitSuitSplitSuit RCP Coach Posts: 3,984 -
    Walking breaks are great for like a billion different reasons.

    Are you able to add 1-2 short naps per day into your routine?
  • Mario AMario A Red Chipper Posts: 73 ✭✭
    @Chibber I can only keep that going for so long before I just give up. 3 weeks is my longest stretch in NY. 11 days in NV, but I'm not getting any energy and so after a while driving to the gym or park just isn't something I feel like forcing. Same with the weights at home. I've exercised to the point of losing 100 pounds in two years in Colorado (disc golf almost every single day, once a week when winter hit). Not one extra bit of energy. Better pain tolerance though.
  • Mario AMario A Red Chipper Posts: 73 ✭✭
    @vandweller Once I set up some Nevada healthcare I'll look into that.
  • TronStarTronStar Red Chipper Posts: 15 ✭✭
    Exercise coffee and focusing on your breathing patterns. A standard meditative breathing pattern would be 4 seconds breathing in, 4 sec hold, 4 sec out, 4 sec hold repeat. But for staying focused with fatigue slowing me down I'll spend less time exhaling and holding and more time breathing in. More oxygen for your brain something like 4,4,2,2 deff takes some practice
  • Mario AMario A Red Chipper Posts: 73 ✭✭
    @SplitSuit I'll try to add more walking but being at the tables is the only time I'm not miserable and so I'm actually reluctant to get up. Whatever is making it hard to focus on the deeper levels of the game keeps my mind off my fatigue. At the tables I'm so overwhelmed I don't think about the disease or the drowsiness. Once I step away I'm yawning and fully aware of how bad my body and brain feel. So I tend to get up once an hour to satisfy my Fitbit and my lungs, besides that I don't want to be anywhere but the table.

    Naps are not working. I'm sleeping through my alarms because I'm so tired and then I'm even groggier than I was before the nap. Also every couple of naps I'll wake up in a HIGHLY charged emotional state. Just bawling and very dark thoughts. Plus after EVERY nap later that night it'll take much longer to go to sleep. I get all the draw backs from naps and very little upside. These days naps are unplanned. Sit on the couch and wake up two hours later having missed the tourney type of thing.
  • keith ckeith c Red Chipper Posts: 142 ✭✭
    edited November 2017
    In addition to these other great ideas:
    Try adjusting your diet, a more ketogenic diet helps people who suffer from insomnia. Carbs can be the killer here.
  • bigburge10bigburge10 Red Chipper Posts: 1,311 ✭✭✭✭
    At the tables: It's surprising how much better you feel when you get up and walk around. Try to take a 10 minute walk once every 2 hours or so. At the very least, get up and stretch each time the dealer changes.

    For most players, getting up from the table and missing out on the action isn't enticing. After all, you're there to play! But, these little breaks are great for your mental game as well as your body. I'll usually take a 15-20 minute break from the table every few hours to not only walk around aimlessly, but to consider any adjustments I need to make in the game, consider my image, dynamics, etc. All of this will lead to you playing better and hopefully winning more money. And that 's the point isn't it? Who's tired when they're winning?
  • John KJohn K Red Chipper Posts: 65 ✭✭
    Coffee is a Bandaid at best! It will give you a spike of energy but won'the help you in the long run. You actually better cutting out coffee all together. Try eating really small meals 6 times a day. Cut out sugars and anything that gives you spikes. For every spike you body will want a low. You might try cutting down on wheat products too. Or try eating oats and brown rice. You want body to have slow release energy.
    Then you should be doing low impact longer duration exercise. So yes walking, cycling or swimming are all brilliant. Running, weights, okay but not so useful.
    Next try deep slow breathing before you go to sleep. Mindfulness will calm your brain before you sleep and help you sleep longer and deeper. There is a great ap called headspace on iTunes etc. It's worth a look.
    If none of that works you need to see your doctor.
    Sorry for long post but this my subject. I have degree in sleep therapy.
  • Mario AMario A Red Chipper Posts: 73 ✭✭
    @keith c Thank you sir. I'm a huge fan of the Perfect Health Diet. So much so that I felt a desire to refrain from mentioning it. I think it's the cat's pajamas as far as diets go. I think a nice blend of things in the area of keto, paleo, slow carb, and such might be the way to go. I've been working on that for the last fortnight and the fitbit says my sleep quality has improved but I wasn't really feeling it. So I went back to eating trash the last two days and yeah I need to stick to better eating. So far I've only made a few small changes that I feel I can stick to. Few things suck more than putting in the energy to hunt the groceries whilst avoiding the other walmart animals and then literally slaving over a hot stove to feel just as tired after two weeks. However, a poker player who's (whom's? @persuadeo ?) jacket game I respect told me it'll take a long time.
  • Mario AMario A Red Chipper Posts: 73 ✭✭
    @bigburge10 I get up at least once an hour and I stretch the hamstrings during fills. I try to think about how I'm playing and specific things I need to do when I get back to the tables but once I get back I blank out. As a result I see less value in taking "extra" breaks. I feel I'm better served to stay at the tables even if I'm not observing and just playing a bingo-nit style. I'm waiting to get in right now and I'm telling myself that I'll get up every half an hour but I honestly won't even be present enough to properly focus on the game much less remind myself to get up every now and again. That's what the Fitbit is for.
  • bigburge10bigburge10 Red Chipper Posts: 1,311 ✭✭✭✭
    For me, these breaks have the opposite impact. I return to the table feeling refreshed and ready to play. Imagine the edge this gives me over a player taking this "bingo-nit" style" approach.

    If you're blanking out, perhaps you're overloaded with ideas or information. Maybe you're not sure what to look for while at the table? Maybe you can think of 2 or 3 things that are important? We've all had those times when we simply can't find focus. Maybe some form of meditation will be helpful to you. I just started using the Primed Mind app, and so far I really like it.

    Lastly, it could be that your opponents aren't challenging you enough. I know I've been in games that are so soft, that I don't really need to pay much attention in order to have an edge in the game. Of course, if I'm paying attention, I can create a larger edge. However, if you're playing in a tougher game, you can't resort to a "bingo-nit sytle" and expect to compete. As you know, poker isn't bingo, so we'll need a different mindset. At least, if your goal is to be a winning player--if you're just there to socialize and hang out, then focus on that instead.
  • Mario AMario A Red Chipper Posts: 73 ✭✭
    @John K I gave up most caffeine last year. Two or three weeks ago I was playing overnight and ordered a green tea. In less than ten minutes my stomach was grumbling and soon after I was speed walking to the restroom. I used to work at coffeeshops and I've taken my caffeine intake to the limits. Besides sodas containing caffeine I am now trying to avoid it altogether. I am a sugar fiend though. I drink a ton of soda. Even there though I'm not consuming caffeine containing sodas more than twice a day. Soda drinking isn't good for me but it's also probably not why I have Neurosarcoidosis.

    Disc golf is my exercise of choice. Throwing a disc and walking after it seems to work well for me.

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on the sleep subject having studied sleep. I've gone in for sleep studies at the hospital. They tell me I'm getting 25 percent of the deep and rem sleep that I need but they can't tell me why.
  • Mario AMario A Red Chipper Posts: 73 ✭✭
    @bigburge10 Yes I'm definitely a bad enough player that I'm overwhelmed by all the information. In addition I find the other humans at the poker tables fascinating. @Persuadeo and I got into my lack of focus. I believe it to be a case of being way past the emotional arousal threshold and thus blanking out. Persuadeo felt my issues were caused by a lack of knowledge and basic understanding of the game in addition to me stressing myself out about these things. He advised more studying and not stressing at the tables. I doubted him then I tried his advice, deemed him correct, and awarded him a sandwich. Now I'm back to doubting him. It's too soon to revoke his sandwich though. I need to study more and play more but it sure feels like the issue isn't that I'm confused by the situations but that I'm so unaware that I'm not even recognizing the situation. It's possible I'm too close to see things clearly though. So for now 'Suadeo is right. Being as bad as I am I don't think 1/2 players are below me.
  • bigburge10bigburge10 Red Chipper Posts: 1,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Mario A wrote: »
    but it sure feels like the issue isn't that I'm confused by the situations but that I'm so unaware that I'm not even recognizing the situation.
    Yet you are doubting his advice?
  • Mario AMario A Red Chipper Posts: 73 ✭✭
    @bigburge10 Am I having issues with 3betting vs steals because I am aware this is a steal spot but I'm not sure if the stacks are right or if the player type is right or etc... OR am I having issues with 3betting vs steals because I am simply missing the spot? Am I incorrectly figuring the implied odds in a situation or am I forgetting to consider them in the first place? In both cases the answer is The Latter. Do you see how one of the problems in a sense comes "before" the other? Until I can focus well enough to bring you fine folks a hand we can't even be sure what's going on. Do you see the dilemma? I may very well lack an understanding of the theory behind a spot but we have no way of even judging my theoretical understanding of the spot if I can't remember that spot. So yes, when Persuadeo suggests that I can't remember hands because my theory is shaky, I'm going to doubt that. Not because my theory base isn't shaky (it doesn't even stand) but because honestly the idea that not knowing how to 3bet would interfere with my remembering the board cards seems patently absurd. Yes you could be worrying about the 3bet so much that you suddenly can't remember board cards but that isn't going to blank you out for an entire session. Furthermore, I generally don't have the ability to be worried about something while also having a great time. When I'm worried about things to the point of emotional arousal overload I generally am aware that I'm not "feeling it" regardless of the circumstances.

    Doubts also come in when I ask myself how I'm playing and I respond with "having a fucking blast! I'd choose this over sex." It's hard for me to say "yeah you're flipping out because you lack confidence, but somehow that makes you laugh and joke at the table." Those were the only areas in which I doubted Persuadeo. I doubted that I could be worrying about something so badly that I blank out but at the same time laugh and shoot the shit with other players and ask dealers how their books are coming along. Then after I completely let go and still wasn't clocking the players like I should, I started to doubt that me stressing myself out was the answer. Mainly because I didn't feel stressed out and when Persuadeo and I are in disagreement about how I feel in a moment, well I'm just going to have to go with me on that one.

    Lastly, my doubting the Pope doesn't mean I've gone over to the atheists. I'm comporting myself as if Persuadeo was absolutely on the money. No longer do I look for the answers to my issues in TMGOP even though I think that's EXACTLY where my issues lie. I just go about my sessions according to Popesuadeo's advice; I'm enjoying this time in my career, trying to avoid stressing myself out, and just studying. I think I've studied the game enough to remember a hand though.
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 3,962 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Mario AMario A Red Chipper Posts: 73 ✭✭
    @persuadeo I played a 3 hour session this morning. Didn't 3bet once. Didn't even think about it when facing a raise in the blinds. I cannot tell you how many times the situation came up. It's possible that it never came up. I know who the 3bet vs steal candidates were. Both in position when I'm in the blinds. Both gentlemen were raising liberally. One is quite aware of my tight image. Both men had big stacks. I'm not sure how I'm expecting the situation to be any better for me to be 3betting these gentlemen, a lot. I can think about all this now. Not one goddamned time at the tables did it occur to me "are these men getting after it again? Might a well sized 3bet take the day?" Instead, I look at my cards in the blinds, if they're great I'm thinking about my raise size. If they're good I'm thinking about whether I'll call a raise should it come to that, if they're bad then I'm waiting my turn to muck/check them and looking at other players. At no point do I remember to consider the players in the steal positions and their tendencies and frequencies. The only time I've remembered was a week ago when I sat down at the table and some guy says "hello I'm the table captain" and right away I thought "I'm going to 3bet this man today, at least once."

    Today's points of focus were as follows: Keep track of the size of the pot, consider the board (what is the nuts and what are the likeliest hands?), and determine who the best player at the table is and observe them. On the meta side I'm trying to figure out exactly when I lose my focus and why. Perhaps there's a psychological trigger or an element found only in casinos that gets my ADHD all riled up.

    I kept track of the pot for two streets TWICE. That was it. I don't recall considering the board more than two or three times. I've sat with Kuku a few times and easily pegged him as the best player at the table. I fucked up and didn't even think to check in after a few orbits to see if anyone was challenging him for top spot. No matter, Kuku continued to run over the table with a steady stream of bluffs and overbets, getting PAID when he actually happened to have it. I didn't get in touch with the meta side once during the session.

    I'm pretty focused on 3betting vs steals. I'm currently reading NLHETAP but I'm not trying to apply any of the concepts discussed so far. Retrieval practice consists of the basics, mainly Split's quick plays but also some concepts and ranges from The Course. Other than 3betting more I'm not really trying to bring any concepts to the tables. Right now I'm aware that my first concern must be getting over this blanking out issue and learning to focus on my foes. Only then will I be able to rise above BingoNit style and start exploiting some fools. Only then can I bring my mistakes to you folks to learn where my theory and strategy are off.

  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 3,962 ✭✭✭✭✭
    So you basically say your focus was on other things (pot size), that you suceeded several times. Further, when you did 3 bet it at one earlier point, it was because you were immediately incentivized.

    Clearly you can do this.

    Now how did i learn? It's because i went to the game with the intention of doing just one thing right. Always one theme, not even two.

    Clearly you can do this.
  • Mario AMario A Red Chipper Posts: 73 ✭✭
    I went back to The Venetian with the intention of doing just one thing right. I planned to simply watch the action. I caught myself wanting to count the pot and think about the board. Then I caught myself not focusing again. Mixed bag. Luckily The Goddess smiled upon me. I'll keep at it.
  • John KJohn K Red Chipper Posts: 65 ✭✭
    @Mario A I would love to help more if I can. Being the biggest poker fish ever I am always the one seeking advice normally, so it would nice to give something back.
    sleep and health is like poker the more you study the more you realise how little you know. Also like poker it is a constantly moving environment. However there are several general principles that hold true.
    I work in mainly with football teams in England advising players on well being and sports science. Rest and recovery is one of the biggest parts of my job.
    So tell me a bit more about your life, daily routine, weekly routine, diet, how often you play poker etc.
    If we really get into this it might get a bit personal. If you would rather message me I would be happy to answer you that way or here (which ever you prefer).
  • SullySully Red Chipper Posts: 768 ✭✭✭
    Mario A wrote: »

    I kept track of the pot for two streets TWICE. That was it. I don't recall considering the board more than two or three times. I've sat with Kuku a few times and easily pegged him as the best player at the table. I fucked up and didn't even think to check in after a few orbits to see if anyone was challenging him for top spot. No matter, Kuku continued to run over the table with a steady stream of bluffs and overbets, getting PAID when he actually happened to have it. I didn't get in touch with the meta side once during the session.

    Seems a little contradictory. Either you didn't check in and made up the stuff about Kuku or you did check in.

    You are clearly taking in much more information than you say. Maybe it's is just old fashioned lack of strategy and range construction
  • EazzyEazzy Red Chipper Posts: 946 ✭✭✭✭
    I have similar problems and have a couple of suggestions that have helped me.

    One big area was hypnoses. I have heard it argued that, 1 hour of deep hypnoses can be equivalent to a good nights sleep. Thats a bit of an exaggeration, but a 1/2 hour hypno nap can be very refreshing. If I'm planning on playing for more the 4 hours, I will often take a break after two hours , go to my room, and do a 20 to 30 minute hypno session. it helps a lot.

    I have also used some help you sleep type hypnoses programs...again depending on whats causing your sleep disorder, this may or may not help. One excellent one is Paul Mckenna Sleep like a log. Its a complete program...8 golden rules for sleeping , on one mp3, and a sleep hypnosis on the other. It takes a bit of a commitment but is well worth it.

    I had some problems with coffee as well. One afternoon my cards kept flipping over when I folded, the guy next to me said look at your hand, it was shaking. I cut way back on coffee ( i had been drinking at least 2 cups and hour at the table) and the shaking went away. I replaced coffee with energy, drink powder you put in water. It has some vitamins and a few other "good" things as well as some caffeine supposedly from green tea. I find in a 4 hour session one zipfizz in a 17oz bottle of water, and maybe one coffee works pretty well.

    One other suggestion that I have not had the opportunity to test often lately, comes from Barry Greenstein in Aces on the River. As I recall he goes into an explanation of why sex is important, to getting a good night sleep while playing poker. Now if I can just get my insurance to cover it.
  • Mario AMario A Red Chipper Posts: 73 ✭✭
    @Sully I'm a walking contradiction. The information on Kuku is more of a long term memory if you will. Kuku and I have played two or three sessions of over ten hours. So I'm getting a lot of time to watch him and let things slowly enter my brain. Some of this time is early morning time, the casino is quiet by its standards and so are the other players. With less distractions and a plan already in place to focus on Kuku, it's probably easier for me to pick up on things.

    That being typed, Kuku and I are coming up on 30 hours of play and all I have is basic stuff like "he bluffs a lot and makes overbets". Quite low level. It's a start, but what I want is the entire hand in short term memory. It's possible to discern that a man overbets a lot if you see him doing it enough times. That's a macro thing. If you can't drill down into the micro then you won't pick up on what he's overbetting with, when, in what situations, and with which table dynamics highlighted or muted.

    Poker seems like it requires a lot of jumping from micro to macro. I think a book once described it as "scaffolding". You are dealing with the micro, then you climb up the scaffold to a higher level and take a look at how the elements you're manipulating down there form a whole. You observe a hand in it's entirety, then you replay the hand and make observations, and then you go "up" to your high level view of this player and you fit the new piece of information into the whole. Clearly the portion that allows for holes and gaps is the macro. You must be able to take in the micro completely and coherently.

    I'm not sure how I'm going to build a range if I can't get one complete hand "in the books". Nor am I sure how we'll discuss the bedrock of poker strategy without the details of the hands I'm in. We can only discuss higher concepts and more nebulous concepts.
  • Mario AMario A Red Chipper Posts: 73 ✭✭
    @Eazzy I tend to shy away from hypnosis and to a lesser extent meditation. I'm always tired. Things like Primed Mind and other apps make me feel good but they also relax me. I'm not looking for relaxation during the day. I wake up between 2 and 4 am every single day. I feel tired as hell but my brain and body make it clear that I'm not going back to bed. I'm running 19 hours just about every day. I need stimulation not relaxation. I think meditation is awesome. Yet it makes me feel very tired in a spot where I can't go back to bed. I just can't really get all gung ho about that. Caffeine has been out for me for the most part for a long time. Same thing with broads. Not only is it hard to work relationships with a diseased partner but having finally realized just how much work I have to do to get even mediocre at the game, the LAST thing I need is a woman around to focus on. I am in Nevada and so hookers, but I'm big on leak minimization.

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