When should you get out of a winning session?

    • gdjonline
      gdjonline
      Bronze
      Joined: 26.03.2007 Posts: 32
      Well it's happened to me again, and I thought that I should get some advice on this.

      I've been having a good session, and worked my way up to about +20BB over maybe 220 hands and I'm feeling good about how the day's going. And (because it's happened more than once before) I'm thinking maybe I should quit while I'm ahead.

      And then a few draws go against me, and I've lost maybe 10BB, and again I think I should get out while I'm ahead. But I think, no - I'm running alright, it's just variance. So I keep going, and maybe 30 hands later I'm -2BB and calling it quits (this is because I've kept going in the past and only dug a deeper hole).

      So when do you guys think it's time to get out of a winning session, so that some of the winnings stay in the bankroll?
  • 19 replies
    • AndySk
      AndySk
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.12.2007 Posts: 174
      never
    • CoreySteel
      CoreySteel
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.10.2006 Posts: 3,366
      I recently quit after 77 hands, because I was 50BB up.
      But that's no good strategy. You shouldn't quit if you are running good. You can win 20BB in like 10 hands or so. You won't ever progress if you will always quit after 10 minutes of playing.

      Don't quit unless you know that your style of play changes when you win/lose some pots (be more aggressive than you should, more loose than you should, call down too much,...), but winning/losing shouldn't affect your play at all...

      20BB is way to low for that anyway :) When you win 20BB it means you have some bad players at your table. Why would you leave then? Ok, they can make a suckout and you lose those 20BB, but you will surely win more from them.

      So I wouldn't recommend quitting at all..
      It's better to give yourself time range like "I will play exactly 30/60 minutes".
      This way you will know you are playing your A game for the whole time.
      And besides that... Don't look at your winrate while playing. Opal99 has good tactics here... He overlaps his stack sizes with HUD so he doesn't see them and he turns on auto-rebuy.

      Anyway. Give yourself A-game-time range, not money range. Don't quit while running good.
    • Waiboy
      Waiboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.09.2008 Posts: 4,877
      Geez Jules, take a harden up pill... :P

      Seriously, IMO totally up to how you handle variance.

      Personally I used to continue playing until I noticed the level of losses was clearly distracting me and I was getting pissed off.

      I think this approach was actually inappropriate for me.

      What I have since worked out is that after a period of time and a sizeable enough loss I would actually start tilting well before I noticed the frustration. Now by tilting I mean that I wasn't applying the theory based on my understanding of the situation, but started thinking - a little unconsciously - that I couldn't be behind again, or villian couldn't always hit, or something other than "this is the board, these are the villians stats and likely range, these are my outs, this the correct line under these circumstances".

      Now, at least I hope, if I'm at a point where I am starting to get away from making clear and reasonable decisions based on what little knowledge I've accumulated, I'm probably tilting, and therefore more likely to be playing -EV.

      So, in a nutshell, to make a long story short, to, as it were, cut to the quick, to give it to you straight:

      Play while you are playing your best game, quit when you know you are definitely not (unless you have a compelling or sensible reason to continue - eg easily exploitable opponents, volume means more $ ie improved status on a site is achieveable with a bit of grinding).

      I read somewhere recently on the forums a Sklansky quote that playing poker is just one long session. I try to think this way as much as possible.

      Help any?
    • slikec
      slikec
      Global
      Joined: 04.02.2008 Posts: 1,155
      I always know before session how much i plan to play;) Or i have bonuses to clear and i plan today i will clear 5% lets or i play for iron man promo on FTP and i play till i get those 50FTP(when i have really nice fish on table i expand but thats like once per 10 sessions). I quit before only if i becoem tired earlier than i expected or i notest i am playing bad(tilt). Good start of session usually means you have nice player on table(fish) and till he is on playing is huge +EV.

      Two days ago i again after long time played with donator on table(he lost 10 stacks in 20min. than he left probably cause he had 0$ left on acc. :D ). Would be really stupid to leave table after i took one stack from him.
    • kennyxx
      kennyxx
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.05.2008 Posts: 998
      Just to add, take a look at stop-loss limits article. It's useless for protecting 20BB, but helpfull when You're running realy hot at the beginning :)
    • Yoghi
      Yoghi
      Black
      Joined: 10.09.2007 Posts: 14,387
      I quit when my opponent is broke
    • Waiboy
      Waiboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.09.2008 Posts: 4,877
      Originally posted by Yoghi
      I quit when my opponent is broke
      Really? You don't talk them into pawning their Home Theatre Sytem for a rematch?
    • OlivierLu
      OlivierLu
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.11.2007 Posts: 5,524
      Originally posted by Yoghi
      I quit when my opponent is broke
      ah ah ah :heart:


      It's true that quitting a game because you won too much is funny !
    • irregularity
      irregularity
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.05.2008 Posts: 233
      I think you should just play as long as you feel you are concentrating well enough! I was stuck 40BB last night, got ahead then ended up down 2 BB, but if I had given up I woulda been down loads :D
    • opal99
      opal99
      Black
      Joined: 05.02.2008 Posts: 8,270
      I disagree with the most of the posts here :f_tongue:

      I doubt I can say it better than Tommy Angelo did, so let me quote him:

      When you're winning, and you're very happy to be winning, and then you start to blow back some of your profit, and the urge to flee grabs hold of you, and all of sudden you'd really like to book a winner for the day - do it. Hit the door. Lock up the win.

      What has happened is that your emotional risks are no longer in steps witch your financial risks. You and your money have become emotionally imbalanced.

      Let's take it from the moment you get the idea to cash out and lock up the win, and project the future. There are three main things that can happen:

      • You quit right now, a winner. We have established as a given that you'll be happy. We will call the amount of hapiness you feel X.
      • You continue to play and you win some more money before quitting. You will be happier than X, but not all that much happier. You'll probably be around one-fifth X to one-tenth X happier.
      • You continue to play and end up losing for the day. No more X for you. Nothing but Y,Y,Y.

      When you're winning, and you reach a point in the session when hapiness you will gain by winning more money will be much less than the pain you will endure if you lose, quit. Away from the table you can examine how and why this imbalance occurs. Meanwhile, learn to trust the quitting voice, and to react without question.
    • Yoghi
      Yoghi
      Black
      Joined: 10.09.2007 Posts: 14,387
      You can always apply that, because losses will be heavier emotionally than winnings. Therefore an argument can be made that you should never play poker.

      If you have a weak mindset that's definitely the thing to do, but I prefer to just go on and make money when I can.
    • Mstlc
      Mstlc
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 4,676
      Originally posted by gdjonlineSo when do you guys think it's time to get out of a winning session, so that some of the winnings stay in the bankroll?
      You shouldn't be so focused on "woah I just won 20BB in 100 hands". You should stop playing when you feel you are not playing your A-game any more. As long as you feel you can beat the table & you don't feel tired or anything there's no reason to leave out of own movement.
    • TheBrood
      TheBrood
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.07.2008 Posts: 4,382
      Originally posted by opal99
      I disagree with the most of the posts here :f_tongue:

      I doubt I can say it better than Tommy Angelo did, so let me quote him:

      When you're winning, and you're very happy to be winning, and then you start to blow back some of your profit, and the urge to flee grabs hold of you, and all of sudden you'd really like to book a winner for the day - do it. Hit the door. Lock up the win.

      What has happened is that your emotional risks are no longer in steps witch your financial risks. You and your money have become emotionally imbalanced.

      Let's take it from the moment you get the idea to cash out and lock up the win, and project the future. There are three main things that can happen:

      • You quit right now, a winner. We have established as a given that you'll be happy. We will call the amount of hapiness you feel X.
      • You continue to play and you win some more money before quitting. You will be happier than X, but not all that much happier. You'll probably be around one-fifth X to one-tenth X happier.
      • You continue to play and end up losing for the day. No more X for you. Nothing but Y,Y,Y.

      When you're winning, and you reach a point in the session when hapiness you will gain by winning more money will be much less than the pain you will endure if you lose, quit. Away from the table you can examine how and why this imbalance occurs. Meanwhile, learn to trust the quitting voice, and to react without question.
      This and what Waiboy posted is what I do.

      The reason being that a winning session helps me stay motivated and "happy".

      Other reasons imo to quit while ahead:
      - You've played quite a bit and are slowly getting tired.
      - You are deep stacked and not comfortable playing with so many BB.
      - You are playing scared money with your winnings.
      - Fish is gone, Reg has taken his place.
      - You don't have position on the Regs or the Fish.
      - You have trouble copying with variance.
      - You get unmotivated pretty easy by a losing session.
      - You have started to play questionable hands, just because your stack "can handle it".
      - Your winnings are tilting you.
      - You start thinking the regs are bluffing you.

      Obviously if you are at a good table, its not recommended to leave.
    • Schnitzelfisch
      Schnitzelfisch
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.11.2008 Posts: 4,952
      Originally posted by TheBrood
      Originally posted by opal99
      I disagree with the most of the posts here :f_tongue:

      I doubt I can say it better than Tommy Angelo did, so let me quote him:

      When you're winning, and you're very happy to be winning, and then you start to blow back some of your profit, and the urge to flee grabs hold of you, and all of sudden you'd really like to book a winner for the day - do it. Hit the door. Lock up the win.

      What has happened is that your emotional risks are no longer in steps witch your financial risks. You and your money have become emotionally imbalanced.

      Let's take it from the moment you get the idea to cash out and lock up the win, and project the future. There are three main things that can happen:

      • You quit right now, a winner. We have established as a given that you'll be happy. We will call the amount of hapiness you feel X.
      • You continue to play and you win some more money before quitting. You will be happier than X, but not all that much happier. You'll probably be around one-fifth X to one-tenth X happier.
      • You continue to play and end up losing for the day. No more X for you. Nothing but Y,Y,Y.

      When you're winning, and you reach a point in the session when hapiness you will gain by winning more money will be much less than the pain you will endure if you lose, quit. Away from the table you can examine how and why this imbalance occurs. Meanwhile, learn to trust the quitting voice, and to react without question.
      This and what Waiboy posted is what I do.

      The reason being that a winning session helps me stay motivated and "happy".

      Other reasons imo to quit while ahead:
      - You've played quite a bit and are slowly getting tired.
      - You are deep stacked and not comfortable playing with so many BB.
      - You are playing scared money with your winnings.
      - Fish is gone, Reg has taken his place.
      - You don't have position on the Regs or the Fish.
      - You have trouble copying with variance.
      - You get unmotivated pretty easy by a losing session.
      - You have started to play questionable hands, just because your stack "can handle it".
      - Your winnings are tilting you.
      - You start thinking the regs are bluffing you.

      Obviously if you are at a good table, its not recommended to leave.
      You have missed the forum a bit, haven't you :( ?

      some of your points have a point though :) .
    • TheBrood
      TheBrood
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.07.2008 Posts: 4,382
      Nope I visit the forum many times a day actually
    • Schnitzelfisch
      Schnitzelfisch
      Bronze
      Joined: 08.11.2008 Posts: 4,952
      but deepstack FL? :P
    • TheBrood
      TheBrood
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.07.2008 Posts: 4,382
      Originally posted by Primzi
      but deepstack FL? :P
      nope i meant NL
    • Yoghi
      Yoghi
      Black
      Joined: 10.09.2007 Posts: 14,387
      I just found out that I'm not a human.

      I lost over 10k yesterday, and I didn't care a bit. I won 12k or something the day before and I was super happy...
    • Waiboy
      Waiboy
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.09.2008 Posts: 4,877
      Originally posted by Yoghi
      I just found out that I'm not a human.

      I lost over 10k yesterday, and I didn't care a bit. I won 12k or something the day before and I was super happy...
      You've only just worked that out Yoghi? All the rest of us realised that after we saw your lifetime graph... :s_cool:

      Anywhom, gdj - any of this help you?