cigarettes and poker - does it affect your play?

    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
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      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      I notice a few of the coaches and video producers smoke while they play.

      I also smoke sometimes when I play, but I suspect that it is -$EV. If I won a close big pot, or avoid a big suckout I would light up a cigarette - instant dopamine fix.

      I'd like to know from people that smoke, or used to smoke cigarettes.

      1) do you smoke when you play?
      2) do you light up after a bad beat or big hand?
      3) do you notice your play is better when you smoke or not?
      4) if you quit smoking how did you deal with it when playing poker?
      5) did quitting improve your winrate or change your game in any way?

      thanks.. just curious.
  • 32 replies
    • calimero1981
      calimero1981
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      Joined: 19.05.2008 Posts: 12,167
      I just quit smoking and avoid playing PLO :D I tilt much harder atm :D
    • AlexanderD22
      AlexanderD22
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      Joined: 26.08.2009 Posts: 377
      Don't smoke in the house and don't really think about smoking while playing. However, when I do take a few bad beats in a row I use a smoke break as an excuse to get away from it for a few minutes.
    • Ejeckt
      Ejeckt
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      Joined: 06.12.2008 Posts: 517
      Smoking progressively blocks up your arteries and veins, and starves your body and brain of oxygen, which reduces the amount of concentration you can exert.

      Also, if you're having a withdrawal pang from a cigarette it severely detracts from your concentration. I imagine that if you attempt to quit, and then have a poker session and suffer a few bad beats. Your body will trigger that "need to light up" feeling, and if you remind yourself that you quit and that you can't smoke anymore, all those thoughts of smoking can make you stop focusing on the game!

      It's the small things that contribute greatly to your play, I think.

      Though I've never really had problem with smoking and poker... but I can remember times when I was simply unable to effectively study for a test or do something else that required mental effort, while I was attempting to quit.

      So yeah, I think the worst place to be is in the transition from smoker to non-smoker. So, if smoking helps you calm down and not tilt after some bad beats, I think you should realize that it's not anything in the cigarette that's helping you, it's just a feeling of relief from withdrawal caused by not smoking for the past X minutes or Y hours. Since I've quit, I've found far better ways of dealing with these sorts of negative emotions, like tilt :P
    • MikeB570
      MikeB570
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      Joined: 25.05.2009 Posts: 72
      I smoke and I don't think it affects my play at all. I've been smoking for so long I don't even think about it when driving, playing poker etc.

      On a different note I read an article about caffeine stating that it increases your ability to do repetitive tasks for a longer period of time without decreasing efficiency, but it did not show any increase or decrease in cognitive abilities (things that you actually have to think about). It kind of makes since that so many people drink coffe all day long at their desk jobs. I think that probably translates to poker as well.
    • AlexanderD22
      AlexanderD22
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      Joined: 26.08.2009 Posts: 377
      Originally posted by MikeB570
      I smoke and I don't think it affects my play at all. I've been smoking for so long I don't even think about it when driving, playing poker etc.

      On a different note I read an article about caffeine stating that it increases your ability to do repetitive tasks for a longer period of time without decreasing efficiency, but it did not show any increase or decrease in cognitive abilities (things that you actually have to think about). It kind of makes since that so many people drink coffe all day long at their desk jobs. I think that probably translates to poker as well.
      I usually have a cup of coffee when playing but forget about it while focusing on tables and it gets cold lol.

      I've smoked for more than 10 years so I think half the time I just do it out of habit. As I said, when you need a break from the tables I find a smoke a great way to make sure you "get away" for a few minutes. Not advising people to take up smoking though.
    • Berzerger
      Berzerger
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      Joined: 24.03.2008 Posts: 910
      I usually don't smoke as I don't feel the need for it, but recently I found myself lighting a cigarette after successful poker sessions. Sometimes I start smoking when I'm stressed out or angry, but without those triggers I don't really think about tobacco in my daily life, including poker sessions.
    • degre
      degre
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      Joined: 30.04.2009 Posts: 413
      2nd day today without smoking and I could kill someone if I don't get hold of a ciggy soon...

      Smoking anyway never affected my play, neither seems the quitting as yesterday on my first no smoking day I was on a heater winning 235bb in 210 hands :f_biggrin:
    • andreibalint
      andreibalint
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      Joined: 11.04.2009 Posts: 872
      It affects more how much i play than how i play. Although i have to admit sometimes i get so pissed that i am going for a smoke in the middle of 4 SnG's.
    • Pokerzvaigzne
      Pokerzvaigzne
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      Joined: 19.09.2009 Posts: 27
      Smoking after sng`s or at break :)
    • aceonetheriver
      aceonetheriver
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      Joined: 26.12.2008 Posts: 591
      I USED TO SMOKE ALOT I MEAN ALOT LIKE 2 BOX EVERY DAY / 40 CIG...
      BUT I GOT EMPHYZEMA...WHICH IS FUNNY YESTERDAY I HAD A NEW SHOT ECO PICTURE OR X RAY WHAT DA HELL EVER THEY CALL IT..AND THEY SAID I DONT HAVE IT ANYMORE..DAMN HOW SICK HOSPITALS CAN BE ! ANYWAY I STOPED CUZ I WAS SCARED..AND IT WAS SO DAMN HARD..I USED ALOT OF GUM..AND ALOT OF CIG WZOUT SMOKING THEM..JUST PUT THE CIG..CUZ ITS SO HARD...WZ CIGS I USED TO BE MORE COOL AND CALM +EV NOW WHEN A BIG POT I CANT CHILL OUT I'M MORE NERVOUS... BUT THANK GOD I STOPPED SMOKING ....


      oh no! i wrote wz capital letters sry 2 lazy to write it back...
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
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      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      Originally posted by Ejeckt
      Smoking progressively blocks up your arteries and veins, and starves your body and brain of oxygen, which reduces the amount of concentration you can exert.

      Also, if you're having a withdrawal pang from a cigarette it severely detracts from your concentration. I imagine that if you attempt to quit, and then have a poker session and suffer a few bad beats. Your body will trigger that "need to light up" feeling, and if you remind yourself that you quit and that you can't smoke anymore, all those thoughts of smoking can make you stop focusing on the game!

      It's the small things that contribute greatly to your play, I think.

      Though I've never really had problem with smoking and poker... but I can remember times when I was simply unable to effectively study for a test or do something else that required mental effort, while I was attempting to quit.

      So yeah, I think the worst place to be is in the transition from smoker to non-smoker. So, if smoking helps you calm down and not tilt after some bad beats, I think you should realize that it's not anything in the cigarette that's helping you, it's just a feeling of relief from withdrawal caused by not smoking for the past X minutes or Y hours. Since I've quit, I've found far better ways of dealing with these sorts of negative emotions, like tilt :P
      QFT from another ex-smoker.
    • viewer88
      viewer88
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      Joined: 19.04.2008 Posts: 5,545
      I notice I'm easily tilted if I havent smoked for too long (like 2.5- 3 hours), don't usualy smoke inside buth I can't imagine it affects your play too much.
    • Hahaownedlolz
      Hahaownedlolz
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      Joined: 24.04.2009 Posts: 1,755
      I dont smoke, im not a sheep :D
    • dadude77
      dadude77
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      Joined: 26.10.2008 Posts: 1,516
      I used to chew when i played poker like constantly and found i concentrated WAY easier and was alot less ADD. but theres alot more nicotine in a pinch of chew than a cig, but i'd guess it'd still help a little?
    • viewer88
      viewer88
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      Joined: 19.04.2008 Posts: 5,545
      You mean you chewed like tobacco (like in every good western?)???

      It looks disgusting, that's all I know about it :tongue:
    • dadude77
      dadude77
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      Joined: 26.10.2008 Posts: 1,516
      yeah since i was like... 13 i just quit like 2 weeks ago, although i did it last night while working.. so hard :(
    • delete461
      delete461
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      Joined: 04.07.2008 Posts: 1,036
      Originally posted by dadude77
      I used to chew when i played poker like constantly and found i concentrated WAY easier and was alot less ADD. but theres alot more nicotine in a pinch of chew than a cig, but i'd guess it'd still help a little?
      I tried'a chawin tobaccie meself, but it stinks. Dem injuns smelt me campsite from miles away.
    • SalamiandCheese
      SalamiandCheese
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      Joined: 16.07.2008 Posts: 569
      I quit smokin' for a week and I ran pretty good throughout. I was on the gum though. I'm not worried about it effecting my game when I quit again, sometime, maybe now... ahhh maybe later... :f_p:
    • viewer88
      viewer88
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      Joined: 19.04.2008 Posts: 5,545
      Originally posted by delete461
      I tried'a chawin tobaccie meself, but it stinks. Dem injuns smelt me campsite from miles away.
      :f_love:
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