If you are playing online poker and you are winning big, nothing will stop you. You’d feel the smartest person around and every decision would come easier. When you are loosing big, everything looks darker and you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Is it right? Is it you? Then you have to think again your whole approach to the poker game.
If you are winning, you are not by default the strongest, smartest or fastest at math calculation and obviously if you are losing, you are not a fish all of a sudden.
How long a session should be?
Just the right amount, which usually is the time you have decided to allocate to poker in a given day. One of the silliest mistake is reason as follows: if you are winning, then quit. If you are losing, then keep on playing hoping to make it even.
If you have decided to play for 2 hours (assuming you are good at handling poker tilt), just go for the full time. Playing poker is a marathon and not a spring, therefore if you are playing your A-game, just keep on grinding regardless the results.
Is the morale part of the equation?
In theory, no, it is not. But it would be silly to state we are not humans but perfect machines, so the results of the poker sessions do have an impact on our emotions (remember to play with an eye on your bankroll).
Players should be able not to get influenced by the money, considering the chips played as beans rather than real cash and it indeed helps in keeping the mood up even when bad runs strike.
Should I set a stop loss?
Yes you should. A stop loss is a threshold below which you are not willing to play more (or lose more).
Is useful to have one, because, despite you should not be influenced by the good or bad run, losing money is not an attractive option for anyone and below a certain level (despite within your bankroll’s management rules) the focus and the calm cannot be guaranteed even by a zen monk.
Just set this rule up and then adjust following your need of comfort: every time you lose more than 6 buy ins, just call it a day.
Remember, though: playing until the stop loss, even if you are aware you are not playing your best poker, is a mistake. If you feel you are not ok or if the opponents are tough in a certain time of the day, just leave the tables and go out breathing fresh air!