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If you want to have a successful online poker session, you need to keep distractions down to minimum. This allows you to focus completely on the game and puts you in the best position to win.

Below we look at nine distractions that many online poker players face. Stay away from these distractions and you will become the next Phil Ivey. Ok, maybe not Ivey but you will increase your win rate.


We do many things in our lives while watching television, but most do not have financial consequences if we’re overly distracted by Doctor Who or Survivor.

How many times have we tried to play online poker and watch television at the same time and discover we mis-clicked or we get distracted and have a decent hand folded. Sometimes that’s enough to put us on tilt and ruin our entire day.

No, watching poker on television doesn’t lessen the distraction from your game. It probably increases it depending on who is playing.


Parents should already know this but some of you still believe that you can play online poker and watch your kids at the same time. It’s nice to believe in fairy tales.

No matter how well behaved your child is, the odds that you can go through sessions without regular interaction from your child is unlikely.

The younger the child, the less likely it is you will see any peace while playing online poker. Wait until they go to bed or are off with mom doing something before you start playing online poker.

That is unless you want to answer, “what’s that” every 30 seconds or “can we play Angry Birds instead?”


We’ve all heard the dangers of gerbils and online poker. They gnaw away at your fingers and toes and force you to mis-click your bankroll away.

Ok, not really. However, you probably shouldn’t play too much online poker while playing with the family pet. We know how much love and attention they need, especially dogs. They are attention whores and won’t let you check-raise fools.

Cats on the other hand are probably ok. They don’t care what you do unless you forget to feed them. So feed your cat and play online poker.

Significant Other

While we love our significant other, keep your relationship matters away from the poker table. If you need to discuss something with your girlfriend or wife, step away from the game for a while and resolve the matter.

Also, don’t login after a big fight with your significant other. Chances are that you will be too distracted from your problems to play your A-game and will spew chips.


Is that phone call worth a buy-in at the poker table? If not, then you should either step away to answer phone calls or call them back after you’re done with your session.

Bodily Functions

Don’t give me the “that’s disgusting” because you know players that will “hold it in” because the game is too good or they don’t want to miss a hand. You may even be that player.

Think of how much focus you’re losing in your effort to stop your bodily functions from proceeding. Go take care of business, WASH YOUR HANDS and return to the game.


Hungry? Grab a Snickers. You play like Joseph Cheong three-handed at the 2010 Main Event when you’re hungry.

Getting Drunk

You may not be as think as you drunk we are, but when play you when drunk means bankroll goes boom.

If you understood that last sentence, you either speak drunkenese or you’ve had a few too many. Don’t drink and play online poker.


Yes, sex can be a distraction. Got a hot girl on your mind or your significant other is looking sexy and you have that itch?

Don’t sit there thinking about what to do next. Take care of your need and come back to the game later. Even Barry Greenstein condones taking care of your sexual needs in Ace on the River.

If you’re randy for a girl named Mandy, do the crime and play online poker another time.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.