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Outside Factors Can Influence Poker Play

March 18, 2009 (InfoPowa News) — Online poker operator Everest Poker is making a name for itself with quirky player surveys, such as how different nationalities play, with the latest in the genre examining the impact of external events on a player's ability to function well at the poker tables.
After a six-month study, the company has found that relationships, live TV, various social factors and even the day of the week can all affect how poker players perform on the felt.
Ed Pownall, PR and Events European Manager for Everest, gave an example of two first-timers who tried to save on accommodation costs by flying to a live event on the day play commenced instead of arriving a day or more earlier and giving themselves time to relax. The two were stressed and tired, busting out within the first hour.  
Personal life can also be a barometer of how a player gets on in tournaments, says Pownall. "One of our team players ended last year with three final tables in three months. He then split up with his girlfriend and early exits were as regular as final tables were just months beforehand!"
Live tables covered by television can also give players the jitters, says Mariken Hogenhout, the Everest Poker Dutch Event Coordinator. "I have seen many players playing well, looking relaxed but when faced with the TV table they suddenly play far too tight. This is because they are aware every hand is being analyzed and they do not want to be considered fish!"
The poker exec said another factor that can upset a player's rhythm is being on a table that gets 'broken up.' "Clever players will realise they are on an outside table and be aware this is probably one that will be broken up quickly. They therefore waste little time assessing their opponents. Really clever players ask the tourney director which tables are to be broken up early!"