We learned from MTT players of different stakes (and one commentator!) how to survive long sessions – what to eat at the tables, what to drink (and what you definitely shouldn't), and who to listen to. They were also asked to share effective recipes for returning to their best playing conditions. It turned out that the main thing is love. For poker, of course. and good sleep and walks.

Sergey "yx0" Bugs // twitch.tv/Bugs_yx0

In terms of what should be in the refrigerator, I always have a couple of cans of Coca-Cola, 0.33, or Adrenaline Rush in store. They are high in sugar and caffeine, which gives the brain extra energy. And if you catch up with a heavy music playlist with fierce screaming like Bring Me the Horizon or Slipknot from above, then the energy just overflows and it becomes not so difficult to concentrate on the last two or three tables :)

During the session, I drink one or two cups of coffee, usually at the beginning of the session, and another five or six hours later. But it is HIGHLY NOT RECOMMENDED to eat lightly during the session! After eating, the brain, as a rule, wants to rest... Lie down on the bed or turn on YouTube, chill, or download someone's stream... As a result, all this has an extremely bad effect on concentration. NEVER EAT HEALTHY before or during final tables. I assure you – this is a minus EV.

The recipe for preparing for long sessions is quite simple. You should always remember that you are doing what you love. You're not unloading wagons for 12 hours in the bitter cold, right? So, do not forget to get high from the hands, from the game, your own or your opponents, notice interesting lines of play, or just admire the rarest situations thanks to the work of the RNG. So 8-10-12 hours will fly by unnoticed! Love for the game is the main secret.


There is no true solution. When my attention starts to drain, I usually turn on random music on YouTube, just so as not to fall asleep. During the break, I can take a cold shower (especially important in the heat).

From drinks during the session, I prefer a cool Evian, Granini apple juice, or Fuze cold peach tea. Even better, of course, is fresh, while I lived in Russia I often made all sorts of cool mixes for myself before the session. For food – I eat what my wife cooks :) When I play, I can make a sandwich for myself during the break. Alcohol – strictly not, it's hard to imagine what can make a player more distracted.

If we talk as a whole, and not about a single session, then I think everything is based on three things:

– Sleep schedule – you need to consistently sleep 8+ hours a day.

– Sports activity.

– Psychological preparation, study of the topic of loss of concentration.

I can not say that I am a role model in this regard. I can go to bed at 2:00, wake up at 5:00, and again get at it on the felt.

Dmitry "Shahovez" Shakhov

I must admit that during long sessions I abuse energy drinks. Just after another tough series, Triton Poker, I decided to actively fight this. But it is for a quick effect that I will advise the system of Mikita Bodyakovsky – drinking energy drinks is very rare, when there is no way without them, then the effect will really be significant. If you take less harmful methods, then everything is trite – wash your face with cool water during a break or brew fruit tea.

During broadcasts, I almost never eat, unless, of course, this is an offline tournament broadcast, where there is a big break. For five minutes, usually still do not have time to do anything. It helps that I always drink a lot during the broadcast, thanks to this, the feeling of hunger is a little dulled. Before long broadcasts, I try to eat shortly before the start, but in terms of nutrition, I am far from being a role model – I just throw some fuel into my mouth.

Preparation is perhaps the key to my long commentary sessions. Sleep is very important. If there is a broadcast, which can go until 7 in the morning, then it is necessary to go to bed at about the same time in the days preceding it, so that during the broadcast the body is in the usual condition. Sometimes a complete change of regimen is required, which you also need to move gradually, over several days. I had such an experience when I worked as a tennis journalist because the working time zone changed several times a year there.

As for preparing for a one-time long report, everything is banal here – it is very important to get as much sleep as possible, and also to find time for a walk, at least for 45 minutes. It is clear that I almost never control the duration of the broadcasts, so for the players, everything is a little easier here. They can still listen to their body and realistically assess their capabilities so that the duration of the session is not harmful.

Ilya "LiberMarginal" Lebedev

During the session, it helps me if I can drink an energy drink and smoke on a well-ventilated balcony. But eating a light meal is more likely to be a problem. My mental coach advised me to have small snacks, this is definitely not a mistake, sometimes I eat bread with pate during the session. Different people have different things that affect their concentration – this is a big problem. To better endure long sessions, you need to get enough sleep and follow the regime. Even walks before the session are very helpful.

When there are a few tables left, and there are no more factors, it helps me to turn on music or a podcast in the background, but I have to be careful here. If the deep run is important, you need to cut everything off and give it your all, the energy will appear by itself. Exit to the balcony and exercise will also help, but energy drinks are better to drink only in the first half of the session. It will not be a mistake to completely cancel the session if your state is initially far from optimal.

Alena "Rezista"

With fatigue from a long session, I deal with it the natural way – cheer up with adrenaline. If you go far in a tournament, the body mobilizes itself. Drowsiness and fatigue recede where good prize money loomed.

Epic Elvish or Scandinavian music also helps – turn on Wardruna and you are ready for battle.

I recommend having essential oils on hand: lemon, ginger, mint, rosemary, eucalyptus, black pepper, and bergamot – these smells will wake up the brain and energize it. I put an oil point at my nose and slowly inhale the fragrant air. It turns into a mini-meditation without leaving the poker table.

Massages also help, many of them do not invigorate, but relax, which is also good if you want to reduce the degree of excitement and excitement.

Dima "spr3216" Kukhtarev // twitch.tv/SPR_poker

With the preparation, I do all the classics. Sports should be present in life, let it be a gym 2-3 times a week or basketball, or tennis, or whatever, just to keep yourself in good shape. Of course, everything is individual and someone after training you cannot show an A-game, but someone is quite comfortable. But poker players definitely need to dilute their sedentary lifestyle with sports.

Plus, you definitely need to equip your workplace, buy a normal chair with armrests, even if it’s not a gaming DXracer or Samurai with a mesh, the main thing is not a stool without a back :) And if you are already full, then a table with a lifting mechanism and then play while standing, then sitting at a distance will give a very good increase in endurance during the session.

It is also worth removing distractions, at least at the peak of the session. Watching streams, videos, and other things, when a person has 10 tables running, and the brain is already processing a bunch of information is a so-so idea, it’s definitely not worth adding another load to it.

I am a coffee drinker and can't live without coffee. Before the session and twice during the session I drink a mug of coffee. Of course, you shouldn’t overdo it, you can limit yourself to two glasses a day, but I’m already too used to it. You have to eat during the session, as it goes for more than four hours. I always try to eat a solid meal an hour before the game, then after three hours I have a salad-sandwich snack, and after another two or three hours I have a regular meal. The main thing is not to overeat, otherwise, you start thinking about how you want to lie down and watch the series, and not about what the Brazilian has in a 3-bet sizing of 5 bb. It’s a big mistake to order food during the session – firstly, you have to run out for delivery and be left without a time bank, and secondly, you won’t be able to eat them “a little bit”, you have to overeat, and then – see the paragraph above.

Of the quick recipes, the first thing that comes to mind is a quick cold shower. However, it is better to simply not lose concentration during the session, and for this, prepare for it in advance. Immediately fix in your head that if you were arguing nonsense somewhere, you shouldn’t sit and think about it until the end of the day, well, it was, we drove, there are still many hands ahead, so it’s better to focus on them. Moved four tables in two minutes? Don't care, we do re-entry and play on. Villain held out for a gutshot against your overbet and got there, and you got upset, tilted, and instead of thinking how great you had him on the turn, you sit and sort through all kinds of curses addressed to him in your head. All such situations should be thought out in advance and be prepared for them, then it will simply not work to lose concentration during the session.

View from the outside

Ekaterina, girlfriend of Ilya "KARACHEVSKII" Karachevsky

Usually, after an incredibly “exciting” morning routine, he opens a delivery app, chooses a restaurant, and buys all the food there for the day. Well, and then – my favorite ... The image in which he charms the deliverymen ... :))) Underpants and a fanny pack on top, looking incomparable. Definitely adds energy for long sessions.

Musical accompaniment cannot be ruled out – you know, the singer Maxim, in combination with classical music, gives such a tone :))) As I heard, when I entered the office, I immediately realized that opponents have no chance. :)))