Quitting Time

As a game continues through the night and into the morning, most players tire and their ability to concentrate on poker decreases. That increases the good player's edge odds. He therefore encourages an indefinite or late quitting time. But if players start avoiding the game because the late hours are interfering with their jobs or harming their health. the good player may enforce an early quitting time (at least temporarily) to keep the losers playing and to preserve the game. He will also quit early in lower-stake games that are not worth staying up all night for. The good player often breaks up a game when he leaves in order to keep the poorer players from losing their money to the better players after he is gone. He breaks up the game so he can win this money for himself in future games.

Making players quit early is easier when the last round is played at higher stakes. Higher stakes not only benefit the good player, but serve as a psychological climax to the game as well. If the good player wants to enforce an agreed-upon quitting time, he plans the final round so the last deal ends with him. He then gathers the cards after he deals the last hand, cashes in his chips, and leaves before anyone can start a new deal.

But the need for a definite or an early quitting time decreases if any player, winner or loser, feels free to leave whenever he wishes. Furthermore, the game becomes more relaxed under those conditions and more profitable for the good player.

John Finn plays all night on Mondays because the additional profits he garners after midnight are worth his time. In one year, he played about 400 hours of Monday night poker and won $42,000. Of that amount, $23,000 was won after midnight at the rate of $115 per hour, while $19,000 was made before midnight at the rate of $95 per hour. The following data show another important reason why John plays all night in this high-stake game.

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