Poker is a fun game that can help you have a great time and earn a couple of bucks your friends. What could go wrong, right?
It seems somewhat unnatural to even relate burnouts to poker. Is it even possible to experience such a thing when playing cards?
It might seem like a joke to players who only play poker for fun. However, professional players who make a living by playing this game have a very high risk of burning out in one point or another, and it happens more often than you think.
Ever since poker became available on the web in certain states, such as PokerStars in Pennsylvania, many players decided to jump from playing recreationally in live games to becoming professional players online.
Probably, they expected to sit comfy in their chair and click mouse buttons now and then, and rake down the money. However, being a professional is much more than that. It requires devotion, a lot of hard work of the tables, and sitting in front of a screen for really long hours.
That is not as easy as it could look from first sight.
Don't get this wrong. You still have an option to play online poker for fun and earn some money along the way. However, if you want to make poker your job, you need to take into account how much work it requires and that burnouts will happen sooner or later.
That being said, there's a couple of things you can do to avoid this. Let's take a look at them.
Always Have Plan B
No matter how focused on poker you become, you have to remember one small thing about it — it's just a game, and the element of luck is present in the short term.
That's why you need to have a hobby of a sort that will help you completely forget about poker at times you running bad so that you can always return fresh to a new tournament or cash game session.
Your hobby can be anything, as long as it's not related to poker in any way. You can choose to play a sport, write novels, read books — anything.
In fact, when you look at some of the best professional poker players around the globe, you will find that they are often as passionate about something else as they are passionate about poker.
Focusing on one thing can dull one's mind a bit. Our brains need a variety of stimuli to perform at the maximum possible level, and Fedor Holz interview will help you to see that.
Don't Work Too Much
Baby boomers believed that working hard is the only way to succeed in life. However, we live in different times when working hard is not the most effective way to work.
Millennials, and hopefully, generations after that, have a different approach to work ethics, which can be summarized in — work smart not hard.
Online poker is the embodiment of this sentence, as we don't have to go to a distant place to play cards with skilled professionals. They're just a couple of clicks away. With all other data at our disposal, as well as intuitive software, there's no need to go the extra mile to achieve the best possible result.
In fact, you should work less but put more energy into the hours devoted to poker, finding the optimal strategy of learning and advancing your poker knowledge along the way.
Lucky for you, the internet is filled with hundreds of useful pages about poker strategies and all things poker that could help you skyrocket your performance in much less time.
Before the Internet era, players had to do the grunt work and figure out everything on their own.
Therefore, don't think that just playing poker for 10 straight hours would do the job. It won't.
You're probably going to lose focus after a couple of hours of play, and your performance can significantly drop. So instead of doing everything by yourself, build a network of like-minded friends, join a training site and choose to work smart on your game!
Regular Diet and Exercise
Boring! Nobody wants to go on a diet and exercise as a professional poker player. We want to sit back, relax, and earn money while having fun!
But seriously, there's something about exercise that has been scientifically proven to improve our overall well-being and cognition.
It's vital for poker players, especially grinders who spend a lot of time playing this card game. Exercise will clear your mind and prepare you for future poker adventures. On top of that, it helps to keep focus and energy for extended periods of time, so it will only make you a better player.
Dieting is also important. Playing poker is a sedentary job, and getting overweight could impact your health and, consequently, your performance. In the end, grabbing a healthy snack instead of a bag of candies did not heart anyone as far as I know.
Have A Personal Poker Routine
Although working smart is the way to go, you still shouldn't confuse it with a total absence of will to work. Routine is still very much important for professional poker players, and you need to develop one that will suit you the most.
The problem with going pro as a poker player is that you get to be your boss. You set the working hours, and you set deadlines. Many people often need an external authority to get up and do things, and if you're one such person, you might have trouble finding a routine immediately.
However, if you decide in advance when you are going to play, how long, and when you will be studying and other things around, you will massively reduce the efforts needed to fulfill it.
It's Still a Game – Have Fun
Whatever you do, you shouldn't forget that poker is just a game after all, and you should have fun playing it. You'll win, and you'll lose — and that's the beauty of this game.
As long as you have fun in the process, you will be able to get creative and innovative. When you take a look at some of the best NBA players, they always seem to have a lot of fun when they're on the court, which results in some really attractive plays and great hoops.
Poker is just like that — have fun, and you'll enjoy it along the way, no matter whether you win or lose in the short-term.
If you stop having fun at any time, poker will become dull, and you'll lose the will to learn and improve — and that is when burnout is most likely to come.
- Learn how to detach from poker and rest
- Don’t force yourself playing when you don’t feel good
- Leave some time for learning instead of only playing all the time
- Take care of your health – excises and choose proper food
- Have a personal poker routine to reduce wasting your energy
- Don’t forget to have some fun