Tips on how to avoid a poker burnout
Poker caught on like wildfire back in 2000. Hundreds of pro’s thronged the felts. However, only a few made it big and retired with their hefty paychecks, while others hoped they were still in the game and didn’t burn out so early.
So why did they burn out? It certainly wasn’t the skill set, or their intellect or their commitment. What knocked them down was their over-commitment with no long-term sustainability plans. Grinding hard, overworking, taking too long a break and they certainly lost their seats on the table!
The ones who survived had a vision, a basic formula that would protect their future interest when it came to poker. Here’s a look at their secret formula.
Hobby up – Look outside poker and develop your interests
Beginners need to understand that it’s not all about 24×7 poker. Most successful poker players have a life outside of the game. Be it the adrenaline from adventure sports, a good read, indulging in art, travel, or a sport, their hobbies transcended the screen.
Almost all elite performers focus their work hours to four to six. More importantly, they ensure they get nine hours of sleep a day. Those working more than eight hours a day are found to wear out sooner.
Furthermore, those players who are unable to answer what their outside interests tend to perform poorly as time goes on, regardless of their skillset. Learn to free your mind outside of poker with other activities that interest you.
Don’t overwork it
The best part about a game of poker is that you can play it retired on a chair even in your 80s! But there’s a catch, you got to pace yourself, overworking will kill you in poker.
This doesn’t translate to you not working hard; it means you have to work smart. Most players end up beating the same drum as opposed to focusing on what needs to be improved. It’s not the number of hours, it’s what you put into those hours that matter.
Your diet and lifestyle matter
While poker is mentally strenuous, players tend to take a back seat with their physical appearances. It’s time to pay attention to your body and mind. Any form of exercise positively impacts the brain. The top 1% of poker players are aware of their body. They enjoy a balanced meal and are aware of not consuming processed food and sugar. They meditate, go for runs, play a sport to keep themselves active and mentally fit and this translates to a great attitude on the felts.
A routine is crucial
Since poker is a game you can play anytime, players tend to have very erratic schedule. If you continue the same way for years, don’t be surprised the felts are outlasting you.
Why does this happen? Why do players find themselves in a rut often? It’s because in poker once players think they’ve got the initial strategies right and hang of the game, they stop learning. It’s only the finer details and continuous learning that will set one apart on the felts.
It’s crucial therefore to commit yourself to study before you play. Set aside a fixed time and pick a medium of study you are comfortable with, focus and absorb as much as you can during this time.
Furthermore, follow it up with practicing what you’ve learnt for the day in your next session. Whether the strategy comes up or not, the idea is to keep your brain active by feeding it new patterns. Jogging your memory awake will help you deliberately practice and actively improve.
Never get bored
We all know how boring 9 to 5 desk jobs can get, if you are playing poker you don’t want to get there. Sometimes we get so obsessed with poker, we forget it’s a game and a fun one too!
Don’t turn the game into a mundane one. Staring down at your opponent trying to figure out if he’s bluffing can get mundane. This is the main pay off in the game that defines who lasts longer. Keeping it interesting and never getting bored of it will by itself delay your burn out.
Don’t burn out on your cards, you have a long ride home!