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  • Burnout

    Yeah, that's me. It's been a stressful last few weeks. I'm at the point where I'm making really bonehead decisions, losing my concentration frequently, and feeling like the cards will go against me wherever possible. Frankly, I'm not sure I even want to be at the table.

    Does anyone here have any suggestions on how to deal with it? I know about the whole "take a break" thing, but what do you do during a break to get yourself refreshed and reenergized? Or is there something else you can do without totally getting away from poker?

    Any and all ideas are welcomed.


  • #2

    Lol, I think we are on the same schedule -- the past week has been horrible for me. After busting out in the first 10% of all players about 5 tournaments in a row, I was like, whoa!, someone needs a break. I had a good out because I went on a short day and a half trip to NYC-- on the way there I reread some basic HE books (Krieger, Jones, etc....), which helped a lot. By the time I got back, I was refocused on playing basic and smart and was well rested. In the tournaments and satellites I have played today, I actually sat and consulted the books for starting requirements and such while playing. By the time I got to my third tourney/sat I had ditched the book and was much more relaxed and playing a lot better

    I would love to hear other ideas also!



    • #3
      here is the best thing to do. take a vacation with no poker at all. if you cant do that, then go out, see a movie, go bowling, go shoot pool, anything that will keep your mind occupied and not focused on poker. stay away from the tables, all reading material, anything at all that has to do with poker. after 3 days or so, sit back down for a game. just play one game. concentrate on that game only, and nothing else. after that game, relax, and enjoy relaxing. if you play just one tournament, and truly play the best you can, figuring outs, tells, percentages, etc.... you mind has had one heck of a workout. dont push it. you will see your results improve, and you will read players actions much much better. it is very tough to play your A game everytime you play, but that is what is needed to be a winner in this game. if you feel yourself slipping, then take another break until you are refreshed. just my advice.........


      • #4
        I had a terrible first part of November. It was certainly a combination of bad cards, and worse play. I had played a lot in September and October (as I recall, over a 100 sats in Oct). Part way through November, as much as results as anything, I took a break. I don't think I played more than one or two sats the rest of the month, but did play a couple of tourneys (not my favorite thing to do). Anyway, I basically refrained from playing, did watch a number of games though, read the forum, and most importantly, went back to excerpts from poker books...concentrating on basic play. Burnout and boredom prevailed, and I was not anxious to start playing again.

        Well, today, Dec 1st, entered my first sat in a two weeks, and presto, finished first, when I was in fact only looking for solid play regardless of the results. My temperment now is to play selected games, and no more than 1+ per day. I will probably play in a few tourneys, just for the fun of it. Goal, to be more selective, and at the same time have more fun. But I do know, the "break" was important for my psyche. Don't underestimate, taking a few days, or few weeks off.


        • #5
          BA...I went through a similar "funk" in September. I was making emotional calls and raises, and seemed to get smoked by the deck every time I sat down. I questioned what I was doing playing, and felt like I didn't want to be at the table either...And you know what, I didn't want to be at that table. I found that by analyzing my decision process, I was playing lots of tournies at PSO just for something to do. Not that there is anything wrong with just playing for the social aspect of it, but I found that to be my problem. I was playing quantity poker, not QUALITY poker. Combine that with the live ring games I was playing and weekly tournies in local card rooms, that was just way too much, and I had lost focus on becoming a better poker player. What I did, and I think it worked, was drastically reduce my poker playing, in all aspects, at PSO, cash games, and tournies in card rooms. I only played when it was absolutely what I wanted to be doing. I re-read several poker books that I own and not suprisingly found more errors I was making. I decided to evaluate numerous factors before playing poker, and several times found myself "unjoining" events at PSO right before they started, and skipping the trip to the weekly casino tourney. They just were not what I wanted to do at that moment in time. I joined two weekly home games, and went when I WANTED to go, and skipped when I wanted some quiet time. I played selectively in November at PSO, and only played 2 casino tournies in the last 6 weeks, and 2 home games, and no live play. Well I ended up getting my first ever sponsorship points in League Play at PSO, won two home tournaments, and cashed in both casino tournaments I played. I am refocused on poker, and very selective when and where I play, and cautious of how I play when I do. Hope this helps, I faxed my Omaholics Anonymous application to your secretary, please accept my humble donation. :roll:

          Jeff "Top2Pair"--->Always on TILT


          • #6
            I repeat what everyone else has said.

            A forced break, you pick the amount of time.

            For me, what has worked is: At least one (if not two) complete 24-hour periods off from poker per week. Playing that is. I will post to the forum, read CardPlayer, etc... during the 24 hours off, but no playing.



            • #7
              That is one of the greatest lessons I am learning (ok...trying to learn here at PSO).

              That is, learning to accept that bad runs do occur to good players.

              It takes alot more to put me on Tilt nowadays. Generally, I evaluate my play and...if it is still goot I keep playing.

              But if for instance I KNOW my KK is gonna get snapped and limp into a pot cause I'm scared....well then it is time for a break!

              Bottom line: If your play is good no break needed.
              If your play is not good take the break.



              • #8
                Although most go along with the "conventional wisdom" of taking a break, I will present the Geezer alternative: PLAY ON!

                Sign up for every tournament, play several games at once, try to get in as many as you can. The idea is to get it to be reflexed rather than thought out.

                Perspective is a wonderful thing and the best way to get over a bad habit, etc. is to go solid THROUGH it. Get your fill!


                • #9

                  A lot of fine advice as always. What worked for me was taking several days off without playing or thinking about poker. Only when you get the feeling of really missing the game get back on the horse.

                  Like anything else, excess can wear you down even if it's the most passionate activity of your life.

                  Also there seems to be a lot of research that "insights" come from moments where the concious mind is not seeking them. The underlying hypothesis is that the mind subconciously processes information without the inhibitors of stress.

                  My two cents worth,