If you play enough poker that your income depends on it to a degree, there will likely be times when you just lack the motivation to play, the game just isn’t fun for you anymore, or you’ll struggle to put in enough hours at the tables.
Don’t blame yourself for being such a position; this is bound to happen to every player at some point. I’ve had such days and most of my students constantly encounter these types of situations, too, so you aren’t that different than most other poker players.
At times like these, it makes a lot of sense to stop thinking about poker for a bit and just enjoy everything else life has to offer. It can be a number of things, like going out with your friends, enjoying dinner with your partner, diving into another one of your hobbies, or one of plenty other options.
If you prefer to keep your thoughts focused on poker, however, there are still plenty of ways to take a mental break and instead just try to look at poker from a different angle by concentrating on the fun parts of the game. Instead of memorizing new ranges or putting in a usual studying of grinding session, trying something different that’s still plenty poker-related, and perhaps you’ll fall in love with the game once again.
Read a new poker book
When was the last time you read a poker book — especially one that wasn’t strategy-related?
Nowadays there’s plenty of poker media content you can consume, including following players on Twitter, visiting poker news sites or blogs, and watching poker vlogs, but a good old poker books can give you a different kind of experience.
Firstly, actually holding a physical book in your hand is almost by definition more relaxing than staring at a screen (which we all do way too much anyhow, right?). I’ve made a list of the best poker books, so even if you aren’t already familiar with too many of the titles out there, you can certainly find something that’ll be interesting to read.
For example, you can grab the autobiography of a famous player and enjoy learning about his/her journey in the poker world. Case in point is Eli Elezra’s book “Pulling the Trigger”, in which you’ll read about his progression from childhood to crushing the highest stakes games, and realize along the way that that there’s plenty happening behind the scenes that we don’t necessarily get to see on TV.
Watch a poker movie
I like watching movies when I have free time, but the experience is even more enjoyable if I can get hold of something related to poker. I just love this game!
While I am sure everyone reading this knows movies like “Rounders,” with plenty of Teddy KGB quotes floating around the internet, there are of course many more excellent poker movies to watch.
Recently, I put together a list of the best poker movies and was honestly surprised by how many choices there are. You can find great biography videos, action-packed films, and even a comedy, so there’s definitely something to suit almost anyone’s tastes.
So next time you don’t feel like playing but still want to do something poker-related, just grab a snack and treat yourself to a poker movie. This is something I do quite often.
Revisit your favorite poker forum
I recently wrote a post about poker forums and what you can find inside those communities. I want to highlight them one more time, as they’re good for much more than just hand discussions.
Forums can be a great place to not only get but also discuss the latest news in the industry. In particular, something I like is that many controversial topics hit the forums and become buzzworthy very quickly. When Mike Postle was recently accused of cheating in live games, there was a thread created on the 2+2 forums almost instantly. The same happened with many other notable events in both online and live poker worlds on numerous other poker forums.
Moreover, because of the active poker forum community, these threads are often updated so you can easily track how any issue progresses in near real-time, which is not so easy to do via other mediums.
While forums might not be the best place to learn poker strategy, you can have a great time perusing them while catching up on the news or chatting with other poker players.
So, as you see, there are plenty of options you’ve got to recapture your love for poker or boost your motivation if you’ve lost it along the way. When those times come that you stop enjoying the grind, it’s likely to lead to struggles on so many fronts. For that reason, it’s so important to keep the game fun. If you do, you will keep returning to the tables for years to come.