Have you, as a professional poker player, considered taking a break? Burnout is a very real thing, and can affect anyone, so, like any other 9-5 it is beneficial to take a break once in a while. You don’t need to head to the Bahamas, but you do need to stop thinking about poker for a while.
Take a look at our guide to find out if you’re due a break, what you can get out of it, and how to pull it off.
There are a lot of benefits to taking a break from poker as a professional player. It might be necessary, if you find yourself tilting, as the damage from the last bad result will simply contribute to the next. Taking some time off at that point will allow you to relax for a while. You will be able to take stock in other things in life that give you the same things poker does, whether that’s a thrill, an income, a community, etc.
Taking a break will also allow you to look after your money. You will have the opportunity to manage your bankroll from your break. By focusing solely on grinding for poker for so long, you might be burned out, and would benefit from some time reassessing your financial situation.
Like everything else in life, an element of self-discipline will come into effect here. Plan to take your break, plan for how long, and do not go near the subject until your time is over. Some players need a week, some need a month, but in that time, don’t visit the online poker sites like ggpoker.co.uk until the time is over. Remember not to just keep poker breaks going indefinitely as a professional. You’re either taking a break for a set period of time or you’re leaving the game for good. No in between. You will lose your edge that way and will take longer to recover your skills.
If you find yourself tilting often, you need a break. Tilting is the poker world’s way of saying that your emotions are clouding your judgement. You don’t need to be flipping tables or flipping off opponents, but you might find that you are taking risks you wouldn’t ordinarily take because you want to win, or you need the money, etc.
Tilting can be detrimental for a number of reasons – and it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you are taking larger risks in fear of losing, chances are you will lose. This won’t be good for your wallet or your gameplay. Losing can snowball on you, upping your tilting by giving you something to prove next time.
Like exercising, it’s best to ease yourself back into the seat at the table. Sit at the lower stakes tables and work your way up into the higher stakes tables. At least that way, if you need some time to get back on your feet, your mistakes won’t cost you too much money or respect.
Try and leave your nerves at the door. Tell yourself it’s just like any other game and relax into it. You know what you’re doing. The entirety of your poker skills didn’t disappear after a short break. This has the doubly winning effect of exuding confidence, which is very beneficial at the poker table. Do whatever you need to do to feel and appear confident. If that’s a few deep breaths, your “Walk a Little Taller” playlist, or wearing your favourite outfit, do it, and enjoy the game.