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Dealing with Burnout

Whether it’s from your job, stressors like family drama, or even a game like poker, burnout always sucks. It makes us feel lethargic, decreases our motivation, and certainly has a negative effect on our overall win-rate.

How do winning poker players deal with burnout? How do we effectively recover? Are there any mental tactics we can employ to fight it?

When it comes to poker, we can categorize burnout into two classes. Our response will likewise vary depending on which type of burnout we’re facing.

Burnout #1: Running Bad

Maybe you feel like you can’t just catch a break. Even though you know you’re making solid plays, maybe you keep getting unlucky, losing your stack, or busting out of tournaments.

Poker, however, is a game of variance. Even downswings of losing 25 tournaments in a row are normal, expected, and standard. So, if you know you’re going to lose sometimes (or even often), why should we care when it happens?

Instead, show up, play the game, and extract as much value as you can. As long as you

play fundamentally sound poker and you put in enough volume, you’ll emerge victorious eventually.

In the meantime, however, you can mitigate this burnout by being properly bankrolled, acting wisely away from the table, and by taking a calm attitude that accepts the losses with the victories.

Burnout #2: Overworked

Poker is a tough game. Not only does it require hours at the table, but we need to spend even more time studying if we want to truly succeed. This can become too much though, and we can get burnt out by being overworked.

The best way to combat this burnout is with changing it up. Do you usually play cash games? Try a sit-n-go or a multi-table tournament (MTT). Another great option is to try a different game like Open Face Chinese (OFC) if you usually play NLHE. You can even try going to different venues, playing online from different places, or finding other ways to mix up your routine.

The key here is to create free space so that you have room to breathe. This will go a long way towards preventing and curing burnout.


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