Poker Motivation to play or grind can be a big issue for many of us. Sure, it’s easy to keep playing when you’re a few buy-ins up, when every move you make seems to work, when you’re a card rack and flop set after set and when you just feel pumped and energized.
But, we all experience times when we’re unmotivated to play. It’s tough to continue the grind when you’re in a downswing, you keep bubbling every SNG, when everyone seems to suck out on you or when it seems like you haven’t won a tourney in a very long time.
These are the times when you need to push yourself, to focus on the finish line and keep grinding on the way to it, doing what it takes to get there. You need to know why you’re playing this game. You need to have a way to make improvements day by day, and you need to believe in yourself.
Poker Motivation: Keep your WHY at top of mind
Why are you playing poker?
Why are these your goals?
If you’ve got good answers to these two questions, you’ll find it easier to motivate yourself to grind every day. Without a good why, you’re just spinning your wheels, doing something just to do it. That’s no way to approach anything you do in life.
For myself, here are my why’s:
Why Play: I love the game of poker; love the challenge; love pitting myself against opponents; love to outsmart/outplay opponents; want to become a better player; love the social interaction (live) and the grinding aspects (online); want to play in the Main Event every year.
Why are these your goals: I want to win vast sums of money; want to learn to teach; want to play against the best in the world; want to travel the world and use poker to help me achieve that goal; want to use poker as a means to an end of giving myself and my family a great life.
Make small improvements day-by-day
I’ve gone on streaks where I started playing a little less every day, and by the end of the week I was down to 30 minutes then I would quit my session. Give yourself goals of just 5 more minutes each day. If you hit 45 minutes one day, your commitment the next should be to 50 minutes of play. Then 55 the following day, 60, 65 and so on. Keep a timer going on your phone and stick to it.
You can also make other day-by-day improvements. Focus on one new HUD stat to watch out for every day to build up your stat reading skills. Add one more SNG to your total played each day. Add one more table to your cash game sessions for the next week then another the following week.
Do things every day that keep you interested in the game, and make changes when necessary. Don’t get stuck in a routine that becomes boring. When you tire of SNG grinding, play some cash for a few days. When you’re bored with MTT’s, play Turbo MTT’s and SNG’s for a while. Don’t let the game get stale for you.
Believe in yourself
In order to achieve anything in life you must first believe that you can. If you try to attain a goal while thinking that you can’t, then that’s just an exercise in futility. Would Edison have even attempted making the lightbulb if he didn’t believe in himself? Would Elon Musk have been able to make a multi-billion dollar company selling electronic cars if he didn’t believe in himself? Would we have flown to the moon if the belief wasn’t there?
If believing in yourself is an issue for you, please check out my previous blog called Act As If. (link to it) It’s all about “faking it until you make it” and acting like a pro even if you aren’t one yet. Anytime you’re faced with a dilemma, ask yourself, “What would the poker pro do?”, then get out there and do it.
Do it because that’s who you are
To sum it all up:
Make your next session the best one yet!
Carrot motivation courtesy of opensource.com
- The 5 Mental Aspects of a Winning Poker Mind - July 22, 2020
- From ThePokerForge.com: Training a Positive EV Mindset - July 16, 2020
- From ThePokerForge.com: Listen to What They’re Telling You - July 9, 2020