Time management is a business concept, but poker is a business for those who take it seriously. Many players manage their time by simply playing until they’re tired, then going to bed and repeating that sequence day in and day out. Generally speaking, they lead unhappy lives. A poker life offers much to those who manage it well. But manage it poorly, and your life will be wretched.
To play poker at a high level takes a lot time and effort. You need to find the time to work on your game so that you’re constantly improving. And, unless you’re playing high-limits at select times, grinding out significant money will take long hours. And then there’s the rest of your life, if poker is the only element in your life, it’s probably going to be an unhappy one!
Pros, semi-pros and recreational players all need to adapt their life to poker and vice-versa. The high stress and the emotional swings of winning and losing all take a toll. It takes substantial understanding from friends and family to keep those relationships happy. Conversely, it takes understanding from the poker player to avoid getting overly wrapped up in poker and ignoring the needs of their important relationships!
If you’re a recreational player, you need to create times when you can play and not ignore the other needs in your life, like work and relationships. Set aside times when the games are best that still coordinate with life’s other important aspects. Don’t diverge from that schedule, even when losing, unless it doesn’t impede with life. Keeping your life stable will help your poker world stability, and you’ll play better too.
If you’re playing for a living, it’s a different equation. You need to be in the poker room when the getting is good. Games tend to be better on weekends and late at night, often conflicting with your family and friends schedules. If you can sacrifice the extra money to prioritize your family, it’s probably a good tradeoff. Many pros have families, and their consideration has to have huge influence on your poker decisions. Having an understanding spouse/significant other is huge. Have this conversation with your family, explain the benefits for all. Make the effort to offset your family’s sacrifices with other events, and not just financially.
If you don’t have many other commitments, schedule your playing time to when the games best fit your skill and style and also fit your personal effectiveness schedule. If you aren’t sharp at certain times, such as, if you’re a better morning person, play the mornings. Many pros sit and burn themselves out in marginal games because they have little else to do or are trying to offset “bad runs.” Don’t! Utilize your time and energy efficiently, play when times are good. Take breaks, live and enhance life when your time has less value. Schedule your life around weekends, nights, specialty times and tournaments. You‘ll play better poker when you’re well rested and refreshed. And you’ll have a happier life!
If you’re going to play a lot of poker, you need to structure your life to make it a happy one. It takes discipline and planning. Many deeply into poker let poker consume them. And that consummation devastates their life. They destroy their relationships, and their happiness gets attached to how they are running in poker. Poker is full of long-term, cynical, and unhappy participants who have little else in their life!
When you’ve destroyed the relationships with those who care about you and your happiness in life is dictated by the turn of a card, you’re going to have a lot of unhappiness in your life.
Don’t allow yourself to fall into that trap!
“The Cooke-Berman Team”
Realty ONE Group
Roy and Misty Cooke with Bea Berman
702-376-1515 Roy and Misty
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