UK Poker Player Poker Strategy Articles Poker, Boredom and Tilt

Poker, Boredom and Tilt

Posted by David Cowell on July 18, 2010 at 6:23 BST

bored of pokerBoredom is a disease and it’s also a common occurrence in Poker. It’s not really something that you can catch from another person as much as it’s something that you can catch from sitting at the same table, playing the same game, for too long.

Boredom can be a poker player’s worst enemy, as it can place the player on tilt. Bored players will often be impatient players, getting their chips into pots with random hands, and shoving their stack when they know they’re beat, simply out of frustration. After all, the term “Grinder” is the term applied to an individual who sits at a table, and “Grinds” out pot after pot after pot. It can be a real struggle to maintain focus, and enthusiasm after hours and hours at a table.

One of the things that make overcoming massive poker tournament fields so impressive is the fact that you’re playing the exact same game, for hours on end, until one player finally emerges from the marathon with all of the chips. This is why tournaments have breaks placed into them.

Players simply need the 10 minutes (for a short break) to 90 minutes (typical for a dinner break for a large tournament), to simply refresh themselves. It takes time to accumulate chips in a large poker tournament, and it takes even more time to win them all. You have to be patient, and wait for the right spots.

Ring games are really no different. Players often find themselves bored after playing the same game over and over again. Bored players typically result in bad play, which can really damage a bankroll.

Easy solutions to overcoming the boredom disease are:

1) Take a break every so often. When you feel yourself tilting, or having a difficult time maintaining your focus on the table, you need to step away. Sometimes for a few hands, and sometimes for a few days. But you need to have your head on straight in order to play your best game.

2) Mix up your routine. One of the most beautiful things about poker is that there are so many variations of the game. If you’re accustomed to playing No Limit Hold Em’, and you find yourself mucking every hand simply because you’re getting lousy starting hands, try a different game. If you move over to the Razz table, you may find that your 5-3 in the hole with a 4 in the door, is all of the sudden a monster hand. Mixing up the games that you play can keep the game fresh and interesting.

3) Take a moment to assess yourself, and where you’re at. If you’re in a bad mood, depressed or angry, or feeling other negative emotions, you’re unlikely to have a successful session. Make sure that you’re attacking the poker table with a positive attitude, as confidence is key in having success at the poker table.

But most of all make sure that you’re having fun. Poker is a game after all, and if it stops becoming fun, then you may need to take a break.