My first couple of years playing, I was eager to learn and play poker every chance I could. I’d rush home from work and head straight for my pc, fire up PokerStars or Full Tilt Poker and try to outplay my opponents night after night. Poker was new and exciting to me. I had so much to learn.
But, the enthusiasm and motivation to play poker can fade. I still have a lot to learn but that anxious anticipation to sit down and play had worn off a bit. I used to work a full-time job and still make time to play 40-50 hours a week. Looking back, I really don’t know how I did it. I used to play all day and late nights on the weekends with very few breaks, playing mostly tournaments and SnG’s. Tournaments take a real commitment and sacrifice of your personal time. But, I didn’t care. I experienced some tournament success and had a real passion for the game.
Fast forward three years and my attitude toward poker had changed. I was no longer willing to sacrifice 6-8 hours a night playing tournaments, chasing that elusive big score. I also lost some of my enthusiasm for the game. I was beat down. I had a terrible run in tournaments last year and decided to redirect my focus on cash games. Playing cash games doesn’t require you to commit several hours at a time. I can sit down to play brief 1-2 hour sessions and quit at any time.
I stumbled a bit at first, readjusting from tournament play. But, I quickly discovered that Bodog Poker's cash tables were very profitable. This motivated me to play more. When I wasn’t playing, I was reading and when I wasn’t reading, I was watching other cash game players to get a better idea of who the regular winners were and who was there to donate. I discovered a renewed sense of enthusiasm after some consistent success at the cash tables.
If you find yourself unmotivated to play, ask yourself why. If you’re bored with your regular game, try a new game. Try some other form of poker. Doing the same things over and over again will inevitably get boring. Change things up. If you’re a cash game player, try playing at a different level. Move up one level and you’ll probably find it more challenging. You’ll be playing more focused. Move down to lower stakes and donk it up. You’d be surprised how much fun you can have playing like an aggro monkey at micro stakes, tilting the table into submission. You might even learn something.
It’s easy to be enthusiastic and motivated when you’re winning. When you’re not winning, there are so many opportunities to challenge yourself and learn something new to succeed in this crazy game of poker.