Whether you love your job or not – everyone needs a hobby to let the steam go once in a while. Playing poker professionally might sound like a dream come to true to people working 9 to 5 ( and it is) , but even we need things outside of poker to keep our mind in a perfect condition to perform optimally.
Hobbies of poker players are, of course, many and diverse. However, if you have thought about it, in our society we are divided into groups of people with similar interests. For example – people who love listening to heavy metal, often like wearing dark clothes and drinking beer with friends. These kind of guys and girls, will also be much more likely fans of motorcycles and extreme sports, than ballet dancers .
Today we will dive deeper into 3 common hobbies of poker players, which actually help you perform better, when you come back to poker. These activities are not only used to bring pleasure. These hobbies bring balance, to otherwise very one-dimensional lifestyle.
Playing poker is exciting and thrilling at times. Especially when you play live and travel – feels like a dream come true. In spite of this, majority of the time you will be stuck grinding online or live, watching coaching videos, studying new strategies or re-watching sessions to spot your own mistakes. If you do this for days, without socializing or having enough sleep , it can become exhausting. Mix this with few losing sessions in a row and the picture is very grim.
- Healthy Hobbies of poker players are…… ?
- Common hobbies of poker players, which can make your poker results WORSE.
- 3 Common Hobbies of Poker Players, which are healthy and combine great with grinding
Healthy Hobbies of poker players are…… ?
As you probably know or understood by know – the daily routine of a poker player resembles those of a professional athlete. But instead of sharpening a body, the poker player sharpens his mind and emotional control.
We work hard on our game and have to stay in front of the screens, not only when playing, but also when we are studying the game to improve. With not enough movement and socializing – poker, and especially online poker can be very unhealthy way for you to “work” . Of course, there are many people working regular jobs, stuck at the office, who face the same problem. The difference is, once their job is complete, their mind and body are free to do as they wish
Poker players, however, have no set time, when they have to play, sleep or study. It all depends on the discipline. This is why, most successful players, have a way to relieve the stress with a healthy hobby and at the same time enjoy themselves without thinking about poker.
“Healthy” hobbies of poker players are those which bring something new to the table. Making us active and keeping our mind busy with different type of task, so that we do not continue to obsess with the game. Some of them include yoga, working out, travelling or adrenaline activities like sky diving.
Common hobbies of poker players, which can make your poker results WORSE.
After listing some hobbies of poker players, which can bring balance and clear troubled mind – there are also some activities to avoid. Bad hobbies of poker players include playing other card games, cryptocurrency trading, sports betting and playing computer games.
Not looking to offend anyone, nor these hobbies are always a bad idea. It is just that, there are much better and healthy ways to alternate your daily routine. Here is why we thing these activities are not EV+ decision for your free time.
Playing card games might be fun, but your mind will not really be resting by you continuing to look at the same cards, which you were seeing last night and this morning. Definitely not the best way to rest and calm your mind.
Crypto trading might be profitable, but it is another activity , which takes more, than it gives. You continue to risk your money and be on alert mode, even in your supposedly ”free time”. This way , you do not really take a break, you just switch the discipline and continue to exhaust your mind, by calculating data and percentages. Here, the upswings and downswings especially, are even bigger than those in poker. More stress,
Sports betting and all kinds of casino gambling are giving your brain a rest, but in return are stressing you. even more than poker. By bringing another gambling activity, you do not give yourself a chance to breathe.
Playing computer games is a a hobby, which we consider a bit better than other ”negative” ones, but still damaging one, most of the times. The idea to stay again in front of the screen and risking getting irritated because of a game, while continuing to be stuck on your chair or bed – highly unhealthy.
All these hobbies of poker players , have one thing in common – they are overwhelming your brain with stressful information , while leaving your body motionless, in front of the screen.
3 Common Hobbies of Poker Players, which are healthy and combine great with grinding
The activities which –
- Popular among poker players
- Take your mind off the game
- Train your body or mind
- Give a good mood
are the following :
Hobby Outside of Poker No.1 – Playing Tennis
Any sport would be ideal choice for professional poker player, who do not move a lot. However tennis, have some advantages over all other sports , hence why it is so popular among grinders.
- It’s not a team sport ( perfect for individualists, like poker players)
- It is a highly physical sport, but also deeply strategical ( involves using your brain in a different way to poker )
- It is competitive sport, which requires pinpoint accuracy.
- Tennis has no luck factor ( a welcome change after those nasty bad beats in last sessions )
- It is hard to learn – easier to master ( poker is easy to learn – hard to master. A change of pace. )
It would be easy to assume that poker and tennis have nothing in common; however, the two have a few similarities. For example, a singles tennis match requires the player to make important decisions in a short timeframe and the same happens in poker. This means that players need to have strong analytical skills, which is also a requirement in poker.
According to psychological reports, the change in activities allows tennis stars to recharge and return to the sport as better players. Poker is also quite popular amongst male tennis players, with many of the best of them partaking in the activity and even finding some success at major tournaments.
The following players enjoy both poker and tennis – David Benyamine, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Patrik Antonius , Gus Hansen , Patrick De Koster , Rafael Nadal , Boris Becker .
Hobby Outside of Poker No.2 – Playing Chess
There is no bigger love story, than chess and poker. If you like the one game, you most certainly will love the other one. Both require highly analytical skills and quick thinking. Developing strategies, improvising – all part of both games.
When I think about the overlap of poker and chess, I see both as intellectual challenges. The top players in the poker world definitely like games and puzzles and to be challenged and push themselves. That’s why they are top players. For me, solving a chess problem over the board or as a study is similar to figuring out why the quantitative trading model I’m running isn’t working or how to make a quick trading decision. Now, I can’t read their minds, but it makes sense to me that many poker players who constantly challenge themselves and succeed in that arena would naturally also take up chess.
In many ways chess and poker are opposites. Chess not only eliminates the element of chance, but it’s also a perfect information game: you see what your opponent sees and there are no hidden hole cards. This brings a sense of euphoria to poker player’s brain. You do not depend on luck !
If you are the better player in chess – you always win. Wish the fish who stacked me last night, could play me on chess.com … Result would be different ! All jokes aside, there is no better way to calm your mind, than by improving in another ”battle of the minds” game, where your opponent can not be saved by luck,
Hobby Outside of Poker No.3 – Heavy Lifting
Playing poker is the heavyweight category in the games of the mind. What better way to counter that and bring balance to your life, than getting behind some heavy weights and moving them up and down. Take note , that we do not suggest working out, doing yoga or running.
By doing these light form exercises you give your brain a chance to think about your daily chores, poker or other stuff, unrelated to your hobby. To completely shut your mind and focus on the task at hand – just start lifting heavy weights. Hard training sessions are how your brain really takes a break. Body takes over and rightfully so, after chilling hours on the table at the local casino.
Just like in poker, balance is one of the most important things in life. Great access is only achieved when both body and mind operate in peak condition. Forget about jogging or other light exercises, just hit the gym and start pumping heavy loads. If for some reason you can not go to the gym ( silly excuse ) , just do a ton of the body weight exercises , but ideally – not in your home. Better to have a place for training, which is not next to your comfortable chair, poker set and refrigerator.
In ideal world, all those hobbies of poker players, would be done in tandem. Poker, lifting weights, chess and tennis. 2 activities for your brain and 2 activities for your body. The ideal balance. By having hobbies , which are far away removed from all kinds of luck factor – the next bad beat might be an easier to swallow.
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