Poker and the Holidays: Are Players Singing the Blues or Counting the Green?

3 min read

Thanksgiving holidays poker
Are the holidays good for the average poker player or an annoying period of time that’s a drain on your bankroll? We take an in-depth look. (Image:

With American grinders celebrating Thanksgiving weekend and the rest of the poker world looking forward to the holiday season moving into full swing, the inevitable question on most players’ lips is: are the holidays a help or a hindrance?

For some, the chance to have a well-earned break and spend time with friends and family is great. To others, however, the festive period is a proverbial pain in the patootie. Aside from the potential earnings lost by having to turn off the computer and actually interact with real people, the holidays can be a drain on your bankroll.

A Bankroll-Busting Time

Having to spend money on presents, nights out, and anything else required to have “fun” will sap your bankroll during Thanksgiving and the holidays. Add to this the inevitable lull in action during these periods and the end result is a disaster for your bankroll.

However, it’s not all bad. Anyone that’s ever played poker for an extended period of time will know that taking a break can often be highly beneficial.

Riding a rollercoaster for hours each day is enough to turn the stomachs of even the toughest theme park lovers, and riding a rollercoaster of variance at the poker table can be just as nauseating.

While some pros will tell you to “man up” and “tough it out,” the best approach is often to take a break and the holidays are a great time to schedule such a time-out. Not only that, but with so many things going on, it can help to take your mind of that two-month downswing you’ve just gone through.

Of course, if you really can’t keep away from the felt during the holidays and have to sneak a few sessions in between unwrapping gifts and carving the turkey, then this could actually be a great time of year to play.

A Time for Giving

Picture the scene: it’s late on Christmas Day and the effects of drinking alcohol and eating rich food have started to take their toll on your opponents. Although it’s unlikely you’ll be any less “together” than those you’ll be squaring off against, you can win a lot of money over the holiday period.

People play a lot worse during the holidays and that means more money in your bankroll or, as the case may be, a chance for you to recoup all the money you’ve wasted on gifts in the lead up to your enforced break.

So, what’s the answer to the question: “are the holidays a help or hindrance to the dedicated poker player?” As you can see, it depends.

If you’re a sicko and don’t mind annoying certain members of your family, then the holidays are a great time to grind. However, if you’re someone who doesn’t like spending their bankroll on non-poker essentials, then Thanksgiving and Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa will be a dark, dark time indeed.

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