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Poker Downswings

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Gran downswing en el poker

All poker players with a medium level known that it is not possible to end every poker session with more money than you started with. In some sessions you'll lose more than you win and there is nothing or very little you can do to prevent this.

Although poker requires skills, the influence of luck in the result of each session is always going to be there. Regular poker players know that sometimes luck gets the better of you, ocassionally for long periods, and from time to time, it seems that the streak will never end.

Dealing with a big downswing in poker

If you play frequently in cash or tournament tables, you'll be ready to lose two or three buy-ins or not place in several tournaments from time to time. However, it will also happen from time to time that losing two or three but-ins will only be the tip of the iceberg. You'll have to face a stretch of bad cards that never seems to end.

So what goes wrong?

Every all-in works wrong, you don't hit any of the draws and somehow you miss every single flop. Also, your AKs will get beat every time by hands such as AQ and AJ. You calm yourself thinking that it's just variance and you try to believe that you'll get back on track in no time and your hands start holding up again. However, when you start recovering some faith, the flop comes an Ace when you are holding KK.

The effect of a big poker downswing

These downswings are out of your controls and this is the bigger problem because no matter how well you play or how good your reading are, you can't do nothing to prevent going down with the swing. When you get deeper into the swing, you start thinking that you have lost your ability to win in poker hold'em and you question your play style.

As a result, you start playing differently to see if you can recover some of the money you've lost and get things better, but you just loose more money with the new style of play than if you had stick to your usual game. Players always end up asking the same questions when they face a downswing:

  • Where am I going wrong?
  • What can I do to stop the downswing?

Unfortunately, the answers to those questions are: nowhere and nothing, even though they can't help you and don't make you feel calmer. If you continue playing with a solid style all the time, you are doing nothing wrong.

Remember that all poker Texas Hold'em players experience downswings from time to time. It's just variance in a bad dose affecting your game for a few sessions.

All that is wrong is you ability to have good luck from time to time, and you can do nothing to correct this. As you can't control your luck, you can't control downswings either, although this may not be the answer you were looking for.

How to get out of a big downswing

If you are in the middle of a losing session that seems to be endless, the best advice for you is to remember the light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how long it takes for you to see it. The cards will be good again at some point and you'll win some coin flips again and you'll be able to start recovering your bankroll.

Keep a positive attitude and play poker in the best way possible. Your style of play does not become a bad style just because you are losing, remember that it is the same style that has allowed you to win money before. If the big blow on your stack is affecting your ability to play, take a break from the game.

In general, a week-long break will help you leave behind the negative frame and get you back on track.

Wait before you start playing poker again and when you come back you'll be fresh and you won't be concerned about your losing stretch and you'll continue playing in the way you know it.

Poker downswings evaluation

In poker there are ups and downs, and unluckily, you'll always feel the downs a lot worse than the ups. You can do nothing to change this or end with the long losing sessions, you just have wait and do your best to endure them.

Remain focused at all times even when you are at your lowest, because if you stick to your best game you'll minimize your losses. All poker player go through very bad runs and bad beats, just do your best to play through it until you recover. You never know, a biggest upswing might be waiting for you just around the corner…

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