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Medium-High Stakes Full Ring Discussion of $400+ pot-limit and no-limit and 5/10 live texas hold'em full ring games, situations and strategies

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Old 01-20-2019, 04:24 AM   #1
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what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

By proven winners I am referring to players who were proven winners in similar games/stakes over a significant sample (500k hands or more/minimum 1500 hours if live) prior to said downswing. Also this is assuming that no long break was taken before that downswing, which could just mean that they fell off their game.

Without whining too much I'm currently on the tail-end of a 5-month downswing with no visible light at the end of the tunnel. I have roughly 3.5m hands over which I've been a proven winner, this downswing is only 70k hands (about 320 hours) but the games are fairly soft and I was beating them for 4 months prior so it's driving me crazy that I can't win. I know 70k is relatively nothing and I've had way worse but given my hands/hour and my (supposed) winrate its made for my worst downswing to date.

I know of 1 full-time live player who has had a year-long period where he was down money, and one of my roommates who was an online player had 7 months.

Also, the term "downswing" can technically mean down $1 over x amount of hands so maybe break-even stretch is a better term to use? So just consider your longest break-even stretch rather.

So to recap please meet these requirements:

1. Proven winner for 500k hands+ or (if live player) 1500 hours+ at relatively similar games prior to the downswing
2. No long break was taken before the downswing

So if you meet these I'd be interested in hearing how long yours was.

1. How many hands and how many hours?
2. How did you cope with it?
3. How were you able to come back to even?
4. Did you take a break?
5. Did you change games?
6. Any advice you can give?

Please keep this serious and no trolling, I'd post this somewhere else but this is the most appropriate forum for it.
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Old 01-20-2019, 02:41 PM   #2
lolposting2016
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

Lol
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Old 01-22-2019, 03:28 AM   #3
Jarretman
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

This is not the most appropriate forum for this discussion.

If with a very high certainty, you believe you are a winning player in your games - which for live games is usually very easy to determine - focusing on results/downswings/upswings/variance is only ever going to be a hindrance.

Keep your bankroll and liferoll at a very comfortable level for the stakes you play and try to ignore the white noise that is variance. While this is basically impossible to do entirely, you would be better suited to focus your efforts on this, rather than asking for meaningless advice on the internet about how to deal with downswings.
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Old 01-22-2019, 03:35 AM   #4
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmvG2GZ3S7o
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Old 01-22-2019, 03:37 AM   #5
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarretman View Post
This is not the most appropriate forum for this discussion.
I reposted from BBV, forgot to edit that part out.

Quote:
Try to ignore the white noise that is variance. While this is basically impossible to do entirely, you would be better suited to focus your efforts on this, rather than asking for meaningless advice on the internet about how to deal with downswings.
Easier said than done. And I wouldn't say its meaningless. If I find others who have gone through a more brutal downswing (and managed to come back from it) it acts as a sort of reassurance.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:15 AM   #6
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

Experience (aka negative experience) makes you either wiser or bitter.

This is your only choice.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:04 AM   #7
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

35k over about 3 months at 2/5. quit poker to start a business. now i just play for fun but the business keeps me away from the table most of the time
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:05 AM   #8
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Czech Rays View Post
Experience (aka negative experience) makes you either wiser or bitter.
This is true. I try and view this as a learning experience as in "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger". I study every day, review hands, discuss hands with other good players I'm trying to be rational and focus on my mistakes rather than the bitterness. I think I have the right approach and I'm overall proud of myself with how I'm dealing with it.

Quote:
This is your only choice.
I don't think its as simple as a choice. Feeling a bit bitter is inevitable when you're just losing money day in and day out, many times to border-line button clickers. I know these emotions are -EV and I'll usually cut a session short once I feel the tilt setting in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KT_Purple View Post
35k over about 3 months at 2/5. quit poker to start a business. now i just play for fun but the business keeps me away from the table most of the time
I've had a few of those, I thought I had variance figured out in this game but this is really an eye opener at how sick this game can get.

All in all, I don't care so much about the money, rather its the toll it takes on your confidence. Even though I'm pretty confident in my game and its a bit irrational to assume that after 4 years I all of a sudden would become a losing player just like that, there's something in the back of your subconscious that really kills your drive which is IMO the hardest part of a downswing.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:01 PM   #9
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

I had two stretches in my career where I broke even for around 1k live hours (this does include some mtts however). The odd thing is that I still had pretty good years because it was balanced off by God mode. In live cash 500 hour breakeven stretches arent that uncommon and seem to come about every few years or so for me. Currently online I have 130k hand break even stretch running 40 buyins under ev on a particular site. Whenever you think things can get worse remember there are multiple layers to hell and it can and will go deeper (if not this time, then next time you run bad).
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:58 PM   #10
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

What if you were just on a heater when you thought you were winning and your “downswing” is just actually normal
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Old 01-24-2019, 04:50 AM   #11
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

Quote:
Originally Posted by apology7 View Post
I had two stretches in my career where I broke even for around 1k live hours
thats really sick, big downside of playing live

Quote:
Currently online I have 130k hand break even stretch running 40 buyins under ev on a particular site
I had a 200k b/e stretch online before but was mass-tabling back then so it only lasted like 2 months

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolposting2016 View Post
What if you were just on a heater when you thought you were winning and your “downswing” is just actually normal
At this point I've got more than 4m hands over which I've won, most of which were in tougher games. I'm running around 30-40 buyins bellow all in ev (losing at a lot more than that), statistically missing a **** ton of sets and if there was a way to determine overall card distribution in relation to boards I'd be willing to bet I've ran crazy bad with that also, its possibly selective memory but after playing millions of hands you can just sort of feel when practically every flop in any 3b pot is completely screwing you.

It would be weird to just all of a sudden snap into a losing player just like that. I try to be not egotistic about it and I'll admit I've made many mistakes which doesn't help the situation but in terms of skill there's just no way in hell I'm outmatched vs this player pool, I'd probably be willing to bet my life on that.

I try and rebuild confidence each session by studying and I try to not go into it with a negative outlook but at this point I'm kind of proud of my downswing in a sick sort of way, kind of like "I bet mines bigger than yours". It does make me feel better tbh when I hear someone say they've gone on 1k-hour losing stretch because I think like if they can get through it alive then so can I.
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Old 01-24-2019, 02:47 PM   #12
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

not hitting sets is a big factor in downswings, also, during my downswing I started playing really really bad and out of character, just spewing, but I can think of some gigantic pots where I made a mistake, so sometimes it's amplified by not playing well on big hands
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:31 AM   #13
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

Your downswing is within how many standard deviations of your expected win rate? Mason's book, Gambling Theory and Other Topics is a good source for figuring this out. Why would this be helpful for bolstering your confidence and even possibly helpful in assessing your play? Well for one thing say that the analysis of your downswing reveals that this is a semi-rare occurrence that happens 15% of the time. Well that would help me because I would know even though it is unlikely that it happens on occasion and in the long run things will get better. If for no other reason than the mathematical relationship between sample size, standard deviation, and win rate will dictate that it does.

On the other hand if your analysis reveals that this is a 1 in 1000 then your win rate almost certainly isn't what you think it is. Which means you need to plug some leaks and your competition has probably gotten tougher.

You may have done this already but if not I think you should FWIW
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Old 01-27-2019, 03:06 AM   #14
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

Less poker more life imo. Be grateful for your position. Don’t feel sorry for yourself, you’re doing better than literally millions of people not to compare but to put things into perspective.

Poker will always be there, spend your money, travel, enjoy and when you finally realize how truly lucky you are, start the grind w appreciation and gratitude in mind. Also should workout/eat healthy. Don’t do drugs but a little weed can help. Just my two cents take it for what it’s worth.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:33 PM   #15
LordRiverRat
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)



Currently on my third 200 hour+ break even stretch. Biggest downswing was $2200. This is almost all 1/2 and 1/3.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:51 PM   #16
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

7 years and counting. i was a hobbyist for most of them.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:25 PM   #17
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

To give a little bit of more relevant answer.

I had met an aquantaince who was a full ring 200nl grinder on PS 8yrs ago. He had around 8 million hands at the time, a proven winner. He said he had a 500k hand breakeven stretch which was his worst "downswing". He was a SNE.

I played live with him for many hrs. He was definitely a winner.
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Old 04-15-2020, 01:27 AM   #18
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

Any update from OP on the downswing?
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Old 04-15-2020, 09:26 PM   #19
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

I played for a living for 14 years 1 month. And during that time my 2 biggest downswings were almost identical. 18.5ish buy ins over 3ish weeks. I played a total of 10-12ish million hands during my career. (my biggest/sharpest downswong was 5/10 6m NLHE on party poker where I lost $11K in 500 hands, quit for the day, and then the next week I lost another $7.5K)

I played a very tight hyper agro style, and most of it was online full ring where I constantly table selected/site selected. The games were SOFT AF and the variance was minimal.

After a 20 month break (I've just been working on my businesses) I'm back as a hobbyist. I've only been playing for a month, but since I'm only playing 2-3 days a week I'm sure I'll experience crazy downswings in both length of time and I've been playing a lot looser so that'll lead to some swongs.

During downswongs make sure to take a break, and do something physical (go for a run, lift weights, train some jujitsu, whatever, just get the body exhausted)....ohhhh, and make sure to meditate. Sounds like stupid hippy ****, but it works.
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Old 05-05-2020, 05:31 AM   #20
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

I used to multi table about 100k hands per month a while back. I think that the sample size you are referring to is quite large. There must be a flaw there somewhere.
70k hands isnt the largest but still decent enough. BY the sounds of it playiing 3.5m hands you just need a tweak that is getting exposed now.

Not hitting sets is one thing but shouldnt determine your pnl over time. Your value comes from being a better player in marginal situations. These add up over time and you big hand tend to take care of them selves.

I would take a break for sure.Mentally you sound exhausted. Dont look at poker for at least a couple of weeks.
Also maybe drop down a level or two when you return just to build confidence.
Maybe it will only take a few small tweaks in your game to get back to being profitable.
Agree speaking to respected players will also help but the answers will lie in the statistics for sure.

I think this is a solid post as confidence can affect everyone. Good Luck
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Old 05-17-2020, 01:43 PM   #21
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Re: what was your longest downswing/break-even stretch? (proven-winners only)

I've had two losing months in about two and a half years of full-time live play (1/3 --> 2/5 --> 2/5 & 5/10 "shots" --> 1/2 5-card, 2/5, and 5/10 mixed in), and one BE month. My worst month (-$3.5k) was actually when I had the most experience and was technically a better player, and while it sucked a lot I kept in mind all the run good leading up to that point and the long term. Short-term variance is just that, unless you let it spiral into something worse (see Czech Rays' post). My longest BE stretch was 1.5 months or so or about 350 hours (that is the losing month plus the previous winning month). These numbers will probably vary wildly depending on an individual's psychology, tilt-resistance, and fundamental skill level. Keep your physical and mental health in good shape, study to keep your mind sharp, talk hands over where you think you made a mistake. Gl.
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