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Old 01-29-2012, 08:13 AM   #1
Saxophone
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How do you get over massive losses ?

Hello,

I used to play pretty high stakes and lost my whole roll trying at shot at the nosebleed (~$500 000) ; its been more than a year now, i haven't played poker much but i still find myself not able to "mourn" the money I have lost. It's like it's still mine and i want it back. I cant manage to accept that its gone forever. I know it but there is still this idea inside me i can get it back by playing poker.

The truth is after losing that money i felt exactly like Matt Damon in Rounders. I had to stop or i would lose everything else, perhaps even myself. Except, i didnt lose 30K i've lost 500k, and as a student its a great difference. Above all for a philosophy student because that wasnt money earned to buy common goods, but money to buy my freedom. Money to be free to do what i want whenever i want.

Nowadays, i feel like im struggling mentally and financially. I wanna get back to poker to make a little money but i still have high expectations of myself having been a NL2K and 5K regular. I cannot manage to play those stakes but i find myself trying to get back over there. I dont want to. I dont want to live this very intense life anymore. But its still in my mind. I havent accept the fact that i have to move on with my life, move on with the idea of playing 5K NL again, move on maybe with the idea of playing poker again.

I feel ashamed also, don't know if you know the video of Steve jobs giving a speech at Stanford uni but i feel like he had been when he was fired from his own company. I'm disappointed in myself and i feel I have disappointed some of my poker friends.

I'm feeling guilty too. Guilty for having lost that much money in a very short time. Because it's my own fault, i could have move down in stakes after losing a few hundred k but i didn't.

There is a lot of bad feelings inside me, shame, guilt, i don't know how to get rid of them. Well, i sort of know, i have to move on, get over it, rebuild myself and create a new identity which wont be poker dependent.

Anyway, maybe some of few i've been where i am right now and if you have some advise for me, please do. Maybe you've been through an identity crisis too, because i think that's what it really is, i need your help to get back on my feet mentally.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:43 AM   #2
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

Few years ago i busted a 100k roll playing 5knl and i had to redeposit a montly amount off a few hundred $ a month when my salary came. Starting at 50nl/100nl i kept failing to get back to 1knl (where i felt i belonged), because of my 4 bi bankrollmanagement. At some point in time after maybe 7 months i managed to hit 1knl and rebuild my roll, but that was in 2007-2008 when games where so much softer. So i kind of get where you come from and i also get the feeling you probably have that you feel so incredibly stupid loosing live-changing money.

I think it def is not the way to go if you want to do it rationaly.

The most important thing by far is that you will have to accept that you are not a high stakes reg anymore. You are just like every other player playing 25nl aspiring to get there, you only have the (huge) advantage of your experience. So you will have to start thinking again as a low-midstake player and climb the limits again. And while climbing you will also make yourself cash out considerable parts of your winnings. Never again you want to be able to blow your poker account, having to start all over again.

Ones you've settled for the idea of being a low/midstake grinder i advice you to do one of the two idea's below.
- Play on one limit only and revise your limit ones every month. You can only increase your limit if you make a substantial cashout too. Maybe force some limit restrictions on yourself by making a bet or in the software. With your skill level (i guess) and your experience you should be going up in stakes really fast if you put in the volume and don't take unrational shots.
- Agree with one of your friends (you mentioned high stake friends) for a stake. For example play 250k hands 100nl and 200nl, and after these hands you split the winnings in halve. In this agreement you can agree on not ever playing higher and he can check up on you and it will be easier way to force yourself into keeping the grinding mode for a while. After these hands you will be left with a big enough bankroll to start playing 200nl/400nl and can slowly make your way up again.
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:53 AM   #3
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

Unless you are a multi millionaire, how could anyone "get over" losing 1/2 a million dollars, pounds, Euros?? In fact you should never "get over" this lesson, but try to use it as a guide to future behavior. You have been a BIG loser, don't let it happen again. It won't get any better if you continue the same patterns either. Get another career and play a lot of decent stakes poker for fun!
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:20 AM   #4
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

@Joeri Thanks for the Advices I dont want any stakes though, remember what damon said to his grinder frind "no thx, i'll just lose it all"

@Bene, well its just money... i know some people here lost alot against isildur1, im thinking jungleman for instance who made a very nice come back. Im not Jungleman though and i have not that inspiration of being a nosebleed player anymore (at least conscientiously).

People get over losing their grand mother, their father, their mom all the time, from my point of view it's the same. Its a question of mourning, though i would think its easier to move on from losing $500k than losing your mom or your dad (if your relationship with them is good of course)

Anyhow, of course im getting another career, i was never a full pro, i always had a foot in the poker world and another one at college. Now im a full time student, but those feelings are still there, sometimes i just wanna jump back into the game and i've already did it a few days ago as i needed some money.

It's very strange when you stop for a while, the more time i didnt play cards the more i didnt want to play again. The feeling of getting back was too unpleasant. However, i feel i have this skill i'm not using and its a waste, why not play msnl or ssnl? It would help me alot for financial purposes. I cant though because everytime i open the lobby in my mind as said joeri i dont consider myself as a msnl or ssnl player. Im wrong of course and i know im wrong but its there.

I really distanced myself from the community though, i learned about black friday like a month after ahah. I wouldnt go on 2+2 anymore because i wanted to move on. I got myself back in shape, im working out 4 days a week, got 12 hours of classes, i thought it would go but here i am making a thread about it. Even if im physically in good condition, mentally i'm not.

The more i think about it, the more i think i need a new hobby, a new passion, a career i can focus on as much i've focused on poker like krantz and what he is doing with his documentary and microlimits animations. As poker was with me for a long time, losing all this money was like losing a part of my identity, there is a hole i have to fulfill

Last edited by Saxophone; 01-29-2012 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:24 AM   #5
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

Close your eyes and imagine.

Last edited by ClassicalGuitar23; 01-29-2012 at 09:36 AM. Reason: believe in yourself
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:32 AM   #6
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

You don't sound like you are in that much trouble. When I said "don't get over it", I guess I really meant "never forget how bad it can get" and use the experience to avoid a repeat down the line. Very best of luck to you sir!
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:30 AM   #7
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

THC+ Its always sunny in philadelphia .
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

I would assume a large part of your difficulty is

1. Uncertainty
2. Ego


My advice below could serve to rectify those two things.

Make peace with the fact you are not getting that money back. Really do this. Don't even play poker again until you have done this.

Reevaluate your current financial and life situation.

Make sure your lifestyle reflects your current financial situation, assuming the worst. Do not try to be more baller than your non-poker friends. This is bad for many reasons.

I would suggest spending a significant amount of time pursuing something besides poker (in addition to poker if you want). Poker should not be a disproportionate amount of your success/failure ratio during this time. If this something leads to money it can also serve as a hedge if you do not pursue poker professionally. You could also so something as simple as volunteer work.

This will likely make money seem more valuable to you and give you a sense of greater security, which you really need to not tilt. It will make you not do stupid things at low/midstakes or feel like you MUST win a large amount in a short period.

I went through something similar and for me at least the earlier I would have understood these things the better.

PS Poker is not what it used to be. There are a TON of guys in the same situation as you, its just not widely talked about. There are also a TON of regulars making $60-$80K a year and will likely make that or less for their lifetimes as poker pros. Its just disproportionate the amount of people posting on 2p2 saying they are ballers because poker players are so ego driven.

Last edited by HeyEveryone; 01-29-2012 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 11:10 PM   #9
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

If you don't consider yourself a ssnl/msnl player, prove it to yourself by setting a winrate goal and achieving it. You might be surprised.
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:35 AM   #10
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

crying
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:41 AM   #11
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

I always stop playing 100/200 until I grind back up to having 250k online.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:56 AM   #12
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

cry myself to sleep then cut myself in the morning
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:58 AM   #13
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyEveryone View Post
I would assume a large part of your difficulty is

1. Uncertainty
2. Ego


My advice below could serve to rectify those two things.

Make peace with the fact you are not getting that money back. Really do this. Don't even play poker again until you have done this.

Reevaluate your current financial and life situation.

Make sure your lifestyle reflects your current financial situation, assuming the worst. Do not try to be more baller than your non-poker friends. This is bad for many reasons.

I would suggest spending a significant amount of time pursuing something besides poker (in addition to poker if you want). Poker should not be a disproportionate amount of your success/failure ratio during this time. If this something leads to money it can also serve as a hedge if you do not pursue poker professionally. You could also so something as simple as volunteer work.

This will likely make money seem more valuable to you and give you a sense of greater security, which you really need to not tilt. It will make you not do stupid things at low/midstakes or feel like you MUST win a large amount in a short period.

I went through something similar and for me at least the earlier I would have understood these things the better.

PS Poker is not what it used to be. There are a TON of guys in the same situation as you, its just not widely talked about. There are also a TON of regulars making $60-$80K a year and will likely make that or less for their lifetimes as poker pros. Its just disproportionate the amount of people posting on 2p2 saying they are ballers because poker players are so ego driven.
i am pretty much in the same situation as op, and i found this post to be really great.
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Old 01-30-2012, 10:49 AM   #14
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fees View Post
cry myself to sleep then cut myself in the morning
and also in the afternoon, other whise the morning cutting will be for nothing
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Old 01-30-2012, 11:21 AM   #15
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

grind nl 50
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:10 PM   #16
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oxygen View Post
I always stop playing 100/200 until I grind back up to having 250k online.
you must be a bumhunter then, cus 250k is no where near enough to play 100/200...
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:50 PM   #17
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

dont lose
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:58 PM   #18
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

First thing is to take a break and clear your mind. Instead of hopping back into a ring game, go somewhere without internet access and just read a book or go shoot hoops or go for a run. Stay away from the game for a while. Then, learn where the game fits into your life, not where your life fits into the game. It will take time to learn balance in your life but it does eventually come. A bad run like you had is no different than a bad divorce or loss of a loved one. It takes time, but eventually you will be able to move on. In the mean time, I recommend Single Malt.
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:06 PM   #19
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

If I lost a large amount of my bankroll playing mtts in a week, I would get over it by taking a few days off from mtts, building some momentum in sngs or cash games.... then setting a goal of winning an mtt in <7 days, <14 days, whatever, and take it from there. On days off I generally tend to do things like snowboarding, beach, super long workouts, insert pen15 into vagina, anything except sitting in front of the TV/computer mourning standard variance.

If I lost a large amount in cash games or sngs, I would reconsider the level/stake that I am playing in and try to reassess whether or not I am a winner. I had to have massive losses vs Bill Chen and Dario Minieri and other great HU sng players before I decided that I was not a hu pro, but just used that medium to improve the leaks in my game (and I still do). Also, there are certain cash games online that I know I just cannot beat without being fearless/over rolled.

You get over massive losses by being honest with yourself. One of the best players I know always tells me how bad he played Saturday or Sunday and how ashamed he was to have booted his stack in ____ tournament or ____ cash game. "I just made such a bad fold. OMG. I dont know what I was thinking. Ugh. It was so bad." But the guy straight up crushes. He recognizes when losses are due to variance or because he played bad or because he is not sophisticated enough to beat ____ game. Then he moves on.

You get over massive losses by being honest with yourself, creating new habits, goals to prevent massive loss from reoccurring(until you can afford said loss).
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Old 01-30-2012, 05:49 PM   #20
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

This may help you or get me flammed, but anyway, here is a different way to think about it.

Since you are a student, you may not realize it, but 500k$ is actually NOT life changing money.

Assuming no inflation and no interest to simplify the matter, assuming you have 50 years to live (I hope you will have much more, obviously) and assuming you don't spend some of it on a ridiculously expensive cars. 500k$ is just 10k/year for your whole life, or about 800$ / month. This is very far from enough for being set-up for life.

As a consequence, your loss actually did not change your life as much as you may think.

You were not so wrong to try to make much more by playing nosebleeds (since you had a chance to make true life-changing money) and you would still have to find a job (or continue grinding) had you decide to deposit it.

In a nutshell: either you want to be a pro-grinder and it's the first of a (likely) long series of tough losses, or you want to have a different job, and this loss does not change anything.

This may even help you find your way, actually.
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:17 PM   #21
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jungleman View Post
crying
is massive trolling a way to overcome uncertainty nowadays?
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:24 PM   #22
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

Its tough man, I have blown mid 6 figures rolls twice (not on poker or in sports, but in leveraged equity plays) , the first time , It did not affect me as i was 22 and other than taking a week off to regroup as i thought it was easy come , easy go. Then it happened again recently , and now it has hit me hard, as i was used to a certain lifestyle . I have given up my biggest leak (stocks) (well no choice now actually, lol) and have take a very low paying , low stress job while i regroup . I have recently started playing cards again , so i am easing myself into it. I guess my advice is, dont rush back into things, do something different for a little while. you might need to recharge.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:38 PM   #23
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by planB_ View Post
is massive trolling a way to overcome uncertainty nowadays?
not to intrude or anything but given the thread title
Quote:
How do you get over massive losses ?
and his answer
Quote:
crying
I wouldn't really call it trolling.

In fact you could probably go a step further and say that he's even making a point as a known elite player to say that he too has massive losses and that it's natural to be unhappy -> cry -> recover. Just gotta read between the lines.
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:12 AM   #24
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

You have to create a plan to get it back. And that plan does not necessarily have to include poker.
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Old 01-31-2012, 09:59 AM   #25
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Re: How do you get over massive losses ?

hey I've cried maybe like twice in my career from [i]really[//i] bad loses, tears show how you really feel
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