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Old 04-18-2017, 01:12 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 48
How to determine if you are running bad or just bad?

Hi all,

I've been wondering about this lately as I've been playing a lot more live poker and generally I've been able to have some OK sessions. I just try to maximize the profits in good spots and minimize the losses in tough ones. However, lately I've really hit a downswing and psychologically there is a lot going on right now.

I typically play $1/$2 NLHE and buy in for 150. I can usually come away with $100 or $200 profit (on a good night) from a 6 hour session. However, lately I've just been hitting some really bad spots. I'm really questioning whether I should continue playing because frankly if making $100 over 6 hours is the norm then it's pretty pointless to even sit down. I do enjoy playing poker, I suppose that goes without saying. Now that I'm starting to lose a bit of money it's had a few strange effects...
  • I want to play more because I believe I have been 'getting my money in good' and the variance will change soon.
  • I care LESS about the $ value of the money. I've started to think of it as having little importance in the grand scheme of things and the MONEY factor doesn't phase me. Could this be a positive turning point?
  • I now expect to lose pots even when I have strong hands, I just assume the other player will catch their flush/straight/whatever on the turn or river.
  • My bankroll is now down to 10 buy-ins and I'm wondering if it will go down to 0 and then what will I do?

A few pretty sick beats have resulted in this... Without going in to too much detail I'll put forth these examples:
  1. Pocket Kings. Flop K-6-7. Raised half-pot on the flop. Turn 8. Opponent all-in. Lost to 4-5.
  2. Pocket Aces. Flop 8-6-3. I had raised 15 BB pre-flop. Opponent raises 25bb on the flop. I shove all in (80bb total). Turn is a 9. River a brick. Opponent shows 8-9.
  3. Pocket Aces. Raise 4bb pre-flop. Six callers. Flop is 6-4-7. Opponent puts me all in (and one other). Turn is an 8. Opponent shows 7-5.
  4. Pocket Jacks. Opponent raises 6bb. I shoved all in (maybe this was stupid). He calls with AQ. Flop comes Q-x-x... I lose. Fair enough, that was a flip.
  5. AQ suited after I've lost a lot of my stack and feeling tilted. One player shoves all in ($80), another calls, I call. One of them has A-4, the other pocket Jacks. Pocket Jacks hold.
  6. AQ suited vs pocket 5's. I 3bet to go all in pre-flop with a shortstack of about 30bb. Two Aces on the flop. Opponent rivers a 5.
  7. Pocket Aces vs pocket 7's. All in. Opponent catches a 7 on the flop.
  8. AK vs 10-3. All in. Opponent catches a 3.
  9. A-9 vs K-5. All in. Opponent catches a 5.
  10. KK vs A-9. All in. Opponent catches an Ace.
  11. Pocket 6's. Flop is 4-5-7. I shove. Opponent shows 8-6. (A 3 came on the river).
  12. Pocket Jacks. Opponent raises 4bb pre-flop. I call. Flop is 5-5-8. Opponent raises 20bb, I shove all-in. He shows Q-5. Who raises 4bb pre-flop with Q-5?

I could go on for a long time and maybe these can just be written off as bad beats and variance and whatever, but it's all starting to add up now. My pocket pairs never hold up, my AK-AQ type hands lose to pocket pairs. It's just all going wrong.

I'm playing against some really awful players sometimes and they all just seem to catch their flushes on the river, or full house, or straight... It's demoralising. You give them bad odds to call, they call anyway - and get there. When you see someone sit down and their first hand is pocket T's and the board comes 6-6-T and two of their opponents go all in, they instantly triple up, and then proceed to have an absolute HEATER of a night (literally saw a guy go from $150 to $1700 over 5 hours playing 1/2 recently), it makes me wonder if I am doing it wrong or this is just part of the game I need to accept.

In one sense I feel like giving up but then there is another side of me that is even more eager to throw chips on the table. I'm starting to wonder if this is a dangerous feeling because I don't know what to do if my bankroll runs out. Do I just take more money out of my savings to fund this journey that may not have a happy ending?

Sorry for the rant. I love poker.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:56 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: were the strong survive
Posts: 223
Re: How to determine if you are running bad or just bad?

Your problem is not bad run, you are making the type of mistakes that swing you read hang.
But you are better then them so why quit but you cnnot get the money to play as high as you would like.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:58 PM   #3
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Re: How to determine if you are running bad or just bad?

You could get the book small stakes holdem here at 2+2 it is limit but has plenty abu what you are saying so much so that you are quoting it without ever reading it.
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Old 04-26-2017, 05:09 PM   #4
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Re: How to determine if you are running bad or just bad?

Assume you are bad until other people who are not bad start to ask for your advice

Assume you are running good until other people start to tell you that you are running poorly
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Old 04-27-2017, 07:24 AM   #5
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Posts: 8,774
Re: How to determine if you are running bad or just bad?

It's not a case of if you go bust, but when. If you don't understand that 10 buys isn't enough of a roll for any level, then you are no better than an average player - at best. Here is another example of your poor understanding or poker:

Originally Posted by genio27 View Post
literally saw a guy go from $150 to $1700 over 5 hours playing 1/2 recently.
Did you also make a mental note during those 5 hours of guys who lost 1-2 buys and left? Of course not.
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Old 04-28-2017, 07:15 PM   #6
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 510
Re: How to determine if you are running bad or just bad?

I go by how long I self ban for

6 months am playing get in pre and hope

1 week playing well but took a bad beat.
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Old 04-30-2017, 03:07 PM   #7
Good Life
Join Date: Apr 2017
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Re: How to determine if you are running bad or just bad?

If you're getting it in good and lose frequently your running bad. If your getting it in bad frequently you're just bad.
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Old 06-20-2017, 12:54 PM   #8
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: The Great North East
Posts: 38
Re: How to determine if you are running bad or just bad?

I'm not the most experienced cash game player out there but if I may give you my 2 cents if it helps because I also play 1/2.
It seems to me, with a few exceptions of course, that you're committing your whole stack to too many coin flip situations.
I like to follow the old cliche of small pot with medium strength hand, big pot with monster hands. I counter becoming to readable by making some loose river calls if the price isn't to high. This gives the villains a false impression that you're lose and fishy causing them to give you action on your strong holdings.
Maybe I'll become a poker instructor when I grow up.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:42 AM   #9
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Re: How to determine if you are running bad or just bad?

Q1: What do you think your leaks are?
Q2: What have you done to fix your leaks?
Q3: What parts of poker have you investigated in your spare time, and what aspects would you like to investigate?
Q4: What specifically, and recently, have you learned about poker by other players or poker media?
Q5: How do you play differently when you are winning, and losing?
Q6: How much do you think people are inflicted by fate?
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Old 06-26-2017, 02:19 PM   #10
Cassius Chips
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 54
Re: How to determine if you are running bad or just bad?

Somebody recommended reading books on low-stakes NLHE. That's a good start.
Also the way those hands you listed played out, if during a live game, you may have some tells you're giving off that give away you're hole cards. Raising pre-flop and getting 6 callers might be a sign that they know you have a monster pair and are trying to crack your aces as a 3:1 dog know that you can't fold your "monster" and will pay off when they hit.
All in pre with JJ? You said it yourself: At BEST you're flipping against a strong calling range.
Maybe you're not a bad player when you're calm, cool and collected but something sets you off and little by little you start leaking chips until you're in full spew mode. Happens to the best of us.
10 buy-ins is NOT a healthy roll to keep playing at 1/2 especially with the type of loose players that frequent those games. Even if you really TIGHTEN up you can lose 4 or 5 of those buy-ins before things turn around.
If you live somewhere online poker is available, consider dropping down in stakes and playing micros. If you're good as you think you are, you should do fine with solid poker skills there. However, the games are a lot more difficult than live.
If you're set on playing live, then I would really take it back to the drawing board and examine your betting tells and game selection strategies.
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