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Old 02-27-2016, 07:24 PM   #1
mrno1324
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Mental game + downswings

I recently started building my bankroll at 2NL and I got from 20$ to 90$ in 3 weeks (goal is to get to 100$ to switch to 5NL), but last few days I've been running extremely bad.
I could barely pick up a half decent hand and as an example almost every time I finally flopped two pair villain had a set. Another example would be when dealing with a maniac I 4bet KK, got called, flop came JJ9, I shoved, got called with AK and he rivered an ace. Similar scenarios have happened to me so many times in the last few days.
Anyway I know that's variance and I'm not making excuses but all this gets me really tilted and then I guess a combination of tilt and bad luck made my bankroll decrease exponentially to 70$. I keep losing my stacks to complete donks over and over again on bad beats. These players are very exploitable and I should be winning their money easily and I get so frustrated when their bad play gets rewarded. Just to paint a picture these are guys who shove on every third flop or shove 2$ into a 8c pot. And then after they do something like this they call me a fish which gets to me. I know it's childish but I can't help it.
This is my first downswing so I'd like to learn about what a downswing and experiencing bad variance consists of. Eg when you have a PP you're supposed to hit a set 1 in 8 times on average, right? I would have 40 or so PPs none of which would make a set. Same with draws which you're supposed to hit 1 in 3 times on average. Would this and all other examples be classified as bad variance/downswing or would you say this is fairly normal and I've just been on a heater during my winning 3 weeks?
The result of all this is me now being completely off my game. I can't help playing hands I know I shouldn't or trying to outplay calling stations when I know I should just give up.
Do you have any advice on how to deal with all this and get my head back in the game?
Thanks
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Old 02-27-2016, 07:43 PM   #2
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Re: Mental game + downswings

Focus on your decisions, not your outcomes. Did you play each of those situations correctly?

Don't get it in your mind that you are running bad. Your belief will alter your perception, and this will alter your game until you are playing fearfully, at which point you are done.

Playing against bad players, you not only have to accept that they will win occasionally, you should be overjoyed, as it keeps bad players in teh game.
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:36 PM   #3
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Re: Mental game + downswings

When you get better, you'll be happy to have people calling you a fish. When you understand that the game requires people to "get there" in order to keep the games fed, it won't bother you so much.
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Old 02-28-2016, 04:24 PM   #4
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Re: Mental game + downswings

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Originally Posted by mrno1324 View Post
Do you have any advice on how to deal with all this and get my head back in the game?
Jared Tendler's articles and books on the mental game have some proven strategies for dealing with the various types of tilt.
I found his first book quite helpful, but I generally just take time off if I'm in a "I hate poker" kind of mood. Unless poker is your sole source of income, you're allowed to go and do other "fun" things for a few days. Tilt can't subside if you keep playing constantly, so I'd recommend taking a break just to clear your head. After a few days, you might find your thought processes will be much clearer, and you'll actually look forward to each session.
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Old 02-28-2016, 06:50 PM   #5
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Re: Mental game + downswings

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Originally Posted by ArtyMcFly View Post
Jared Tendler's articles and books on the mental game have some proven strategies for dealing with the various types of tilt.
I found his first book quite helpful, but I generally just take time off if I'm in a "I hate poker" kind of mood. Unless poker is your sole source of income, you're allowed to go and do other "fun" things for a few days. Tilt can't subside if you keep playing constantly, so I'd recommend taking a break just to clear your head. After a few days, you might find your thought processes will be much clearer, and you'll actually look forward to each session.
that is some really good advice. assuming that your full time job is not playing poker if you are running bad and tilting just take a few days off or weeks however long it takes for you to get your mind right and cool down. losing is very frustrating and can lead to you losing even more money than you actually started losing in the first place constantly trying to win back your money. when i first started playing of course i was a losing player probably lost about 1k before i started winning.. after losing 1k without a single withdraw i took a few months off came back and started with a nice a bankroll and i have been winning ever since.
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:35 PM   #6
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Re: Mental game + downswings

Thanks for the help guys. I'll take all of your advice.
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:17 AM   #7
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Re: Mental game + downswings

First post in 2+2 and its about my horrible game, how embarrassing.

I have been playing poker for many years over a number of sites available to us here is Australia. I have run and owned my own poker business and have even had the pleasure of sending winners to WSOP.

I have had a few cashes online (even though they are quite small) and have not had a significant cash since my last withdrawal from PS. I find it odd that over the years I have had many cashes but to run into such a big downswing after a bigger cash out just doesn't feel right.

As such I began to read many poker books purchased from here and drawn from them what I can, however, armed with the new knowledge and how to apply it I have seen NO improvements. Not a single cash in a big tournament.

Now I'm stuck.

Such a bad downswing and seem to be getting beaten at critical points in tournaments by shyt cards...I just don't know what to do. I know the game speaks of variance but this is just getting beyond a joke. I had looked at the previous post where the question was asked "Did you play each hand correctly?" - It's hard to say. While using the example of KK vs. AK on a JJ9 board to get beaten by an ace on the river - one would think that is the right decision or the correct way to play the hand, still didn't change the outcome.

My player name on PS is: JITZ FITZ
Feel free to look at my graph of shame.
I have no problems with people tearing my stats apart or telling me what a horrible player I am - It's only temporary, I plan on improving.

What would be the suggestion from here other than stop playing poker?

Last edited by FishyFitzy; 02-29-2016 at 12:23 AM. Reason: Forgot put in my question
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:49 AM   #8
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Re: Mental game + downswings

OP, a 10 BI downswing is the merest gentle foretaste of the world of pain poker has to offer you. It's good that you're getting your teeth kicked in now, when all its cost you so far is $20 and maybe a computer mouse or two.

Take a couple of days off, remind yourself that it's the price of a pizza, not a big deal. Turn chat off if people calling you a fish is going to tilt you.

Some people rate the ability to cope with downswings as the single biggest factor standing between success and failure at poker. I know that it feels absolutely ridiculous at the time, like some malevolent diety is out to get you. It will pass.
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:32 PM   #9
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Re: Mental game + downswings

Lol fitzy i play pokermania gt's in sydney. Who are you?
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:13 PM   #10
The_Kid_Stu
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Re: Mental game + downswings

Think about it this way its only 2NL you arent losing a boat ton of money. So don't beat yourself up about it we all know its extremely frustrating you just have to move on. Other night i was running pretty deep in a MTT and shoved with KK with about 13 BB left. Guy shows J 10 off.. i laugh it off and say to myself i got him destroyed this is a easy double up and then he rivers a straight. It made me feel sick to my stomach how in the F*** does that happen.. you play poker long enough you deal with these things and move on.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:22 PM   #11
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Re: Mental game + downswings

Eventually you'll go into every session/day knowing you're gonna get sucked out on at some point. Today I lost AA to AK aipf. Flop Q3J, I knew the T was coming and it did on the river. Closed Pokerstars and got something to eat. It's annoying but you can't influence the cards dealt. One thing I can take away from the AA < AKs hand is the fact I stopped playing immediately, because I knew it tilted me. Having had a session where everything seems hard work, to have that happen, I knew I'd be thrown off my A game.

One goal for a beginner should be to not play tilted and to try and pick up on situations and your own behaviour as to when it's best to quit, before your play is drastically affected by a bad mood.

Up until the AA < AK loss I was playing at a level where I was confident was near to if not , A game. After the hand, there's just no way I'd have kept that level of play up. So basically I've still played A game in the session (which is all we can do). I've just ran bad, which happens to everyone and can't be controlled.
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:06 PM   #12
mrno1324
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Re: Mental game + downswings

Thanks again for the help guys. I have an update. I was feeling good today and started playing. Third hand I make top set with 66 and get it in vs a guy on the flop. He turns a set of 9s. lol. This has got to end some time.
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Old 02-29-2016, 03:31 PM   #13
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Re: Mental game + downswings

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Originally Posted by mrno1324 View Post
Thanks again for the help guys. I have an update. I was feeling good today and started playing. Third hand I make top set with 66 and get it in vs a guy on the flop. He turns a set of 9s. lol. This has got to end some time.
thanks for the update OP - tough break on the set
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Old 02-29-2016, 04:47 PM   #14
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Re: Mental game + downswings

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Originally Posted by mrno1324 View Post
Thanks again for the help guys. I have an update. I was feeling good today and started playing. Third hand I make top set with 66 and get it in vs a guy on the flop. He turns a set of 9s. lol. This has got to end some time.
The only way it will end is if you stop playing poker. Get used to variance and learn to deal with it well. IMO when most people think they are running "normal" they are actually running hot. Suckouts and bad beats never end. If you do what you can to improve your mental game and just focus on playing your A game you will come a long way as a poker player.

Do your best to make good decisions and let the variance take care of itself because the swings never end as long as you continue to play. If you accept the emotions of happiness/excitement when you are winning, your brain has no choice but to accept the opposite of that when you are losing.

edit- Also if it tilts you when people talk **** in the chat you might want to turn your chat off. I have my chat turned off for just that reason.
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Old 02-29-2016, 05:58 PM   #15
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Re: Mental game + downswings

Sometimes you just have to fold good hands if there is a lot going on the board that can beat you. Say you got a pair of A's on a flush,straight draw flop. There's so much that can beat you even 2 pair so don't feel bad about giving up a good hand sometimes. I think the worst feeling in poker is when you shove with a really good hand and then get sucked out by some donky hand that's not worth a crap.. it hurts ...... alot. And they you tell yourself why the hell would he shove with a KQ when you have AA or AK and somehow the KQ makes it on the river.. smh
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Old 02-29-2016, 06:03 PM   #16
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Re: Mental game + downswings

'A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor'
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:08 PM   #17
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Re: Mental game + downswings

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'A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor'
amen
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