We have all been on what seems like a never ending downswing, I am no exception it happens … nothing seems to be going right whatever I try. My dominating hands don’t stand up and the river seems to kill me if the turn doesn’t.
Seriously at that moment it feels like I couldn’t win a shin kicking contest against a visually impaired one legged man … And I guess I’m not the only who’s been here.
When nothing is going right and your bankroll is in freefall the single most important thing to do when your drowning in the depths of a downswing is to …
Take time out to think – HONESTLY
There are two simple possibilities why you’ve found yourself in bad streak or a downswing …
1) Your actually not that good a player
In reality you’ve either ridden a combination of good luck and reasonable play to build a decent bankroll that your now seeing disappear – restoring you to at best a break even player.
Or you’ve really ridden your luck and briefly defied the poker odds and not much more and your now going to payback for your lucky play in buckets in the “downswing” when in reality its just your total lack of skill and the better players winning their money back from you …. the “lucky donk”.
2) Your actually a good or at worst a better than break even player
You’ve either genuinely gone “card dead” and / or your genuinely getting sucked out while selectively playing the best poker hands seemingly consistently losing to worse hands.
Even though you might be a genuine winning player the “luck” factor of other players is winning out against you for the moment. You could have previously had both the “rub of the green” with a good portion of luck AS WELL as a fundamentally sound game.
Bill Fillmaff – Don’t blame it on the suck out – with AJ puppy feet
Interestingly the solution whichever type of player you are is to …
Take time out to think – HONESTLY
For essentially bad players who have got lucky and now they’re poor play is earning them what its worth the solution is simple …
Luck is temporary but class is permanent
So work on your game, read as much poker strategy as you can and develop at the very least a solid tight aggressive game and understand the rank & poker hand odds – stop relying on luck & see it doesn’t last.
However for the essentially winning profitable player with at least an above break even game – dealing with a down-swing can be more tricky
IF you’ve honestly looked at your game and you know its fundamentally solid then you need to look at why this isn’t working anymore …
And I would bet that one of the things affecting your bankroll is that you’ve let a minor down-swing get to you …
As a result what could have been a bit of a cold has turned into full blown flu, with you losing all confidence in your abilities to fight of the fever.
Your really need to look at how your playing NOW and honestly think is that really how I used to play when I was winning ?
I suspect that like me … You had a bad run of cards, lasting too long to make sense and then you’ve lost your mental edge, your feel for the game and that has just made things a whole lot worse.
Because now instead of being able to get your game back on track you’ve decided nothing seems to be working and so your game suffers en more than you’d realised … Get your game back on track.
So that’s it – The end of the down-swing ?
Well no, probably not
It’s really important to recognise that there really isn’t any reason why luck / bad luck or a good cards and bad cards have to run in short evenly distributed runs … so a down-swing could be a genuine run of bad cards and bad luck and it doesn’t HAVE to follow the rules of probability over the short or medium term despite what your poker odds calculators tell you … after all how can we define short or long term ?
That doesn’t mean probability is nonsense – it just means you cant set it a fixed short term boundary.
Yes over the long term flipping a coin should produce a roughly even distribution of heads and tails – but there is nothing, absolutely nothing in the laws of probability that says you couldn’t throw 30 heads then 20 tails then 20 heads … at this point the score is 50 / 20 way off “probability” … but then the next 20 could come tails.
The point is if you’ve played for 3 years with pretty reasonable above break even results and then hit a 4 month run of “bad luck” or a down-swing, think how long it could last to get you back to break even over the longer term … Don’t think I cashed out x every month and now I’ve blown my bankroll.
In conclusion – Don’t give up, pull yourself together
Nobody knows what cards are coming, you could have a run of 6 months of bad cards & bad luck but one thing is for sure no amount of getting tilted and negative about it, allowing your previously reasonable game to get all beaten out of shape will change the cards or bad luck …
The good player will check their game, stick to it & ride the downswing out to the other side ready to make hay when then cards come back.
The most important thing in a down-swing is to make SURE your game is at its best and not suffering compounding the down-swing and making it seem to last long than it has to.
The only other thing to add is that it’s not because of this or that site, rigged cards or anything else – At the moment I’m pretty sure that I could play a sub par game and make my own “bad luck” at any of the sites I play at …
With some work hopefully I will get myself out of the self for-filling downward spiral of the downswing – whether that break through happens at Fulltilt or one of the other site I play is anyone’s guess but its definitely down to me to sort my game so I’m not making the downswing last any longer than it has to.