It’s always easy to stick with poker and think that you’ve got everything solved when you’re running good. But what about those times where your pocket kings lose twice to lesser preflop pairs in the same session? Or how about when a total LAG rivers a full house to beat your nut flush….on a hand they should have folded on the turn no less?
When you’re hit with several bad beats in a short span, and you start losing lots of cash game buy-ins, it can be really difficult to continue playing. But every player deals with variance, and if you’re taking the necessary steps to become a better player, you’ll eventually start profiting again. Until then though, here are a few poker tips for handling downswings.
Review Questionable Hands/Situations
Not every move you make during a downswing can be attributed to bad luck. Sometimes you could be making bad plays in questionable situations and not even realize it. That said, it’s always helpful to go back and review your sessions to find hands where you were forced to make a tough play. Furthermore, you should post some of your hand histories to forums and see what other players have to say.
Move down to a Limit you’ve beaten
Just because you’re playing against weaker competition does not mean a poker downswing will automatically end. However, you can restore any lost confidence by moving down to a limit that you’ve already beaten and playing here again. Hopefully you’ll win some money in the process, but sometimes it’s just nice to reassure yourself that you can still play the game well.
Consider your Sample Size
When you lose 5-10 buy-ins at a certain cash game limit, there’s a tendency to hit the panic button. But if you’ve only played 5,000 hands or less, you don’t have a large enough sample size to consider yourself in a big downswing. Instead, you could merely be a victim of bad variance, and with more hands, you’ll eventually come out of the bad streak.