How do you cope?

    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,086
      The hardest part of Limit Holde'm is to stay out of mental institutions.

      Today I'm at 59BB/100.

      That is, I'm at minus 59BB per hundred played hands. Five or six hundred awful hands of Limit Hold'em. This is mental torture.

      I try to play well. But there is always a bunch of players at the table that don't. They take down the pots. The small ones, the big ones, and, of course, the intermediate ones.

      Limit Hold'em is fun to analyze, it is fun to think about, but it isn't fun to play. It's only frustrating. The guy limping every hand under the gun has roughly the same chance as you have to win over, say, 1000000000000 hands. It would be different if you played 1000000000000000000000000000000 hands. Then you might be a little bit better off than the limper. Unless you are unlucky. Or, unless you tilt. Then you are fried over 1000000000000000000000000000000 hands too.

      I try not to let this affect my game, but after a few hundred lost BB in a day it is getting at me, and I play worse. Unlike my opponents, I don't automatically become a big winner when I begin to slip and play K2 offsuit for a double bet.

      Question: How do you stay sane during a session?

      This is perhaps a question belonging in the "Learn to Win" forum or elsewhere, but I feel that this phenomenon is so peculiar to fixed limit play that I want to ask here. It's not like losing your lifes savings with AA vs KK one hand and avoiding suicide. It's not like losing a WSOP final table bubble to a 1-outer river rat. This is worse. This is prolonged torture.

      It's not the money. (I play micros now.) It's that I feel like smashing something. The whole time. Constantly. I can't play. After my horrible day I decided to calm down by playing just one more session to show myself that i can control myself. First hand, AQ in BB. One limper, blah blah blah... He showed a full house ,Jacks full of deuces. I smashed my mouse. Fortunately, I have a spare mouse.

      What to do?

      I know that i can beat this game up to $1/$2 and perhaps $2/$4. I am completely sure. If it wasn't for my tendencies to tilt. Well, tilt isn't the right word. It's more like frustration building up steadily during the sessions.

      Would you recommend heroin or crack cocaine? Before the session, during the session, or after the session?
  • 32 replies
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,913
      I think that you need to revisit the whole thing.

      You MUST enjoy the game in order to stay sane. If you are not enjoying it, stop and re-consider -- study some articles, watch some videos.

      Post the AQo vs J2 full house in the hand evaluation forum.
      In fixed-limit you are exploiting very narrow advantages, so you have to be careful to get the hell out of Dodge when you don't have the advantage.
    • Dawnfall26
      Dawnfall26
      Black
      Joined: 30.07.2008 Posts: 3,116
      Cocaine would be my choice but may be -EV as it is quite expencive. For low stakes prolly some shitty crack should do the job. Heroin may seem like a good investment but it may cloud your judgment in those close spots.

      But seriously... interesting thread,maybe worth of a few words...

      1.If you play micros and you are loosing badly (by badly I mean -1BB/100 or more) over 20k hands you are almost for sure doing something terribly wrong and you have to improve

      2.If you have 50k hands or more and you are loosing more than 0.5BB/100 you are prolly still have to work on your game a lot

      3.if you are marginal looser after 50k+ hands you can easily be marginal winer.This is spot most low stakes player are jamering about. Difference between a marginal looser or a marginal winner(+-0.3BB/100) is sooo soooo very small and variance plays a huge roll.If with such capabilities you are playing small amount of hands you are basically gambling as you can easily be under 0 for huge amount of hands which with small amount of play you will never overcome.

      4.Fact is(Ive been there and occationaly when Im teaching someone still visit these stakes) that microstakes are very very beatable. So you do not want to be a marginal winer after 50k hands but a big one.You want to be at least 1,5BB/100 winner and that is easily achievable.People are bad there,yes they do draw you out on 1 outer even multiple times in a row but believe me its much better to play against a guy who is making tons of math errors than vs strong players who will not do that

      So if you want to klimb up in stakes your goal should not be a marginal winner on microstakes as it will definatelly not allow you to beat small stakes.Your plan is to be a big winner and if you are a big winer(1,5BB+/100) you will not be having huge periods of loosing streaks and will make your winning to be more consistent. So if you are not a big winner watch vids,read forums,read articles,play with equilator,analyse your sessions as there is ton of thing for you to improve and whining that FL is just variance on microstake is just not true and kinda self excuse for your failings so that you dont feel that bad...not meant to be negative but positively critical...

      But yes,if you want to make money in FL obviously microstake and even lower lowstakes will not do the trick. You have to play at least 2/4 to make a living.Maybe there is someone who will prove me wrong but I think vast majority pro players play 2/4+.

      If you are there,yes games get thougher and imo they are at its thoughest now but I dont really see them getting much harder since bad players will always be around. Here you will have a choice to either become RB pro(which I dont say is wrong as main and basically only goal for me in poker is to make money...therefore if you make more you are better than me) which will basically freeze your skill level and you will end up beeing one of those before mentioned marginal win/lose-ing players but with RB there is still a lot of money at your hand. For me personally I could never be like that.

      Second option is to constantly try to better your game and try to get as high as you want.Or at least play on same stakes but with highest possible winrate you can achieve.This path seems a lot more motivating for me, there is way less playing which can be frustrating but on the other hand downswings can last longer(in term of days) and for many its much harder to deal with.

      So yes,higher you climb,thougher it gets.And what does thougher really mean for a guy that is constantly working on his game.I guess these factors may be found...

      -way more strong players and way less really bad players therefore achievable winrates are now not that high anymore.Being anything 0.5BB/100+ winer is already pretty good and 1BB/100 is very very good

      -lower winrates mean higher variance that is now the kind that you are decribing....and yes bad downswing will come to everyone

      -More mental pressure once you start playing those 15/30+ stakes where you are not being under protection of RB anymore since rake starts to present way lesser % of pot than on those max raked limits.

      So now we finally get to...how to cope with it... and I will write another post tommorow as Im too sleepy atm:)
    • luckyme44
      luckyme44
      Bronze
      Joined: 31.07.2012 Posts: 30
      ^^^Dawnfall26:
      These are very wise words. I would like to chat with you more. You seem to have an excellent grasp of present day poker and I really enjoy the way you explain your point of view. Great post.

      To the OP: I would suggest reading articles in the Psychology and Didactics Strategy section. It has sheds some really great insight on the mental game of poker.. My personal favorite is Poker is not Dying- Your Mindset for a Successful Game..

      There's all kinds of good stuff in that section of strategy to help you with whatever mental blocks, Tilt, and frustration you inevitably have from time to time.
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,086
      Great post Dawnfall. I'll read it several times and think about your points for a while before I reply with follow up questions and a more complete picture of my problems at present.

      /Johan = :f_confused:
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,086
      @VorpalF2F
      I do enjoy the game. It takes ten minutes or up to an hour for me to feel like playing a new session because it's fun. What I'm really looking for is a way to enjoy losing as much as winning. It shouldn't be impossible.

      Theorem: Well played lost pots are as good as well played won pots. They are better than poorly played won pots.

      Proof: Fixed Limit play counts bets. A bet not lost count just as much as a bet won at the end of the day.

      @Dawnfall
      My BR (bonus hunting) is at a site where FL isn't played much. I still play some FL because I like it more than NL, and my $80 at Stars allow me to play $0.10/$0.20, and perhaps $0.25/$0.50 6-max. My plans are to get my FL game going, and to move up to $1/$2 fairly quickly. I have been there before, but haven't played much for a number of years. In order to even try this I have to get my present problem if not solved, at least eased a bit.

      Let's first state two facts in order to get rid of them for the sake of discussion:
      1.) Fixed Limit is a game with narrow edges for winning players and losing players alike.
      2.) I have plenty of leaks in my game.
      Point one is just a fact. The second point is partly irrelevant for this thread. A third fact:
      3.) I have been unlucky for some time. This third point is, of course, totally irrelevant for this thread. Nobody is never unlucky.

      I assure you that I'm not whining. Hell, I've even built a dedicated whinery, Yohan's Whinery, for that particular purpose.

      The part of the second point above that is irrelevant is lack of poker knowledge and understanding. Sure, I lack knowledge and understanding. But, I don't have a problem with this fact. This is why I play at all - to improve, and I enjoy spending time on reading articles, forums, wathching videos, playing with Equilab, etcetera. Most of all I enjoy thinking about the game and how to improve my play. I don't intend to live off of poker. I intend to become bloody good at it. That's quite different, although the required financial outcomes per 100 hands are identical.

      I am confident that the biggest leak I have is in a shady area between the technical and mental points. There are other leaks of course (like too loose 3-bets/isoraise pre-flop, too thin valuebetting, too tight in blinds, ...), but none of these leaks, at least not taken individually, or even in huge lumps, can possibly affect the outcome as much as my frustration during play.


      3.if you are marginal looser after 50k+ hands you can easily be marginal winer.This is spot most low stakes player are jamering about. Difference between a marginal looser or a marginal winner(+-0.3BB/100) is sooo soooo very small and variance plays a huge roll.If with such capabilities you are playing small amount of hands you are basically gambling as you can easily be under 0 for huge amount of hands which with small amount of play you will never overcome.

      This is probably where I'm at (limits up to $1/$2) right now taking everything into consideration. Marginally winning at $0.25/$0.50, marginally losing at $1/$2. (Haven't played much $0.5/$1 for some reason.)


      So you do not want to be a marginal winer after 50k hands but a big one.

      Yes, and I'm doing something about it now. I'm going to fix what I think is my biggest leak, and that leak is not coping with playing losing sessions vs bad opponents. I see mistakes made pretty much every two hands or so, so, yes, it must be possible to beat the game big time.

      Observations:
      1.) I start out sessions better than I end them. This is only human. More important is that losing sessions get magnified out of proportion due to frustration. Winning sessions rarely grow out of proportion to the same extent.

      2.) The frustration is not about lost money, lost single pots or bad single suck outs. It's about bad opponents. Not really personal or anything, but I sit there being amazed/frustrated over how badly they play still and win. My focus shift to, not the current pot, but how the whole session has turned out. This is where things begin to go wrong.

      3.) At this point (frustration, not tilt), there will inevitably be a hand where I become spewy. Example: Where I'd normally, say check-raise call (and leave it at that), I'll check-raise - cap.

      4.) Somewhere here I am the one that suddenly gets "attention" at the table. I mean, my opponents don't know how to play well, but they aren't idiots. They too will have noticed that I pay off, and they'll become tricky with me. I am now the fish at the table in everybody else's eyes than my own. (I'm still preoccupied with thinking about what the guy with J6 off was doing at all in the giant pot that he won.) From now on it is quite difficult to win even if I calm down. This is because my opponents happen to play pretty well (after the flop) against me (and me only).

      5.) Strangely, I don't care about losing sessions versus decent or good opponents. Even more strangely, I can tilt completely in winning sessions too vs bad players.

      6.) Important: I become quite frustrated if I make a few bad plays myself. You know, like why the hell didn't I bet one more time this and that hand and stuff like that. It lingers longer that it should in the background.

      /Johan = :f_confused:
    • Dawnfall26
      Dawnfall26
      Black
      Joined: 30.07.2008 Posts: 3,116
      first...

      ...yes I put it badly by saying that you need to live of poker. You said much better and its actually what I meant...to be able to play poker in such manner that you can make reasonable income and at the same time still making your BR bigger or keeping it the same.

      then to continue from where I left it...

      How do you cope...
      ...no easy answer from my stand point.Tbh I know that this side of this business is the one Im worse at. I deal pretty bad with downswings. I believe there can be no simple way how to deal with it since we are all different and not all aspects of it are equally important to us(at least psychologically speaking)....so here would be my story... I also have to say that at this point when Im writing this Im feeling pretty fine, therefore what I say is my realistic way of thinking(which has flaws!)

      Im playing this game as my main income since start of 2010 Ive manage to climb from 3/6 to 30/60 , playing it as a winning regular(have winrate at about 0,75 for 10/20+ stakes after a decent portion of hands) and in this period I can point out 2 major downswing periods.
      First one was still on 5/10 and it lasted about 5month. Again Im not the guy who plays ton of hands but that was the time when I was still considered myself grinding on pokerstars even though just 300kVPPs (lol,and he says a grinder:) ,dont mention this to some true SNE FL grinders as they will laugh ). It felt really bad and it was very depressing.Being what it seemed a highly winning play for the whole year,now I couldnt even win one single month. Good thing was that RB made a decent chunk so moneywise it wasnt really that bad(prolly just slightly below 0) but that was really demoralising for me. Ive had bad months before that and it was logical that not every singly month can be a winning one but then 5months in a row was wierd. I was seriously considering stop playing just for the fact that it all was damaging my personal life and when I was steming I was able to punch in the wall with my fist so that I nearly broke my hand,I was really self destructive. One good thing about all this is...and Im saying this when feeling good...is that I think I have this wierd capability that even when so pissed and sad,and crying,and screaming that when Im playing I dont spew sptupidly and I think that my game doesnt really change much.Sure it changes,it would be foolish to say it doesnt but what changes for me are those longterm things that change with my mood.I stop bluffing certain spots,start playing more ABC poker vs more people...stuff like that...I think still keeping poker reasosing in these times is what keeps me alive as if not, I doubt Id still be playing.

      Then all of a sudden downer stoped,it lasted around 100k hands and I was down somewhere around 500BBs .Then...2 winning months in a row and they just didnt stop.Life was all good again.I was climbing stakes and now I dont really play 5/T anymore (except on stars to keep my SN alive). I also now play on various networks and try my best at table selecting as its really very important. I also play much less than I used to,less tables, maybe lack of montivation that all these downers and bad periods cause, other things(I went back to finnish school and other stuff) and I dont really love poker as much as I maybe should. I love the teoretical approach but if I could be earning this much anywhere else Im pretty sure I have no problem switching.

      So this paradise lasted for almost 2 years now. Ive made it to 50/100 and just when I started to do really good it went really bad. It started at the start of sep(august have been my best month always though:) ) and yep at least 500BB down in 2 months(something like 40k hands). Thing is all that feelings that I learned in the previous downer...didnt really help.Its all the same,maybe even worse since money got bigger and RB doesnt cover it anymore. Ive been feeling really bad but fortunatelly Ive had a decent week so now Im fine. Its also,when I wake up next morning after loosing a loosing night I already feel a lot better.All it stays is that feeling in my head that I cant win anymore,Im just an idiot(basically depression). I know that punching in the wall and spliting my keyboard in 9,4 parts was retarted thing to do,but it happens and even though I now say that I will try not do it next time Im at the same time sure that it will still be happening. I guess it will be happening until I do something drastic or to get stable at some limit and get BR so big that I dont even care anymore.Like if I now loose at 5/10.

      So...I when Im feeling good like now, I know that if I want to play these stakes I need some thinking to do...

      ...I havent done it yet:) but will have to:)

      1.Im sure Im beating the stakes Im playing with the table selection Im having.I have no problem saying that there are players that I know are better than me.I try to avoid them and its totally fine.

      2.I know that I havent really been working on my game much in last year. Partly because of those other things that Im doing but still, I keep being active in these forums which forces me to think about spots even though most hands I evaluate are from lower stakes,still,reasoning is the same and also playing often just 1-2 tables I can think about hands just after I finish them.

      3.all in all I know I need to go back to watching some vids(these have given me the most in the past) and reevaluate my game as a whole at some point. Ive realised that I certainly have improved in various areas of this game playing these higher stake games(like not thinking too much about math anymore but more in terms of how to exploit certain habbits) but at the same time I started to play more generic in other ares,which is just the product of not working on your own game.

      So that would be my side in a nutshell,Ive been writing this very incoherant and I congratulate in advance anyone who reads it through and finds it interesting but I tried my best...:)
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,086
      Interesting story, and inspiring. You seem to have the ability to play well during a downswing, and I congratulate you for that. I can't.

      It's easier for me since I'm playing recreational poker. It's a matter of a fistful of dollars at most right now, and there is no pressure to win money. But at least I hope to clear the Full Tilt bonus when they open up without losing and without having to play more than max 2h/day, so I better shape up. Honestly, I suck right now. I either pay off in full or I am to wimpy to raise with almost nuts. Always the wrong choice. It used to be that I could almost see my opponents hole cards before in some sessions, not so any more.

      You know, even rats can learn. They are intelligent creatures. Press this button - pain. Press the other one - no pain. The random number generator has treated me in such a way as for me to believe that good is bad, and bad is good (if you see what I mean). This is not really whining, it's just meant to point out that bad runs, and probably good ones as well, makes you unconsciously believe that a certain play is correct when it in theory is not.

      My game is drifting from decent (at micros) to something else that is perhaps meant to adapt to bad players. It doesn't work of course, and it's not intentional on my part. I want to adapt a little bit according to my opponents tendencies, but it has flipped over and become too much.

      I'll do a couple of things until FT reopens. I'll play very little. I'll also play s l o w l y when the strange spots and big pots come up. Then an analysis in the replayer for every session. Hands I'm uncertain of (or plays in general), I'll ask about in the forum. I probably can't do anything more. I though about shooting a few of my opponents, but this is probably illegal. Besides, who would I play then?

      /Johan = :f_confused:
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,086
      Just for the record:



      I'll refrain from posting the last hand I played here because that would really be whining X( , but I will post it for evaluation.

      Now, when people talk about downswings, the numbers mentioned often range from 300 to 500 BB. And we are usually talking 50 000 hands. I'd say that you are amateurs. By 50 000 hands I'll be down at least 3000 BB if this goes on.

      Interestingly, since I've become concerned about this, (at around 2100 hands in the graph) things have turned worse. Perhaps it's best to just don't give a damned about it.

      /Johan = :f_confused:
    • taavi1337
      taavi1337
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.05.2009 Posts: 2,920
      Hey, how about a sweat session? I think I can help you and your game.. :) pm for skype if interested
    • sileekhunt
      sileekhunt
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.06.2010 Posts: 286
      what about different games/stakes? ohama or next level down in stakes?

      I throw in some hu hypers sngs or anything to add some interest.

      nice posts downfall
    • Avataren
      Avataren
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.04.2010 Posts: 1,621
      taavi1337 - give me a sweat session too for free PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE :D

      YohanN7 -

      First of I haven't read all of the long beautiful posts in this thread but, I have recently had 2 months of poker depression. and I'm like why do i even play anymore. My reason for this being I'm at least a 1.5 BB/100 winner at 5c/10c and break even slightly losing at 10/20c over half the sample which ranges from 30k hands at 10/20c and 100k at 5c/10c.

      But here it goes, How do you stay sane , well drugs isn't the answer. Neither Is studying the game, watching videos, reading articles. I honestly think in your state of mind it would make it all worse. You envy those who have written those good articles. You envy those who made the videos because we all know to make a video here you have to at least be able to beat the micros, which you seem to think you can't. It makes you frustrated "why can't I but they can"

      stuff like that I'm sure you have thought when smashing your mouse. Which obviously isn't a good thing. Yes Fixed Limit is full of bad beats in every stake you play. You say you are sure you can beat 1/2$ and perhaps 2/4$

      You can't do that. Not with the mouse smashing and being depressed showing a graph with only 3000 hands. Some of us play 3k in one session over a day. Swings are bound to happen because we cannot control the luck factor, we cannot control what we call variance. Otherwise I'm sure everyone would be winners at this game. if there was one way to beat the games.

      If that was reality none would be losers. Unless they really don't want to become winners. we would have a lot less bad players to play and it won't be profitable to play poker anymore.

      Anyway what you seem to be doing is ruining it for yourself. In terms of your way of thinking. In terms of how you are acting which relates. It is proven that the worse your life is to say it blunt. the worse you perform at the tables. If you live a life full of order pizza every other day. no exercise , no focus. You will not have good life quality. I have this very problem, no exercise and have had no focus for a few months... I obviously don't know how you already live your life but if its remotely close to what i described above.

      Do something about it, stay disciplined. Be the best person you can be. It will give you overview , it will make you think much more clear than you do now. Don't go break your mouse. Don't go break your hand by punching the wall, don't go throw your mobile phone in the wall. Instead think rational. "Am I doing something wrong? yes or no" Make the best decisions. Of course this is hard to do and say because there is no definite answer to all of this regarding life style. I'm just pointing out the differences that has been seen in people (talking lots of blogs , stories etc.)

      What i suggest you do as of now. Is to see if you need to change anything in your life that will make you happier. enjoy your life. About enjoying playing poker. I know it comes in waves whether you feel you love it or not. Ive recently had for the last 2 months such a depression regarding poker that i haven't been feeling up to playing .. But in reality Its all about staying in control of yourself. feeling good about your play .. If you are playing well , better than your opponents.. Which i can tell you wont be much to beat the micro stakes players. When they limp you should say "Oh he made a mistake, I should work to take advantage of that let me figure out more mistakes and use it against him."

      Don't be depressed over a 3k sample. Its literally nothing. Though you should be thinking to yourself after seeing that graph, if you are doing horrible spew or make some bad mistakes raising K2s in HJ(UTG+1) or whatever. Now what I did and what i do still is going down to 2 tables from 4 - 6 and always and i mean ALWAYS have my open raising chart below my tables. and every single hand your dealt. check for it. even if its AA or 72o .. always check your chart.

      Another exercise you should try out when your so result minded is to NOT look at your stats graphs results for a whole week, then allow yourself to watch your graph. If you do this remotely disciplined. I'm 100% sure you will see a difference. You should feel more in control. Aim to be at least. Don't play for a longer period per session than you can focus on.

      As soon as you feel not in control, as soon as you feel like smashing your hand down the mouse after Losing AA versus a J2o limper that hits running Jacks. CLOSE DOWN your tables. take a break, go eat some food, watch a movie. Call a friend, talk with your parents or whatever makes you happy again.

      I hope this helps you. If you feel like talking you can always get my skype and we can talk because I'm somewhat in the same situation as yours. Pulling out of it nearly I feel. I'm almost always available. feel free to pm for skype.
    • sim5sim5
      sim5sim5
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.10.2011 Posts: 655
      Originally posted by Dawnfall26
      first...

      ...yes I put it badly by saying that you need to live of poker. You said much better and its actually what I meant...to be able to play poker in such manner that you can make reasonable income and at the same time still making your BR bigger or keeping it the same.

      then to continue from where I left it...

      How do you cope...
      ...no easy answer from my stand point.Tbh I know that this side of this business is the one Im worse at. I deal pretty bad with downswings. I believe there can be no simple way how to deal with it since we are all different and not all aspects of it are equally important to us(at least psychologically speaking)....so here would be my story... I also have to say that at this point when Im writing this Im feeling pretty fine, therefore what I say is my realistic way of thinking(which has flaws!)

      Im playing this game as my main income since start of 2010 Ive manage to climb from 3/6 to 30/60 , playing it as a winning regular(have winrate at about 0,75 for 10/20+ stakes after a decent portion of hands) and in this period I can point out 2 major downswing periods.
      First one was still on 5/10 and it lasted about 5month. Again Im not the guy who plays ton of hands but that was the time when I was still considered myself grinding on pokerstars even though just 300kVPPs (lol,and he says a grinder:) ,dont mention this to some true SNE FL grinders as they will laugh ). It felt really bad and it was very depressing.Being what it seemed a highly winning play for the whole year,now I couldnt even win one single month. Good thing was that RB made a decent chunk so moneywise it wasnt really that bad(prolly just slightly below 0) but that was really demoralising for me. Ive had bad months before that and it was logical that not every singly month can be a winning one but then 5months in a row was wierd. I was seriously considering stop playing just for the fact that it all was damaging my personal life and when I was steming I was able to punch in the wall with my fist so that I nearly broke my hand,I was really self destructive. One good thing about all this is...and Im saying this when feeling good...is that I think I have this wierd capability that even when so pissed and sad,and crying,and screaming that when Im playing I dont spew sptupidly and I think that my game doesnt really change much.Sure it changes,it would be foolish to say it doesnt but what changes for me are those longterm things that change with my mood.I stop bluffing certain spots,start playing more ABC poker vs more people...stuff like that...I think still keeping poker reasosing in these times is what keeps me alive as if not, I doubt Id still be playing.

      Then all of a sudden downer stoped,it lasted around 100k hands and I was down somewhere around 500BBs .Then...2 winning months in a row and they just didnt stop.Life was all good again.I was climbing stakes and now I dont really play 5/T anymore (except on stars to keep my SN alive). I also now play on various networks and try my best at table selecting as its really very important. I also play much less than I used to,less tables, maybe lack of montivation that all these downers and bad periods cause, other things(I went back to finnish school and other stuff) and I dont really love poker as much as I maybe should. I love the teoretical approach but if I could be earning this much anywhere else Im pretty sure I have no problem switching.

      So this paradise lasted for almost 2 years now. Ive made it to 50/100 and just when I started to do really good it went really bad. It started at the start of sep(august have been my best month always though:) ) and yep at least 500BB down in 2 months(something like 40k hands). Thing is all that feelings that I learned in the previous downer...didnt really help.Its all the same,maybe even worse since money got bigger and RB doesnt cover it anymore. Ive been feeling really bad but fortunatelly Ive had a decent week so now Im fine. Its also,when I wake up next morning after loosing a loosing night I already feel a lot better.All it stays is that feeling in my head that I cant win anymore,Im just an idiot(basically depression). I know that punching in the wall and spliting my keyboard in 9,4 parts was retarted thing to do,but it happens and even though I now say that I will try not do it next time Im at the same time sure that it will still be happening. I guess it will be happening until I do something drastic or to get stable at some limit and get BR so big that I dont even care anymore.Like if I now loose at 5/10.

      So...I when Im feeling good like now, I know that if I want to play these stakes I need some thinking to do...

      ...I havent done it yet:) but will have to:)

      1.Im sure Im beating the stakes Im playing with the table selection Im having.I have no problem saying that there are players that I know are better than me.I try to avoid them and its totally fine.

      2.I know that I havent really been working on my game much in last year. Partly because of those other things that Im doing but still, I keep being active in these forums which forces me to think about spots even though most hands I evaluate are from lower stakes,still,reasoning is the same and also playing often just 1-2 tables I can think about hands just after I finish them.

      3.all in all I know I need to go back to watching some vids(these have given me the most in the past) and reevaluate my game as a whole at some point. Ive realised that I certainly have improved in various areas of this game playing these higher stake games(like not thinking too much about math anymore but more in terms of how to exploit certain habbits) but at the same time I started to play more generic in other ares,which is just the product of not working on your own game.

      So that would be my side in a nutshell,Ive been writing this very incoherant and I congratulate in advance anyone who reads it through and finds it interesting but I tried my best...:)
      Thanks for sharing , i really appreciate ur attitude & time u give to all of us
    • sim5sim5
      sim5sim5
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.10.2011 Posts: 655
      Originally posted by taavi1337
      Hey, how about a sweat session? I think I can help you and your game.. :) pm for skype if interested
      Yohan dont miss this oppertunity if u do u will be cheating urself
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,086
      Thank you all for posting, and for sharing your thoughts in this thread. It has become deeper than I intended at the outset. I'll repeat the original question, just for reference:

      How do you stay sane during a session?

      This hasn't really been addressed, but deeper, and perhaps better, questions have been answered. The way I've dealt with the OQ is to

      • Play very little FL
      • Play other games

      The effect of playing very little FL has been that I don't let anything effect my game (strategy at the table, not life) in a negative way. I'll also stay away from long sessions the lower micros. It is little reward beating that game, and you can rest assured that I can beat it. I have nothing to prove in that department since many years.

      You may also formulate my adjustments as such: I've given up every plan of beating micro stakes long term. Not because I can not, it is because it's the wrong challenge for me. I need a much bigger challenge. Cocky? Perhaps. Honest? You bet. My game only deteriorates if I play much micro stakes FL. This is the basic lesson.

      I'm just not motivated enough to stay sharp and nurse a small bankroll. I'm not a grinder, will never be, nor would I wish to become one. [Honestly, no offense anyone, but I despise the word. A "regular" is not really an impressive title either in my opinion. I respect them though, as I respect anybody doing their job well.]

      What I have yet to prove is that I can maintain a high level of play (relative to my opponents). This is not the easiest thing to accomplish at the lower micros, since the reward is so small, and the level of frustration is constantly high. (I am equally frustrated at freerolls :D )

      As for other games: I've played some Omaha. I don't like it because it's almost by definition short stack play. [Come on, 100BB is ridiculous for this form of poker]. And, Iv'e played some NL £4 and £50 (bizarre mix huh?). Once I got into it, it turned out to be entertaining and stimulating. For the first time (NL CG online) I feel that I have a true reliable edge over my opponents. How to play it?

      Throw every starting hand chart in sight out of the window. Start using your brain and balls, don't just sit there with a pre-flop 3-betting hardon. Would your opponent perhaps like to fold his TPTK facing a gigantic river raise? Or, would he prefer to lose his stack with it? As long as these little adventures turn out in my favor once in a while, I'm much less frustrated when losing huge pots compared to losing over 150 hands versus a station in FL.]


      In the future, I'll mix FL and NL, and (if the beloved americans come back online to join me) some 7-Stud - a wonderful difficult game. This is the one game where Phil Ivey is really difficult to beat, they say.

      /Johan = :f_confused:
    • Avataren
      Avataren
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.04.2010 Posts: 1,621
      your mindset is really bad it seems from your latest post. what will you do when what nl your playing when you lose 30% of your total br. in one hand ? or that you cant beat anything for shit for 2 months? it happens in every form of poker. and if you cant even beat a station in FL.. then im sorry but dont even think of playing £50 or whatever it was. a station is the most simple player type to beat.

      come talk with me on skype and we will try to sort out your very negative attitude to poker. :)

      . For the first time (NL CG online) I feel that I have a true reliable edge over my opponents. How to play it?

      quote by you.

      Im guessing you are running good in those games right now :)
    • sokoi
      sokoi
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.11.2010 Posts: 125
      interesting post, i've enjoyed reading most of the responses and will visit this one again to re-read the material as everyone has interesting points made.

      I too am going through a downswing. I'm a recreational microstakes player and realize there are going to be moments like this. My only answer to this was to pick my moments to play. I found when I work nights and come home at 4am EST I realized i was having much better "luck" at the tables. I play a variety of tables either 6 or FR as the site I'm on the selection is far and few but it's a very soft site IMO just I haven't been able to full capitalize on it just yet. When I'm working days and come home to play some poker (when time permitting) I've found that I'm not doing as well as the opposite shift so with that to keep my mind focussed as I'm just a recreational player I tend to play 6-9 tables when I'm on my night shifts. I do get into some games mind you too keep my PS points rolling so i keep my status which havne't been able to as of late being sick and busy home/work schedule but I realized when I'm profitable and try and use that to my advantage.

      Another thing I've done to mix it up and get my mind off the microstakes cash game is play in MTT's. It's refreshing to play something different the games the same but the strategy is completely different. I've managed to be on the winning side of that cashing in 4 of my last 7 MTT up to date making final tables twice. I know at micro MTT it's not a lot but it's a positive mindset to me and hopefully I can carry that onto the tables and begin those winning ways again.

      I know this wasn't as insightful as the others who point out a lot of great points but just for me this is how I've managed to keep a positive attitude towards poker in general.

      Best of luck dude
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,086
      @Avataren, if you think there is anything wrong with my mindset, then you will have to explain what is wrong with it. Please also do it without assuming anything about my capacity at the table and without hinting that I suck. [This is something you have done repeatedly in this thread.] Notice too that I don't ask about bankroll management. If I sit down at a £50 table, it is because I want to do it and can afford to lose.

      /Johan = :f_confused:
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,913
      Hi, Yohan
      I don't play FL HE, but I do play FL draw games, and it is so easy to become impatient when you get so little return for big hands.

      You get the same return for a full house as you do for a pair of deuces.

      Also, when you do have a monster -- flush or higher -- and get beaten, it is really hard to take.

      Just reading your post's title though, does indicate that you may be having difficulty coping.

      I've just finished reading Jared Tendler's book, The Mental Game of Poker, and I've started to apply the techniques in that book.

      It may be worthwhile for you as well.
      --VS
    • YohanN7
      YohanN7
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.06.2009 Posts: 4,086
      Hi Vorpal!

      I think that your post is quite spot on. I get mad out of proportion when losing (repeatedly) a few bets (to bad players). But I'm not exactly jumping up and down with joy if I hit a set and win a few bets. I'm more like contemplating how I could have won 1 more bet with that set. Actually, I'm happier if I'm called down (and lose) after a time bank countdown when I'm bluffing because this probably means that my play was good.

      Something to work on here.

      /Johan = :f_confused:
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