Downswing Advice

    • DavidNegranu
      DavidNegranu
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.11.2012 Posts: 160
      Hi,

      So recently I have been experiencing a pretty nasty downswing vs a set of opponents who I know personally, have logged tonnes of hours with and know I have a huge edge against. I need some advice/help with coping with this downswings and not just a oh the fish have to get lucky to keep them there, in the long run you'll win etc. This doesnt help me through a downswing even if it is true and it is most certainly possible to be consistently luckier than somebody else. Perhaps the biggest fish I play with, is up fairly big over a period of four years by holding over people. We logged a 1k hand session last night and here are a couple of hands that were ridiculous (ignore my frustration calls

      Poker Stars, $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      UTG: $9.94 (198.8 bb)
      MP: $9.98 (199.6 bb)
      CO: $13.72 (274.4 bb)
      BTN: $26.78 (535.6 bb)
      SB: $12.84 (256.8 bb)
      Hero (BB): $11.93 (238.6 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BB with K K
      2 folds, CO raises to $0.15, 2 folds, Hero raises to $0.45, CO calls $0.30

      Flop: ($0.92) 3 A K (2 players)
      Hero bets $0.55, CO calls $0.55

      Turn: ($2.02) A (2 players)
      Hero bets $1.25, CO calls $1.25

      River: ($4.52) A (2 players)
      Hero checks, CO bets $3.55, Hero calls $3.55

      Results:
      $11.62 pot ($0.48 rake)
      Final Board: 3 A K A A
      CO showed A J and won $11.14 ($5.34 net)
      Hero mucked K K and lost (-$5.80 net)


      Poker Stars, $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 4 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      SB: $7.29 (145.8 bb)
      Hero (BB): $12.71 (254.2 bb)
      CO: $12.87 (257.4 bb)
      BTN: $7.08 (141.6 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is BB with 5 K
      CO raises to $0.15, 2 folds, Hero calls $0.10

      Flop: ($0.32) 3 Q 4 (2 players)
      Hero checks, CO bets $0.25, Hero calls $0.25

      Turn: ($0.82) T (2 players)
      Hero checks, CO bets $0.65, Hero raises to $1.55, CO raises to $3.65, Hero raises to $5.75, CO raises to $12.47, Hero calls $6.56 and is all-in

      River: ($25.44) Q (2 players, 1 is all-in)

      Results:
      $25.44 pot ($0.50 rake)
      Final Board: 3 Q 4 T Q
      Hero showed 5 K and lost (-$12.71 net)
      CO showed A 8 and won $24.94 ($12.23 net)


      I know youre going to say that it just isnt possible to be luckier than anybody else and it evens itself out but he really is and is genuinely making me doubt the validity of long run losses for fishes. This guy in particular is 40% VPIP and will station with any pair and somehow gets there so so often.
  • 37 replies
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,904
      Hi, DavidNegranu,

      <Sigh> You've told me not to tell you what I'm about to tell you.

      This tells me that you already know what you need to know.

      I sat in on a session yesterday in which the person playing lost somewhere between four to six STACKS in the space of a couple of hours.

      This happens even to good players.

      I'm going to pick up on another part of your post.
      vs a set of opponents who I know personally,


      These are friends of your from Real Life?
      Or is it just that you have a long history playing online against them?
      There is a huge difference.

      Could it be that they have adapted to you?

      Can you adapt to them?

      For the downswing advice you asked for, I will suggest you obtain a copy of "The Mental Game of Poker" by Jared Tendler, and work your way through it.

      Note that I did not say, "read it". It is a process.

      I'm also going to move your post to "Learning to Win", since it fits that topic better.

      All the best,
      --VS
    • DavidNegranu
      DavidNegranu
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.11.2012 Posts: 160
      Hi,

      Yeh I know these guys personally and have been playing poker with them regularly for about 4 years. I have ordered versions 1 and 2 of the mental game of poker because I know my mindset is almost certainly the weakest aspect of my game and that entitlement tilt is one that I suffer from dearly. I was reading an article that was talking about ways to shape concepts that you need to know and I am yet to come accross a way to shape what is apparently a fact that nobody is luckier than others in the long run. Its not just poker that this guy is lucky, he recently walked into a scholarship interview with the bare requirements and no prior knowledge of the company and somehow got a scholarship and I dont doubt that there were so many more worthy candidates. Everybody knows somebody like this but they dont necessarily play poker with them but it is so disheartening, annoying, frustrating etc to do so and it genuinely makes me believe that not only is luck a genetic 'trait' in some way but also makes me doubt that I will ever be able to exercise my theoretical edge vs him because for everytime i can flop a set and get three over pot sized bets from him, he can make hands and get some awesome coolers in his favour far more often. As for him adapting to me, I really dont think this is the case because he isnt a thinker or a student of the game, he believes that there is a standard way to play in every spot and is results oriented. This is an example of a hand where I actually did take advantage of his inability to fold a pair:

      Poker Stars, $0.02/$0.05 No Limit Hold'em Cash, 6 Players
      Poker Tools Powered By Holdem Manager - The Ultimate Poker Software Suite.

      CO: $8.53 (170.6 bb)
      BTN: $10.21 (204.2 bb)
      SB: $20.44 (408.8 bb)
      BB: $26.75 (535 bb)
      UTG: $12.84 (256.8 bb)
      Hero (MP): $12.43 (248.6 bb)

      Preflop: Hero is MP with 5 5
      UTG folds, Hero raises to $0.15, CO folds, BTN calls $0.15, SB calls $0.13, BB calls $0.10

      Flop: ($0.60) 4 5 K (4 players)
      SB checks, BB checks, Hero bets $0.40, BTN folds, SB calls $0.40, BB folds

      Turn: ($1.40) 4 (2 players)
      SB checks, Hero bets $1.05, SB calls $1.05

      River: ($3.50) J (2 players)
      SB checks, Hero bets $3.45, SB calls $3.45

      Results:
      $10.40 pot ($0.43 rake)
      Final Board: 4 5 K 4 J
      SB mucked K A and lost (-$5.05 net)
      Hero showed 5 5 and won $9.97 ($4.92 net)
    • DavidNegranu
      DavidNegranu
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.11.2012 Posts: 160
      Hi,

      Also regarding Jared Tendlers books, you said work my way through it. I am I right in understanding that you mean to try and implement it part by part into my entire life as well as my poker rather than trying to implement as much of the advice as I can as fast as I can solely into my poker?
    • booomm
      booomm
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.03.2011 Posts: 677
      if you can't manage the stres of poker, juste go play chess or something :)
    • badgerer
      badgerer
      Silver
      Joined: 29.03.2010 Posts: 555
      Originally posted by DavidNegranu
      Perhaps the biggest fish I play with, is up fairly big over a period of four years
      hmm... is it possible they are a better than you give them credit for? i mean, 4 years... is a long time.

      i do know a few players (not personally) who i consider to be fishes, they obviously lack knowledge of the basics, but there is something about them that makes them tough to play. yeah they spew a lot of chips but they also get paid off fairly routinely.

      an unconventional style has its obvious benefits, but only until someone better than you comes along and gets inside your head.

      anyway, i wish you luck with your mental game training.
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,904
      Originally posted by DavidNegranu
      Hi,

      Also regarding Jared Tendlers books, you said work my way through it. I am I right in understanding that you mean to try and implement it part by part into my entire life as well as my poker rather than trying to implement as much of the advice as I can as fast as I can solely into my poker?
      The first book has a lot of material, but one of the threads that runs through it is a process. That is what you need to "work through"

      When I did it I took notes of my mental game as I played.

      That became my blog.

      I still analyse my mental state after a session, and I monitor it during a session.

      I still play poker badly, but at least I don't get all bent out of shape about it.

      On the subject of luck, you said:
      I am yet to come accross a way to shape what is apparently a fact that nobody is luckier than others in the long run.

      Define "long run".

      Given 2 million on-line poker players it is quite possible for one of them to have a 200K hand heater, and another a 200K hand downswing.

      Is one "luckier" than the other? No, it is just a manifestation of randomness.
      Now, if it is YOU that has the 200K hand heater, you will think it is normal, and you are the bawsss when it comes to poker.

      If you are on the 200K downswing, it's rigged -- and not just rigged, but against you personally.

      Humans see patterns in everything. Even when there really are no patterns we see them.

      When I look at a large page of mono-spaced text, I see images made up of the spaces between letters -- but then again, I grew up in the '70s :coolface:

      I won a car in 1980.
      Yeah, I was lucky.
      But SOMEBODY HAD TO WIN IT.

      Peace,
      --VS
    • DavidNegranu
      DavidNegranu
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.11.2012 Posts: 160
      Originally posted by badgerer

      hmm... is it possible they are a better than you give them credit for? i mean, 4 years... is a long time.
      I guess its possible but the two other people that I talk a lot about strategy, play a lot themselves and think about the game both see him generally as the 'mark' at the table, so unless he is fooling all of us I doubt it. I do know that I can spew a lot to him because I feel I am a better player and try to outplay him in spots where he's going to call me way too often and making 'He cant be this lucky' calls. But I mean I can post so many hands where he has got out of spots where he was such a huge dog, (the quad aces obviously being the most extreme) both from my holdem manager or recalling from live games, whilst being able to only recall a handful of hands where he was on the horrible end of a cooler or being inflicted a wierd beat against any opponent, not just me. Granted a lot of the hands that I have logged with him are live so the sample size is far far smaller than it would be in an online sample so its possible that he is on a huge heater, but that really doesnt make it any easier to deal with or any less frustrating to lose to him.


      Originally posted by badgerer

      anyway, i wish you luck with your mental game training.
      Thanks!
    • DavidNegranu
      DavidNegranu
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.11.2012 Posts: 160
      Hi,

      Thanks for your replies!

      Originally posted by VorpalF2F

      On the subject of luck, you said:
      I am yet to come accross a way to shape what is apparently a fact that nobody is luckier than others in the long run.

      Define "long run".

      Given 2 million on-line poker players it is quite possible for one of them to have a 200K hand heater, and another a 200K hand downswing.

      Is one "luckier" than the other? No, it is just a manifestation of randomness.
      Now, if it is YOU that has the 200K hand heater, you will think it is normal, and you are the bawsss when it comes to poker.

      If you are on the 200K downswing, it's rigged -- and not just rigged, but against you personally.

      Humans see patterns in everything. Even when there really are no patterns we see them.

      When I look at a large page of mono-spaced text, I see images made up of the spaces between letters -- but then again, I grew up in the '70s :coolface:

      I won a car in 1980.
      Yeah, I was lucky.
      But SOMEBODY HAD TO WIN IT.

      Peace,
      --VS
      Ok, so I didnt realise that it was possible for a heater to last that long and granted that i would estimate the sample size of hands with him to be between 8-10k so its possible that he could be on a really nice heater and the fact that most of the hours are logged live means it feels neverending. Its not just rigged against me though, it feels like its rigged for him, though obviously that isnt possible and I honestly dont want to see that he is luckier than anybody else, I genuinely dont think anybody else that I play with regularly is luckier than the other. We've all sucked out on and coolered each other and I see this even with other players who I perceive to be weaker. Its just this one guy who it feels like he holds over everybody he plays with.
    • DavidNegranu
      DavidNegranu
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.11.2012 Posts: 160
      On a related note, how do you get over a beat like the quad aces i posted in the OP psychologically? Its been four days since that hand, i havnt played any poker and spent the last couple of days away spending time with some friends and family. But still I feel almost tortured by it and still have an extreme reluctance to play either online or live again.

      Ps, my copy of the mental game of poker arrived today and through reading the first three chapters, I can see clearly that I am the biggest mental game fish at every table that I sit down at
    • VorpalF2F
      VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,904
      Originally posted by DavidNegranuI can see clearly that I am the biggest mental game fish at every table that I sit down at
      Ha!

      See -- you're on the way already.

      If you've done the first 3 chapters, you have no doubt come across the Adult Learning Model.

        Unconscious Incompetence: You're a fish and you don't even know it.
        Conscious Incompetence: OK, you're still a fish, but at least now you realize it.
        Concious Competence: You're are taking deliberate steps to improve, but you need to think of them each time.
        Unconscious Competence: Doing the right thing is second nature. You just do it, you don't think about it.

      So you've moved from stage 1 to stage 2.
      The book also has in it the things you do for your mental game to take you through stage 3.

      Of course, the same for stages apply for the poker theory part as well.
      You might be a mental game pro of pros, but if you're still raising 72o UTG, you'll still have problems -- you just won't tilt.

      Peace,
      --VS
    • football123
      football123
      Basic
      Joined: 13.03.2013 Posts: 31
      In answer to your question about dealing with the bad beats the most simple and best answer is just get up and play the next day and the day after that and the day after that etc. I posted in here a couple months ago when I'd only been playing seriously for a few months when I'd got a guy to put in all his money on the turn with one out and he hit it, I was tilted for weeks but I just played and played and played. After playing about 10-12 hours a day every day bad beats don't bother me anymore. Think of it this way, if you get all the money in and you're a 5-1 favorite that doesn't mean you have to win, if you bet $1 as a 5-1 favorite ten times you'll win $8 and lose $2 so you have a positive expectation. If you really are outplaying this guy and getting your money in with the best of it you have a positive expectation. If this guy is just in your head and you wouldn't let him give you 2-1 on a coin flip just stop playing with him for a while and go back when you feel real good about your game and you're not concerned with him holding over you anymore.
    • metza
      metza
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      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      Originally posted by DavidNegranu
      Originally posted by badgerer

      hmm... is it possible they are a better than you give them credit for? i mean, 4 years... is a long time.
      I guess its possible but the two other people that I talk a lot about strategy, play a lot themselves and think about the game both see him generally as the 'mark' at the table, so unless he is fooling all of us I doubt it. I do know that I can spew a lot to him because I feel I am a better player and try to outplay him in spots where he's going to call me way too often and making 'He cant be this lucky' calls.
      If you constantly try to outplay him eg. bluffing him when he's not folding often, then he is a better player than you.

      Eg. If you were the best hand reader in the world, always knowing exactly what your opponent has, but you opponent is a huge calling station who never folds a pair, if you continually try to bluff him off weak pairs, then opponent is the better player. If you try to bluff so much, then he is NO LONGER MAKING A MISTAKE TO CALL SO OFTEN, whereas you are making a mistake to bluff there, and the player making the least mistakes is the better player.
    • tommygecko
      tommygecko
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      Joined: 11.08.2012 Posts: 1,229
      I know youre going to say that it just isnt possible to be luckier than anybody else and it evens itself out but he really is and is genuinely making me doubt the validity of long run losses for fishes. This guy in particular is 40% VPIP and will station with any pair and somehow gets there so so often.



      Sometimes I feel the same way and realise that this guy is so lucky at the moment and running super super hot even though he sucks. Theoretically that doesn't make sense because cards have no memories. But I remember there are times, especially in a deep run in a tournament, where cards just keep going your way and you feel like the luckiest person in the world. Personally I would just stay away from those who you think are lucky and come back another time. It is only going to make you feel worse if he gets lucky on you again so better to just avoid it altogether until another time. There are many other fishes/whales out there you don't have to target just one.
    • DavidNegranu
      DavidNegranu
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      Joined: 25.11.2012 Posts: 160
      Originally posted by football123
      If this guy is just in your head and you wouldn't let him give you 2-1 on a coin flip just stop playing with him for a while and go back when you feel real good about your game and you're not concerned with him holding over you anymore.
      Originally posted by tommygecko
      Personally I would just stay away from those who you think are lucky and come back another time. It is only going to make you feel worse if he gets lucky on you again so better to just avoid it altogether until another time. There are many other fishes/whales out there you don't have to target just one.
      This is great advice, thank you! The further i get through the mental game of poker the more galvanised I have become about going back into this game, having not played at all since this session (wednesday evening.) I'm still working on resolving my flawed logic and accumulated emotion, I will post my mental hand histories in here once I have completed them.
    • DavidNegranu
      DavidNegranu
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.11.2012 Posts: 160
      Ok, so here are a couple of mental hand histories that I have done. Let me know if there are any flaws or ideas that I have missed in constructing these.

      1) A fish holding over me makes me frustrated and disheartened.

      2) I am a better player than the fish and I should be able to beat him consistently, not the other way around.

      3) It is impossible to always beat a fish, no matter how good I play and how bad he plays. I cannot control the cards or how he plays.

      4) I can only control how I play against and react to him. Variance is very powerful. If bad beats and extended periods of winning/losing didnt occur poker wouldnt be profitable. If fish werent lucky, they would never play.

      5) Control in poker comes from my decisions and how I handle my mental state
    • DavidNegranu
      DavidNegranu
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.11.2012 Posts: 160
      1) The fish doesnt realise hes a fish

      2) His skill is far below the level of the table and only posts a winning session because of how lucky he is.

      3) The frustration comes from my want to help people. This is counter-intuitive in poker because you want the opposition to play at a lower standard. This frustration also comes from how obvious it is that he is lucky and not good, I cannot control what he says, sees or does, only what I can do and perceive.

      4) Helping your direct competition is counter-productive, I want them to be bad and not realise that they are bad so that I can make a lot more money in the long run. I cannot control what he sees. If he thought he was bad, he would try and improve. This would reduce my edge.

      5) Don't help your competition, dont talk strategy, dont tell them where they are going wrong. Let them believe that they are exceptional players.
    • unshpe
      unshpe
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      Joined: 20.05.2013 Posts: 294
      http://my.jetscreenshot.com/19441/20130708-its0-175kb.jpg
    • badgerer
      badgerer
      Silver
      Joined: 29.03.2010 Posts: 555
      looks good to me. a couple of things i would add.

      try not to take it too far to the extreme when evaluating his ability, i am guilty of this too, it's like some kind of weird revenge where you label him as a whale but there must be something he does well or at least not terribly. this could feed into you're entitlement tilt and the last thing you want is a tilt feedback loop.

      also, with all this work you have done on your own game don't forget to pay close attention to everything he does, preferably to the point where you can read his soul. when the cards come your way he'll become one of your most valued customers.

      now go get that fish!
    • DavidNegranu
      DavidNegranu
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.11.2012 Posts: 160
      Originally posted by badgerer
      looks good to me. a couple of things i would add.

      try not to take it too far to the extreme when evaluating his ability, i am guilty of this too, it's like some kind of weird revenge where you label him as a whale but there must be something he does well or at least not terribly. this could feed into you're entitlement tilt and the last thing you want is a tilt feedback loop.
      Yeh, I think this is the biggest thing I need to work on, not specifically going after him because that will only cause more frustration and losses. Though it is very hard when he sends me this hand http://www.boomplayer.com/poker-hands/Boom/3924260_349297D9C8 and claims to be incredible at poker. As bizarre as it sounds I think the best thing he does is make people play badly against him. He has sooo many obvious flaws which he doesnt even realise are there that he induces people to go after him, which is obviously terrible strategy but you see it happen sooo often, even amongst professionals.

      Originally posted by badgerer
      also, with all this work you have done on your own game don't forget to pay close attention to everything he does, preferably to the point where you can read his soul. when the cards come your way he'll become one of your most valued customers.

      now go get that fish!
      Thanks! I've set up a live game for wednesday evening, so hopefully another couple of days of working on my mental game if it doesnt go to plan, I will be able to keep my cool and not start berating him or attempting to quit poker. I'll post in here how it goes as well as my accumulated emotion hand histories once I have completed those
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