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Need Advice Dealing with Extended Stretches of Bad Luck

    • Getzzzz
      Joined: 03.12.2014 Posts: 3
      I've been a fairly profitable player since I started playing poker roughly 10 years ago but over the last few months my luck has been worse than ever. Just to get a better look at things I've been documenting results (flip outcomes, bad beats, etc.) and the results have been staggering. Over the last month I've won 28% of flips and lost to more 1-4 outers than most players see in a year. The stats go much more in depth but I want to keep this basic. A few days ago I busted out of 2 tournaments that were nearing the bubble almost simultaneously when my AA and KK were rivered by straights to hands that had no business getting involved in play. And one of them was less than 2% to win post-flop. Hours ago I was one of 67 remaining players (of 727) and 3-bet shoved with JJ on the button, only to get called by an opponent (who had only double my stack) with 78s. Naturally he turned and rivered a straight to knock me out. Has anyone else had long stretches of bad luck that just wouldn't seem to end? It seems to get more ridiculous by the day and I'm just wondering if extended periods like this are common among regular players.
  • 8 replies
    • Rihard4a
      Joined: 08.09.2010 Posts: 2,064
      Pretty common. Nowadays nothing surprises me and I react to everything in the same manner. As long you make the best decisions results don't matter.
    • metza
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      What I've found makes it easier is having a specific gameplay related goal that you are working towards.

      Whenever my goal for the session is to win money (usually always when close to moving up limits) I am much more emotionally susceptible to variance, because I see the beats as directly f***ing with my goals.

      I found I never tilt when my goal for the session is gameplay related eg. fixing a certain leak. This is because no amount of variance can affect your own success if your goal is improving a specific aspect of your play.
    • Getzzzz
      Joined: 03.12.2014 Posts: 3
      Solid advice. For whatever reason it also seems like the less emotionally invested you are in your tournament, sing, etc. the less bad beats you take anyway.
    • Andreyqo
      Joined: 09.03.2014 Posts: 12
      How many hands/tournaments are we talking about? :f_biggrin:
    • maythany
      Joined: 18.10.2011 Posts: 1,195
      happens to everyone.
    • Ramble
      Joined: 17.11.2008 Posts: 1,460
      Originally posted by Getzzzz
      For whatever reason it also seems like the less emotionally invested you are in your tournament, sing, etc. the less bad beats you take anyway.
      This IS the reason. I'm not saying you have to be a robot - emotions exist for a reason, but when it comes to poker emotions can't influence your decisions on a hand by hand level or you are in trouble. Think of it this way, poker is a game of small percentages. If your emotions impact the way you play a hand even a little bit (even by 2-3%), it can have a dramatic impact on your game and overall results.

      I went through something similar not too long ago. What I noticed, after a lot of honest review of my play, was that because I was always feeling like I was going to lose or get my nuts cracked, I was forcing things - playing a bit more aggressive in spots then I normally would. My ranges opened up by a little bit (only maybe 5% more in most spots), but that extra 5% put me in marginal situations that I wasn't used to being in and so I didn't play them that great.

      The fact that you went to the trouble of documenting your frequency of bad beats indicates to me that you are playing with too much emotional baggage right now. You need to be sure you are playing YOUR game and not letting the game play you. Good luck - I hope things turn around for you soon.
    • Erniastukas
      Joined: 14.03.2011 Posts: 125
      During stretches like that I just keep telling myself - "My goal of this play right now is to mark some hands for posting on forum for folks to review".

      Makes me concentrate more on the table and really judge my actions better (who wants to post a hand when he knows he played it like a donk, uh ?).
    • Rufus433
      Joined: 20.08.2010 Posts: 459
      I believe the answer is volume, just grind it out, if you play each day 2-3 mtts than you can have 0 cashes for 1/2 a year or longer because you would have played only few hundred games, as we all know variance can be harsh, especially in mtts. Try to put in more hours, study more and set specific goals for yourself (not money oriented) and hopefully it will start to go in the other way.

      You could prob. try out, smaller field games 180man, 45s, 18s, or stt. maybe you will enjoy these games a bit more, variance in these games are still quite big, but maybe it will be easier for you to handle.

      Keeping track of your flips or bad beats is bad for your mental game, it can cause a lot of stress and tilt you, so you wont be playing your best. Put in more work in your game crunch numbers, watch videos, read articles and your confidence should grow quite fast, and losing a flip wont hurt as bad, because you will be focused on the things that are important - making the right decisions. Remember, control what you can control. You cant control variance, it's impossible, but you can control your emotions and how you see things.