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Lost all my bankroll!!

    • ilostmysoul
      Joined: 28.12.2014 Posts: 78
      Hey everyone :)
      I'm 18, in college, and I decided to sell my LoL account since I didn't play it anymore. I got paid 10€ for it via PaySafe, and I decided to deposit them in Pokerstars as my 1st time playing real-money poker. A few days later I had around 20€ in my bankroll. The thing is, last night I dropped it down to 2. This resulted on me taking it personal with another player (ie "This guy is always bluffing I'm sick of him, he always goes all-in on flop .vs. me to take my money. Next time I have something, no matter how little, I'll bust him out), losing, and then going to even higher stakes (on tilt), where you are barely even allowed to play tight.

      Managed to go up to 6 on very low stakes, now I'm on 4 and seriously considering giving up on poker. I mean I find it exciting and amusing as heck, except when I lose 20€ on one night. I haven't stopped losing ever since. How do you guys deal with this? Has it happened to any of you? I'm doubting all my skills right now and beating myself up over stupid plays, like:
      1. Going all-in with AK on the river with high-pair after opponent consistently checking and then calling my bets, no matter how big they were, to lose to a three-of-a-kind made by a pocket pair at the end.
      2. Calling with QQ until showdown with an A on the flop, after opponent keeps checking, mini-betting, and then calling any raise, to then lose to an A2.

      I'm frustrated right now. I'm afraid of playing because I would just be playing for the sake of getting the money back (because it has lost all the fun by now), and I don't want to do that. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
      Also, how do you conciliate theory with practice? I mean I'm reading "Theory of Poker" but I'm not sure how exactly to start applying it on my games without making it overwhelming for me. On the other hand, the pre-flop hands table on this website has cost me more than it has won me. I'm eaten alive by blinds to then have everyone either fold on me, or re-raising me like heck whenever I catch a good hand. Either that or I call/raise and then completely miss the flop and get re-raised to barely all-in if I try a continuation bet. It just makes things a whole lot worse, because now I don't even know where to turn to for profitable information.
      I'm really considering quitting for good, which is a shame because poker is nothing but a hobby to me, and quite a good one at that, since it can be fun and profitable at the same time.
      Oh and a quick question: what about mindset? Is the "I'm playing to win money" mindset good? It hasn't helped me much... Help? :/
  • 9 replies
    • slovi3
      Joined: 04.10.2011 Posts: 52
      ilostmysoul welcome and its really good you wrote this... But just to answer your questions... it happened to all of us and its happening, maybe not that much that we would recklessly go all in vs fish on a tilt or so but its normal in poker that u have this moments and of course losses and bad beats... I would reccomend you that you first think about what is poker for you, cause if its a hobby then its got to stay hobby...

      Second of all you have to make some sample with poker lets say around 100k hands and see what kind of player you are... U will be a lot more calmer after some time when you embrace that poker is good but also sometimes frustrating game (perfectly normal) ... I wouldnt say stop playing but first clear this things up and you will have easy choice then...

      Good luck
    • ilostmysoul
      Joined: 28.12.2014 Posts: 78
      Thanks for answering :)
      The problem isn't exactly bad beats though. Gosh I wish I was getting bad beats, at least that would mean I was playing good enough that my hand would only get beaten by luck. But I am NOT playing good, and I know that. That's why I don't want to make poker more than a hobby. Right now I don't really care about the money since it came from a game I wasn't playing anymore, but if it were 10€ taken out of my bank account, I would be pissed at myself.

      The thing is I also don't know how to improve. I can read theory books but I'm not sure how exactly to apply the concepts so that I understand what I'm reading. I started to read the articles on this website but I'm also struggling with that. Printed out the pre-flop hands table and still losing money using it. Just a while ago got dealt QQ, someone raised before me, I re-raised, he called, and then went on to play passively, we both check-checked the flop. Then on the turn he checks, I decide to bet a bit, he calls. Same on the river. Turns out he had AA. Lost lots of money on those pre-flop bets. The bankroll is around 1€ now there's pretty much nothing I can do to save it besides making a deposit, and I'm really not so sure about that :/
    • slovi3
      Joined: 04.10.2011 Posts: 52
      For further improvement on game i would recommend you watching some videos here on PS... it can be helpful.... Nobody started with just winning and all begginings are hard.

      If you want to get better you need to put some work in, either as a hobby or someting more... About depositing and so thats your decision of course.

      Try first maybe some sit'n'go games... and this about QQ hand thats learning process, in time you will be able to see which position to make money is good and not, sometimes you will muck also KK and so if you have a read on player and so on... It is so much spots in poker you can get money but also spots where you can loose... thats the beaty of it!

      Dont give up so soon, put some work in and you will how sweet it is to play good poker :D
      Taking one step at the time
    • iSoOwnYou
      Joined: 27.11.2014 Posts: 642
      The most important thing to do is learn from our mistakes :f_drink:
    • TheMarxBros3
      Joined: 21.09.2008 Posts: 1,346
      Don't get discouraged my friend.
      Poker is a very hard way to earn easy money.
      If it wasn't we would all be making money .
      There is a saying that goes; "You have to learn how to lose before you can learn how to win."
      This is true is sports as well. Most championship games are won by teams that were there before and lost.
      Don't put to much pressure on yourself to win right away. There is a learning curve and you have to pay your dues.
      when you were a we lad, could you run right away or did you have do learn how to walk first? And before you could walk didn't you have to learn how to crawl?
    • Ramble
      Joined: 17.11.2008 Posts: 1,460
      Great advice in this thread!

      My 2 cents:
      Applying knowledge - don't try to learn too much too quickly. Pick one thing and focus on just that for a week or two. When you can apply it automatically then pick the next thing. The pre-flop chart is only recommended beginning hands and doesn't guarantee a win, maybe work on how to play those hands on the flop given the texture of the board next.

      Mindset - "playing to win money" is not a great mindset starting out (or even later), it should be "playing to have fun and continuously improve my game". Remember this is a hobby for you - not a job, so focusing on the money results isn't really what is important at this stage. I would recommend you get a copy of Jared Tendler's The Mental Game of Poker if you think you'd like to stick with poker. It doesn;t teach you poker theory, it teaches you about learning and tilt - which will make a huge difference in anyone's game.

      Also, be sure you are playing at stakes that let you learn and make mistakes by applying a solid bankroll management plan.

      Best of luck to you.
    • Harrier88
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 2,156
      Hi ilostmysoul,

      Sorry to hear about your loss. If it is any consolation, I can assure you that there is absolutely no shame in losing your first deposit if you're new to online poker. Even some sponsored professionals have been in this situation before.

      Poker may be (partially) a game of skill, but the same rules apply as in all other forms of gambling: Only risk money that you can afford to lose. If you have a little more extra cash to set aside for your hobby, then by all means, go ahead, but don't try to force things by making unreasonable deposits with money you need.

      You may also be interested to know that we do have some free money offers on this site. This may be an option for you if you decide that you can't risk making another deposit. It would also give you the opportunity to unlock new content on this website.

      Apart from that, freerolls may be another way for you to play risk-free. I've heard stories of players who funded their entire bankroll with freeroll winnings. It's tough, but possible.

      I might be able to give you some additional advice:

      1. Learning process
      As in most other areas of life, you need patience and hard work in order to achieve progress. There is no secret mathematical formula that instantly enables you to win at poker, and this includes the starting hands chart you have mentioned, which only serves to introduce new players to the tight-aggressive way of playing, and can only give you advice on what to do preflop, while many of the most important decisions are made postflop. There is a reason why computers may be able to beat a skilled human player at chess, but not at poker.

      It takes a lot of time and experience until you can truly master the game. Don't expect to beat it right away after reading about basic strategy.

      2. Bankroll management
      You mentioned that you played on "very low stakes" once you got down to €6. I really hope that you played these stakes from the beginning, did you? Downswings happen to the best of us, and it is extremely important to be prepared for it. If possible, you should only play at a certain limit if you have 25-30 buy-ins for it in your bankroll, so you only should have played NL2 so far.

      3. Mindset
      Is "playing to win money" the right attitude? Well, in the end, we are all playing to win money, but one trap you definitely need to avoid is result-oriented thinking, where you evaluate your decisions solely based on how much you won or lost. It is important to look at your game from an objective viewpoint, with the main focus being on the long-term profitability of your decisions.

      Ramble made a pretty good suggestion with "playing to have fun and continuously improve my game".

      4. Attitude towards money
      Once you made sure that you follow correct bankroll management guidelines, it is important to see the money you bet as an investment, e.g. as if you were trading on the stock market. If you get emotionally attached to your chips or keep thinking about what you could buy with that money, you'll find it hard to play in an optimal way. Once again, try to make objective decisions that focus on the mathematically profitable way to play.

      5. Other formats
      If you're uncomfortable with cash games, you might want to give other formats a try. I already mentioned freerolls, but you may also be interested in SNGs, for example. They are typically a little more variance-heavy than cash games, but the big advantage is that you cannot lose more than your initial buy-in, so you have more control over the money you're about to risk.

      In the end, it's all up to you. I hope you found some helpful advice in this thread, but don't hesitate to ask if you have any more questions.

      Best of luck!
    • ilostmysoul
      Joined: 28.12.2014 Posts: 78
      Woww!! Golden advice here I appreciate you all for helping me :)
      Good luck in the tables and hopes for a great year for all of you!!

      Oh, also
      Originally posted by Harrier88
      2. Bankroll management
      You mentioned that you played on "very low stakes" once you got down to €6. I really hope that you played these stakes from the beginning, did you? Downswings happen to the best of us, and it is extremely important to be prepared for it. If possible, you should only take 25-30 buy-ins to your table, so you only should have played NL2 with your bankroll.
      I actually played NL2 until I got around 12-15€, then I switched to NL5 and went into NL5 (.02/0.05) and played with 5€, and these were the tables that led me to 20 but then also served for my decline. Could this be a case of bad management? I mean I played NL5 because I had 100xBB, but now that I re-read the management article I found out I need to afford at least 25 of these buy-ins, so I messed up there :/ add bad management with bad play and this is what you get; thanks for making me figure that one out :)
      Thankfully I messed up with money that I never even had in my hands to being with, and not with my bank account or the PokerStrategy deposit. Hopefully I will learn something from this :)
      Thank you all again
    • Harrier88
      Joined: 01.05.2012 Posts: 2,156
      Originally posted by ilostmysoul
      I actually played NL2 until I got around 12-15€, then I switched to NL5 and went into NL5 (.02/0.05) and played with 5€, and these were the tables that led me to 20 but then also served for my decline. Could this be a case of bad management?
      Yeah, that is definitely the kind of bankroll management you should avoid in the future. You should have at least $125 in your account before you start playing NL5, but I'd recommend $150 instead if you're playing 6-max.

      Even the best players in the world will drop a few buy-ins in a couple of sessions, and in the course of your poker career, you're bound to go through periods of prolonged downswings that will easily dwarf the losses you described here, even if you have made all the right decisions. Handling these downswings can be tough, but as long as you follow correct bankroll management, they will never be a real threat to your bankroll. If you don't, you'll lose your roll sooner or later, even if you play well. You may have heard about poker pro Gus Hansen, who lost over $5 million this year...

      By the way, while it is typically allowed to join a table with less than 100BB, it is recommended that you always buy in with a full stack, and immediately reload when your stack drops below 100BB. Playing with a shorter stack is obviously possible, but it requires a different strategy.