What to do after losing session

    • PaperAce
      Joined: 23.10.2017 Posts: 3
      Hello guys, I'd like to ask you,
      what are you doing after a losing session? Any idea to get back motivation?
      I hate when I'm planning to have a long session and somehow after just 1 hour I'm getting wrecked by bad beats or my own mistakes, I want to know any of your tricks to get my mindset ok again and continue grinding. After some bad beats and things like that, emotions get me too much and I don't know how to continue playing my A' game.
      Please help
  • 5 replies
    • la55i
      Joined: 27.01.2013 Posts: 7,809

      I recommend you read The Mental Game of Poker 1 and 2. Those books helped me a lot with my mental game. You can also take a look some of the psychology videos we have here.

      You have to understand that bad beats will happen for everyone. And it is important that weaker players get lucky sometimes, otherwise they wouldn't play and you would be playing only vs regulars.
      Poker is also a long term game. Sometimes you lose for thousands of hands but in the end it will even out and you will be profitable if you play good. So a couple of bad beats don't mean anything. And if you think about bad run too much while you are playing you are just burning mental energy that is needed to play good poker.

      In the end not being affected by bad beats comes down to not being result oriented. You shouldn't care about money or about the result of the hand, only thing you should focus on is that you played well. Sometimes it is difficult to deal with bad beats and then we have to recognize we have dropped down from our A-game and take a break.
    • kidzoltan
      Joined: 05.08.2010 Posts: 870
      Go for a run/walk, go to the gym, read, cook something good, go for a coffee with someone. Basicly do something, that is not poker related. Then re-think your poker-goals. Remind yourself that this is completely normal, and that the bad days are those from which you can learn the most. Maybe review the hands played, learn from your mistakes and remind yourself that you are on the good road.
    • WillinPompano
      Joined: 16.11.2017 Posts: 4
      Go home and continue with your life. Stop thinking of poker in a session-by-session way. A bad session is going to happen once in awhile, no matter how good you are.

      One tool to reduce the pain of bad beats and coolers: Reducing your _positive_ emotions first can help you get your feelings away from the poker table and it is easier than addressing the negative emotions directly.

      1: Stop anticipating wins because an opponent is bad. Stop thinking about players as bad. Analyze their specific weaknesses, don't generalize.
      2: Stop anticipating wins because you have good cards. Don't let show tunes go off in your head.
      3: Stop congratulating yourself on a good bluff, great laydown or well-thought out betting pattern. Move on. Next hand.
      4: Let how much you are winning or losing be a matter for after-session calculation. Stack sizes can be important in calculating risk and reward but that is a different matter. Triumph is as bad as despair. They are both emotions.
    • Kyyberi
      Joined: 09.07.2010 Posts: 11,150
      One thing I really like to talk about is "how to value our sessions?"

      If we measure good or bad session in terms of $$$, we will have bad sessions a lot. No way we can affect that.

      But if we measure good or bad session in terms of our decisions and playing level, we have full control whether the session is good or bad.

      In poker we can't decide to win money. I have had so many session where in the first 5 minutes I get it in multiple times with 80%+ equity. And lose all of them. Does that mean I have played badly or the session is bad? No. It means that I made the right decisions, rest is out of my control.

      Humans have one really cool feature: adaptation. We can adapt to almost anything. With that skill, it's quite easy to make ourselves learn new habits. If valuing sessions in terms of quality seems like a hard thing, it can be learned as a habit on few weeks.
    • VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 10,369
      Someone once said, "It's all one long session"
      At least I think I read something like that once.
      It's true, and it isn't.

      It is true because poker has ups and downs in the short term, but over the span of time, your winrate will show results.
      It is false, though, because after you've taken a few knocks, and dropped a couple of buy-ins or lost 15 Spingoes in a row it can affect your confidence in your own ability.

      Kyyberi mentions adaptation. This is a very good thing, but if we adapt our play based on the results of a very short term, we can make incorrect adjustments.

      But the OP question was "What to do after losing session?"
      The answer is: The same thing to do after every session. That is -- review your marked hands (You do mark hands for review don't you?)
      Mark hands where you had a tough decision
      Mark hands where you sucked out and won from behind
      Mark hands where you got it in good but lost anyway
      Mark hands where you ran a three street bluff (if you do that)
      Mark hands where you lost, but could have won had you bluffed

      For each, rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 on how you played the hand.
      Rate yourself 1-10 on how you handled the mental aspects of the hand.

      Don't kill yourself -- you might mark 20, 30 or even 100 hands in a long session, but if you try to review them all you'll never remember what you learn from it. Pick 5 of the ones that stand out in your mind.

      If you can't figure it out, post it in the Hand Discussion Forum. (or Hand of the Day of it's really a whopper)

      Best of luck,