downswing real or perceived?

    • Hackett77
      Hackett77
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      Joined: 02.02.2009 Posts: 372
      Isnt a downswing really just a mental and and emotional phase player goes through, perhaps initiated and/or compounded by a string of bad results?

      Shouldnt a profitable player still be able to make a profit even when the cards dont come and flops dont hit?

      Also, assuming that it is purely all the 10% times Aces lose etc running in one long sequence,why not then play fake money games for xxxx hands until this streak is ridden out?

      Surely the poker gods dont differentiate between real and fake money hands?

      Isnt a downswing really an excuse for bad play/results whilst not emotional fit to play due to some bad hands?
  • 43 replies
    • ihufa
      ihufa
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      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 3,323
      fu
    • AndySk
      AndySk
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      Joined: 06.12.2007 Posts: 174
      write it on a piece of paper and put it into your pocket, thx
    • suvalgysiu
      suvalgysiu
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      Joined: 09.06.2007 Posts: 307
      lol, a downswing isn't a curse or time period that you could just ride out on the playmoney tables.
    • MrMardyBum
      MrMardyBum
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      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 2,235
      Originally posted by Hackett77
      Isnt a downswing really just a mental and and emotional phase player goes through, perhaps initiated and/or compounded by a string of bad results?

      Shouldnt a profitable player still be able to make a profit even when the cards dont come and flops dont hit?

      Also, assuming that it is purely all the 10% times Aces lose etc running in one long sequence,why not then play fake money games for xxxx hands until this streak is ridden out?

      Surely the poker gods dont differentiate between real and fake money hands?

      Isnt a downswing really an excuse for bad play/results whilst not emotional fit to play due to some bad hands?
      I do see your point and in some respects I agree, but you can't make a profit when your premium hands are cracked over 10k hands and you are running way below EV.

      True an emotional state can be brought on by the string of bad results, but this is a downswing.... It's just the fact you have to play through it or take a break.

      A few questions....

      You play a session, in that session you've played 1,000 hands during that 1,000 hands you've been dealt pockets aces say 4 times, and of those four times 3 times you got it all in preflop and you got sucked out, the other time you raised and everyone folded.

      Same session you also got dealt A,Kos eight times, you got allin preflop 3 times, and you only won once, the other five times you lost or won 4 - 5 BB's.

      You only got dealt KK twice and both times everyone folded preflop....


      Roughly the same thing happens over you next ten sessions of 1,000 hands.... Think you are going to be in profit?

      People find it hard to drop a stake in real money, you are now expecting them to quit playing real money for a play money situation? Get a grip. Taking a break maybe, playing with 12 year olds and people that are to scared to play for real money is only going to harm your game. Don't you agree?

      Have you ever experienced a REAL downswing?

      I think not, because you can play the best poker you've ever played in your lifetime and still a donkey will suck out on you when you got the money in ahead. Do you think this was maybe a bad post in a poker forum?
    • Hackett77
      Hackett77
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      Joined: 02.02.2009 Posts: 372
      i wasnt intending to to offend anyone, I find the whole concept really interesting and suppose am playing advocate a bit.

      Yes of course Ive had down swings but maybe not a substantial one, But then again I would very very rarely put my AK all in preflop. I cant really see a justification for going on a coinflip in cash money game. Thats for tournaments.


      I dont really think you should push anything other than AA/KK all preflop in cash game but I guess thats not the common thinking here.

      The idea of cash games is to get money into the pot when the odds are in your favour and AK preflop doesnt fit the bill to me in that respect(assuming your against a PP - not some wild manics range - then yes I would push em, or I was V SSS).

      I didnt realise my post would cause offence. I was more interested in the idea that if you know your in a period where your Aces keep getting cracked etc why not limit the risk, OK so suggesting free money games isnt a good one (although Im not so sure, if you know you are on a unprofitable streak is it really wise to put money on the table.) but at least go and play in micro games where this run isnt going to affect your bankroll?
    • luitzen
      luitzen
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      Joined: 03.04.2009 Posts: 664
      Originally posted by Hackett77
      Isnt a downswing really just a mental and and emotional phase player goes through, perhaps initiated and/or compounded by a string of bad results?

      Shouldnt a profitable player still be able to make a profit even when the cards dont come and flops dont hit?

      Also, assuming that it is purely all the 10% times Aces lose etc running in one long sequence,why not then play fake money games for xxxx hands until this streak is ridden out?

      Surely the poker gods dont differentiate between real and fake money hands?

      Isnt a downswing really an excuse for bad play/results whilst not emotional fit to play due to some bad hands?
      If we define a down swing as an long unlucky period, a period in which you didn't do anything wrong, played +EV, but still lost a substantial amount of money there's no way playing play money games would help you end your down swing. Every time you're in a coin flip (or some other distribution of odds) you have a certain chance to lose or win the hand. That doesn't change after you played a couple of play money games. You only try to confuse your mind if you do this.

      If you believe your down swing is due to your mood, either being euphoric or disappointed/angry/sad/etc., (i.e. you're on tilt or steamy) and believe playing play money games for one day would help you to reset your mind and rearrange your thoughts, you'd better reconsider and don't play any poker at all or study for that one day.
    • Hackett77
      Hackett77
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      Joined: 02.02.2009 Posts: 372
      Originally posted by luitzen
      Originally posted by Hackett77
      Isnt a downswing really just a mental and and emotional phase player goes through, perhaps initiated and/or compounded by a string of bad results?

      Shouldnt a profitable player still be able to make a profit even when the cards dont come and flops dont hit?

      Also, assuming that it is purely all the 10% times Aces lose etc running in one long sequence,why not then play fake money games for xxxx hands until this streak is ridden out?

      Surely the poker gods dont differentiate between real and fake money hands?

      Isnt a downswing really an excuse for bad play/results whilst not emotional fit to play due to some bad hands?
      If we define a down swing as an long unlucky period, a period in which you didn't do anything wrong, played +EV, but still lost a substantial amount of money there's no way playing play money games would help you end your down swing. Every time you're in a coin flip (or some other distribution of odds) you have a certain chance to lose or win the hand. That doesn't change after you played a couple of play money games. You only try to confuse your mind if you do this.

      If you believe your down swing is due to your mood, either being euphoric or disappointed/angry/sad/etc., (i.e. you're on tilt or steamy) and believe playing play money games for one day would help you to reset your mind and rearrange your thoughts, you'd better reconsider and don't play any poker at all or study for that one day.
      I dont think playing play money would affect someones state of mind at all.

      What im saying is this: if a downswing is a period whereby you play good+EV poker but all the suckouts happen at once and this will just carry on for a length of time due to the evening out of probabilites why not let the maths even itself out at micro stakes or play money.

      But it seems that alot of these are coming down to coinflips and still dont see why you would want to enter into a coinflip in a cash game anyway
    • MrMardyBum
      MrMardyBum
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      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 2,235
      You can't play proper poker with play money for a start.... Everyone is all in pre flop 9/10 hands. How the hell could that ever help you?

      Study for the day is a better option by far.

      As for the coin flip thing, when you play SSS a few hands are (by the using the SHC) coin flips. Not such a big deal for BSS I admit, but a lot of people are playing SSS on this site.
    • Hackett77
      Hackett77
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      Joined: 02.02.2009 Posts: 372
      I understand about the SSS but I wasnt really including that as by nature thats a very hight variance strategy.

      But how would studying for a day help you. If a downswing is really about the maths of poker evening out the hot periofs then staying away from the table wont help at all, you are still due your quota of suckouts so they will still be there the next day until you ride out xxx amount of hands?

      I can only see taking a break from the table being of any use if the downswing is in fact due to a players state of mind?
    • MrMardyBum
      MrMardyBum
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      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 2,235
      Taking a break for the day while doing something constructive like..... Studying? So still keeping your mind ticking about poker without playing?
    • Essian
      Essian
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      Joined: 04.04.2008 Posts: 21
      Originally posted by Hackett77
      I understand about the SSS but I wasnt really including that as by nature thats a very hight variance strategy.

      But how would studying for a day help you. If a downswing is really about the maths of poker evening out the hot periofs then staying away from the table wont help at all, you are still due your quota of suckouts so they will still be there the next day until you ride out xxx amount of hands?

      I can only see taking a break from the table being of any use if the downswing is in fact due to a players state of mind?

      I can fully understand where you are coming from, and pretty much agree. But thats because my graph looks pretty sick, and I haven't really had a down swing yet ie where my graph goes from positive linear to a negative linear. Therefore I do always wonder whether it is possible to have periods where all hell breaks loose and nothing is in my control. I mean I have days where nothing goes right, but then the next day it's fine. What if those bad day carried on for a week or weeks, that would be pretty devastating and would be classified as a downswing.

      So ask yourself, have you had bad days? Most likely yes, and so is it possible to have those days in consecutive days/weeks? Probably, and I'm sure lots of people have experienced that. However I would like to see someone work out the odds and maths of getting sucked out constantly for an extended period of time.

      Basically to me as long as I'm running normal or better I make money, and lose when its out of my control, then what's the odds of the game being out of my control for a extended period of time?

      It would be interesting to have the opinion from someone that has recorded over 500k hands and is a good profitable player that has experienced a 'true' downswing because it was out of his/her control.

      Peace :spade: :heart: :diamond: :club:
    • luitzen
      luitzen
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      Joined: 03.04.2009 Posts: 664
      Originally posted by Hackett77
      Originally posted by luitzen
      Originally posted by Hackett77
      Isnt a downswing really just a mental and and emotional phase player goes through, perhaps initiated and/or compounded by a string of bad results?

      Shouldnt a profitable player still be able to make a profit even when the cards dont come and flops dont hit?

      Also, assuming that it is purely all the 10% times Aces lose etc running in one long sequence,why not then play fake money games for xxxx hands until this streak is ridden out?

      Surely the poker gods dont differentiate between real and fake money hands?

      Isnt a downswing really an excuse for bad play/results whilst not emotional fit to play due to some bad hands?
      If we define a down swing as an long unlucky period, a period in which you didn't do anything wrong, played +EV, but still lost a substantial amount of money there's no way playing play money games would help you end your down swing. Every time you're in a coin flip (or some other distribution of odds) you have a certain chance to lose or win the hand. That doesn't change after you played a couple of play money games. You only try to confuse your mind if you do this.

      If you believe your down swing is due to your mood, either being euphoric or disappointed/angry/sad/etc., (i.e. you're on tilt or steamy) and believe playing play money games for one day would help you to reset your mind and rearrange your thoughts, you'd better reconsider and don't play any poker at all or study for that one day.
      I dont think playing play money would affect someones state of mind at all.

      What im saying is this: if a downswing is a period whereby you play good+EV poker but all the suckouts happen at once and this will just carry on for a length of time due to the evening out of probabilites why not let the maths even itself out at micro stakes or play money.

      But it seems that alot of these are coming down to coinflips and still dont see why you would want to enter into a coinflip in a cash game anyway
      I think you didn't get my point. You can't even out the maths. Every time you play a hand the same probabilities apply. You might get back your luck on microstakes, but as soon as you return to your normal level the suckouts may start again. Maths really don't look at the probability of being lucky or unlucky for a long while. Playing microstakes really won't change anything.

      If your downswing is solely based on you're luck (which I can't imagine) then the only right thing to do is to continue playing.

      The problem is that a downswing is never solely based on luck or a lack of luck. Therefore taking a day off might be a much better decision.
    • NightFrostaSS
      NightFrostaSS
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      Joined: 25.10.2008 Posts: 5,255
      OMFG :s_o:
      Do you smoke something?
    • Dragar
      Dragar
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      Joined: 09.09.2008 Posts: 2,214
      He fell into the trap of the gamblers fallacy.

      There are no evenings of low probability or bad variance etc. Every hand is mutually exclusive. Hence you cannot outplay your downswing or whatever on play money and return to cash when its over. That makes no sense.

      OP does not understand this concept. You cannot let probabilities even out.
      If I flip a coin and its 10 times heads, it does not mean the next time it will be tails so that the math evens out. Its still 50/50.

      So in poker if I lose 3 times in a situation where I am 70% ahead when I put my money in I can lose the 4th time. I cannot go to play money, lose 2 more of those situations there, then think the ds is over and go back to real money. I may lose it a 5th time.
    • MrMardyBum
      MrMardyBum
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      Joined: 14.03.2009 Posts: 2,235
      Originally posted by Dragar
      He fell into the trap of the gamblers fallacy.

      There are no evenings of low probability or bad variance etc. Every hand is mutually exclusive. Hence you cannot outplay your downswing or whatever on play money and return to cash when its over. That makes no sense.

      OP does not understand this concept. You cannot let probabilities even out.
      If I flip a coin and its 10 times heads, it does not mean the next time it will be tails so that the math evens out. Its still 50/50.

      So in poker if I lose 3 times in a situation where I am 70% ahead when I put my money in I can lose the 4th time. I cannot go to play money, lose 2 more of those situations there, then think the ds is over and go back to real money. I may lose it a 5th time.
      +1, Nice explaination.
    • mishkagg
      mishkagg
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      Joined: 29.07.2008 Posts: 1,354
      The OP's post really doesn't make much sense cause of the nature of chance and that is that chance need a very big sample size in order for the calculated probabilities to be accurate. I don't even know how much poker hands one would need in order to draw conclusions but from what I see in PokerStove it analyzes like 1 million hands and outcomes and then calculates the equity. So in order to properly calculate the AA vs K7 equity you would need a huge sample size. This sample doesn't mean that you won't lose AA vs K7 10 times in a row and later win it 30 times in a row. It is completely possible. And cards have no memory so the way a hand turned out DOES NOT influence the next outcome. How hard is this to understand?
    • luitzen
      luitzen
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      Joined: 03.04.2009 Posts: 664
      Originally posted by mishkagg
      The OP's post really doesn't make much sense cause of the nature of chance and that is that chance need a very big sample size in order for the calculated probabilities to be accurate. I don't even know how much poker hands one would need in order to draw conclusions but from what I see in PokerStove it analyzes like 1 million hands and outcomes and then calculates the equity. So in order to properly calculate the AA vs K7 equity you would need a huge sample size. This sample doesn't mean that you won't lose AA vs K7 10 times in a row and later win it 30 times in a row. It is completely possible. And cards have no memory so the way a hand turned out DOES NOT influence the next outcome. How hard is this to understand?
      You can look at this from another point and calculate the number of possibilities AA would win from K7. Divide this by the total amount of possibilities and you now AA's equity against K7.
    • Hackett77
      Hackett77
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      Joined: 02.02.2009 Posts: 372
      So what is a downswing then if its not to do with maths nor luck?

      And if a downswing can be helped by taking time out of the game then surely that implies that a downswing is due to the players mental state??

      The only factor time taken out of playing to study can influence is a players state of mind or ability to play better through better knowledge or understanding of poker? this seems to imply that a downswing is more to do with the players state of mind which then affects his play?

      Also heres a question, I have just played 2 nights in the casino, On one hand i have been dealt some very good cards in a higher proportion to what you would expect.

      Best hands and results

      AA x 2 - Won 1 double up and 1 half stack pot
      KK x 6 - lost 4 times 2 wins with c. 1/4 to half stack wins
      AQ 3 x - lost all times - not realy significant losses
      AK x 2 - Lost both times - not signifcant losses

      Each time i lost with my big hands (except AQx1 and AKx1) I lost to a lucky river card (which most will then say this is due to a downswing).

      At the end of the two nights I still showed c. half a stack profit.

      So, taking into account the nice cards dealt (upswing?) the more than average occurence of badbeats (downswing?) and a minmimal profit am i in an upswing a downswing or is this your average session?
    • Wurble
      Wurble
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      Joined: 04.04.2009 Posts: 456
      Originally posted by Hackett77
      So what is a downswing then if its not to do with maths nor luck?

      And if a downswing can be helped by taking time out of the game then surely that implies that a downswing is due to the players mental state??

      The only factor time taken out of playing to study can influence is a players state of mind or ability to play better through better knowledge or understanding of poker? this seems to imply that a downswing is more to do with the players state of mind which then affects his play?

      Also heres a question, I have just played 2 nights in the casino, On one hand i have been dealt some very good cards in a higher proportion to what you would expect.

      Best hands and results

      AA x 2 - Won 1 double up and 1 half stack pot
      KK x 6 - lost 4 times 2 wins with c. 1/4 to half stack wins
      AQ 3 x - lost all times - not realy significant losses
      AK x 2 - Lost both times - not signifcant losses

      Each time i lost with my big hands (except AQx1 and AKx1) I lost to a lucky river card (which most will then say this is due to a downswing).

      At the end of the two nights I still showed c. half a stack profit.

      So, taking into account the nice cards dealt (upswing?) the more than average occurence of badbeats (downswing?) and a minmimal profit am i in an upswing a downswing or is this your average session?
      I'm fairly new here but was interested by this post...

      Hackett, it seems you aren't fully understanding the laws that govern probability.

      Using the flip of a coin as an example... The law of probability states the coin should come up heads and tails in equal measure - 50/50. The thing is though, you could flip a coin 1000 times and it could come out heads 750 times which would be 75/25 - The 50/50 may not materialise for another 10,000 flips.

      Poker is exactly the same, just because you're playing every hand with the laws of probability on your side you could still hit a prolonged downswing which has nothing to do with your mental state or the way you're playing, it's just the laws of probabilities acting out.

      You can just be sure that over an infinite number of hands, provided you play properly, you will be profitable and those downswings will be evened out by upswings.