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Seven Methods to Deal With Downswings

No matter how good a player you are, your confidence will always be lower after a losing session. It doesn’t matter how you played that session. If you lose, your confidence will definitely drop. 

There are various methods by which you can try to get out of a downswing. Some of my friends like to overcome downswings through the game itself. They believe that if they play enough hands, luck will find them. Some people like to take a long break. Some are even more willing to participate in extremely difficult situations in the hope that this kind of shake-up will restore their luck and quality game. Regardless of the choice, their main goal is to turn their thinking in the right direction. Below you will find 7 methods to deal with downswings

Win Little

This is the favorite method of many professional poker players when they feel like they can’t win no matter what they do. A lot of players who use this approach swear it helps. If you don’t like dropping down the stakes, the most effective way to get your luck back is to accumulate small wins such as one or two buy-ins per day. After a few winning streaks, you will be back on your feet and confident in your game. 

Of course, giving up a session when you’re winning and playing well is not the optimal strategy, and I rarely do it. But when you are in a downswing, the most important thing is to get your confidence back and do it no matter how hard it takes to get back on track. 

Whatever happens, sooner or later it happens. When you see small wins, you can see if this strategy is helping you turn your thinking around.

 Play Short Sessions

When you’re in the game and you feel like you can’t keep your winnings, you better stop. Nothing wrong with that. Don’t force yourself to play because that will break your game system. After all, if you lose even insignificant money, you will not feel so good. 

The irony is that when you don’t feel like playing, you force yourself to sit back and keep playing because that’s your job and the current game is good enough. It’s like if you were at school, or at a job that you don’t like, you would always take the opportunity to leave. It’s in your best interest to get out of a game that doesn’t give you any pleasure. 

Reduce Variance 

When players are in a downswing, they usually play a long session. They think that after one big session, everything will return to normal. This is a huge mistake. When you are in a downswing, the worst thing you can do is increase your variance. 

If you stick with the idea that you should play big sessions, you will be forced to play in a more aggressive manner. You will take risks, in the hope that a big session will fix everything. But this is the best recipe for getting new problems. 

Let’s be clear, playing aggressively or taking extra risks is not necessarily bad for you. Sometimes, it’s good to take risks to improve your poker game. But when you are in a downswing, this is not the best time to start increasing your risk. Do it when you’re up. Because, in all likelihood, you’ll probably play better when you’re up, win more pots, and your flush draws will hit 80% of the time. 

Reduce the Number of Tables 

Reducing the number of tables always helps. This helps you concentrate. You play better because your attention is not scattered. Opening 12 tables when you are playing poorly is not a good way to avoid downswings. You will often make decisions on autopilot. When you read forum posts, you will notice that people always say that they play better at a small number of tables. The best way to know if an online casino is a quality one, go on national casino reviews where you’ll get all the reviews of the online casino and all the games available on the platform. 

Remember, if you have a high win rate, rakeback becomes less valuable. Think about it.

Remember You Are Not Alone

Even though poker is an individual game, when you play poorly, don’t feel like you’re the only one in the whole world. Reading the forums helps confidence a lot. It’s good to see what others are doing and how they deal with downswings. 

Remember that in poker you are always either going to go up or you are going to go down. Unless you’re a rakeback or FPP expert, you definitely shouldn’t be jumping around. Usually you want your lifts to be long and your downswings to be fleeting. Having this mentality can help you approach poker in a way that makes you a more confident player. 

Remember that all this is self-deception, which makes you feel better and helps create a good mood for playing winning poker. What’s the point in doing the right calculations if it puts you in a bad mood and prevents you from finding a way to improve your game?

Don’t Think You’re the Biggest Loser

If you are a professional player, then you probably play well, or at least do it better than average. You have to be, otherwise you will probably lose your first deposit and quit. 

If you’re not ready to rock the table, you won’t be able to put on a really good game. If you play and win the very first hand, your confidence will skyrocket. And the rest of the session you will play very easily. But if you lose, you begin to doubt yourself, even in the event of an unfortunate move. And after several unsuccessful attempts, you will have negative feelings. 

This is why the longer you stay at the lower stakes, the harder it will be to climb higher. You’re just used to losing X amount of money that suddenly increasing the loss to 2X will hurt you. This forces you to revert to a safer strategy that increases the number of tables at lower stakes to make up for what you lose at higher limits.

Compare Your Game to a Template

When you’re downswinging, you’re either playing badly, or terribly, or both. You must find out why you are losing money, and in this way, you can determine the reason for the loss. 

The most effective way is to analyze the played hands that you lost in the past week in order to bring your game into a conditional pattern. Look at each hand you made it to the turn and river with, then note which line you used when you were in position and when you were out of position. There are a certain number of decisions you can make in a hand, and when you play badly you tend to check-call the flop and check-fold the turn. 

In hands where you’ve bluffed on the river, try to figure out why your opponents called you? Did they call because their hand improved on a random river card and they were unable to fold? If the answer is “yes”, then you really are playing terribly. But now you have actual proof that you’re playing badly, and so you need to do a lot of things to boost your confidence and improve your game.

However, if your river bet is being called by everyone with fairly mediocre hands, then there is definitely a leak in your game that you need to find as soon as possible. Review these hands and write down the decisions you made. Are they really justified? 

After the analysis, you will understand why you are losing, as well as what played a major role in all this, luck or experience. Be honest with yourself and your game. Nobody but you will know this. There is only you, the history of your hands, and the Word document. It is also important to note that before becoming a professional player, you must have a group of people with whom you can discuss the game and from whom you can draw ideas.

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