You’ve been playing online poker for a while - and doing well - until something has changed. It doesn’t matter that you do everything right and that you get decent hands – it seems you can’t win.
If you find yourself in such a situation, which lasts for more than a week, you’re in a downswing. That means that your unsuccessful attempts at winning are a result of continuous bad luck, and you should remember that. The fact that you’re losing doesn’t mean you suck at poker!
Sometimes, things don’t go your way, and that's a fact. But a losing streak can be quite demoralizing, and in turn, it can lead to reckless behaviour that has the potential to adversely affect your gameplay. In some cases, even pro players allow their frustration to take over, which hinders their ability to make smart decisions and play well.
But even though finding yourself in a downswing is not fun, how you deal with it will determine your future in poker. Will you let negativity take over? Or will you be able to rise from the ashes and turn the downswing into a learning experience?
Here are a few tips that can help you deal with the overwhelming feeling of failure that accompanies a downswing:
- Remember that it happens to everyone – Those who say that “misery loves company” are totally right. You need to remember that everyone goes through a downswing phase, even pro players, as it is a matter of statistics. So keep your head down and wait it out, the storm of bad luck will pass eventually. Don’t think that something is wrong with you, as all players have experienced a downswing at some point throughout their careers.
- Place smaller bets for a while – If you notice that your losing streak lasts for a prolonged time, don’t insist on leaving a lot of money at the tables. Minimize loses by placing small bets, and once you notice you’re back to your old self, you can raise your bets without as much risk.
- Check your strategy – When a downswing lasts for too long, you need to consider the possibility that your lack of success has nothing to do with bad luck - and everything to do with your poker techniques. Maybe you need to learn how to play better, or maybe your frustration led you to change your gaming style without you noticing. Either way, make sure that you’re doing everything you can to win, and success will follow shortly.
- Take a break – Sometimes, distancing yourself from an adverse situation will give you the perspective you need to regain your ability to play poker online. Stop playing for a while, take a vacation, do something fun to clear your mind, and only then go back to the poker tables. Clearing your head can work magic on your motivation and focus, which are crucial when you face strong competitors.
Those of you who have been playing poker for a while know that there is no avoiding a downswing. It will happen at one point or another, and all you can do is learn how to deal with it without losing your mind.
Do you think that you can face even the direst situations?