Welcome.

Take a tour. Enjoy some free sample content.

How it works

Free Video: CLP Video No. 287: Home Game Bart Reviews His Splashy At $1-$3 Deep Part 2

Free Podcast: CLP Podcast No. 54: Time Warp And Turn Value
New to Crush Live Poker?

Running so bad , how to handle mentally

VernonJones Posts: 178Subscriber
Two out of the last 3 months I have run pretty bad in big pots where all the money goes in preflop or on the flop and a few on the turn. I am counting big as pots 1k or more at a 2/5 and not counting hands that go to the turn or river and money goes in like your locked hands where you get paid off on a set, flush etc and essentially don't have to fade any cards . I have not made any money over this time after beating the game for a pretty good amount the prior 6 months. In looking at those prior 6 I would say I was running a little better than average but not much including losing the only 4k pot as a 52% favorite . I mostly just won a little more than my equity in pots I was favored and a little less than my equity when I was not. I also did better than average in pots where some of the money got in on the flop or turn and then I hit the card I needed and the rest went in like making a boat against a flush.

July I was 1 for 10 in these pots winning one 82% favorite for 1k pot. . Here are the ones I lost that added up to a little bit over 15k. 82%, 87%,71%, 66%, 67%, 34%, ,83%,97%, and the worst one a set over set losing to quads 4 k pot 96%.

August was much better only a little behind the equity I had in these pots. I also havent played much when i have 300 bb on the table

September has been very bad again winning only 2 out of 12 of these big pots both where I was a big favorite. No pots over 2k though mostly because I'm starting over when I get up that much and none where I was over 90% favorite and included 2 coolers where I was around 35% and 2 where I was drawing in the 35-40% range and didn't get there. I have changed my style a little trying to get more aggressive versus a more conservative approach through August and I have managed to only be down just a little for the month unlike July.

How do you guys mentally handle this and still manage to play your best poker? Any tips?
Also the fact that I'm not playing when I have $1500 or more in chips in front of me I'm running bad. Thoughts?

This weekend I lost an $1800 pot on a cooler where I flopped top set against bottom set and a straight and board didn't pair. Than last night my aces lost to a flush draw for a $1500 pot. Another losing weekend since I can never overcome the big pot losses to post a win. My style is tight so there just are not enough chances to play them.

I'm just concerned that this could continue for a long time and while I easily have the bankroll to handle that I won't be able to do this full time if I have another 6 months of being even. I sort of just expect to lose now when the money goes in

Comments

  • Qw3Rtzui0p Posts: 36Member
    This is a tough.. U are quite result oriented.. Just be glad for that downsing.. Its hard i know.. I had a swing aswell.. I had like 1200€ for playing poker and for living.. I was pretty emotionaly bad on it.. But it will make u stronger.. It will give u that motivation to write hands, to safe money, to learn the game a be the best as u can be..

    I can recommend u.. Write down every session u have played somewhere like poker app or cardplayer statistics.. Write a interesting hands.. Play tighter..


    Maybe u can try to have a stoploss.. For winning and for loosing..
  • AesahAesah Posts: 1,048Pro
    Judging from your post, the most important thing for you IMO is to stop focusing on uncontrollable factors and focus more on hands that were marginal. For example, you mentioned a 4k pot where you set over set someone else. To me it sounds like you feel entitled to win because you had 96% when the money goes in, but if it's really just a cooler spot where you would play it the same if you had the lower set, then you're only 50/50 to be dealt the higher set and/or have the winning hand at showdown.
    VernonJones said

    I'm just concerned that this could continue for a long time and while I easily have the bankroll to handle that I won't be able to do this full time if I have another 6 months of being even
    it's possible but extremely unlikely- calculate your winrate/std dev, then calculate your probability of breaking even over 6 months (900 hours or however much you play). see if the chance of that happening (should be very, very low) is an acceptable amount of risk for you.
    VernonJones said
    I sort of just expect to lose now when the money goes in
    Do you believe prior results have no bearing on future results? Do you REALLY believe it, and if so why would you expect to lose when the money goes in?

    ~~~

    I'm currently on a 15k downswing right now as well playing almost exclusively 2/5. Would recommend taking a few days off poker to clear your mind.
  • SatanLovesPoker Posts: 168Member
  • Johnny G Posts: 15SubscriberProfessional
    Stay tight. Keep analyzing. Try to play only at peak donkey times...if you have the discipline - Friday, Saturday night, Sunday day. Etc. Maybe use some game selection if it is possible.
  • VernonJones Posts: 178Subscriber
    I actually would of folded bottom set on the flop the way the hand was played and as deep as we were.

    I guess I just need to win a few of these big pots to not feel that way right now.

    Aesah said

    Judging from your post, the most important thing for you IMO is to stop focusing on uncontrollable factors and focus more on hands that were marginal. For example, you mentioned a 4k pot where you set over set someone else. To me it sounds like you feel entitled to win because you had 96% when the money goes in, but if it's really just a cooler spot where you would play it the same if you had the lower set, then you're only 50/50 to be dealt the higher set and/or have the winning hand at showdown.
    VernonJones said

    I'm just concerned that this could continue for a long time and while I easily have the bankroll to handle that I won't be able to do this full time if I have another 6 months of being even
    it's possible but extremely unlikely- calculate your winrate/std dev, then calculate your probability of breaking even over 6 months (900 hours or however much you play). see if the chance of that happening (should be very, very low) is an acceptable amount of risk for you.
    VernonJones said
    I sort of just expect to lose now when the money goes in
    Do you believe prior results have no bearing on future results? Do you REALLY believe it, and if so why would you expect to lose when the money goes in?

    ~~~

    I'm currently on a 15k downswing right now as well playing almost exclusively 2/5. Would recommend taking a few days off poker to clear your mind.
  • ThehammahThehammah Posts: 7,086Subscriber
    Vernon

    I hear yah man. Before I took an extended break from NL I had a bad streak like yours but it has been almost every big pot for a couple of years. I dont remember the stats but I know of only 1 or 2 pots over $1500 that I have won in the last few years that I had my opponent to usually a flush draw that I won. Generally the money goes in on the flop .. I have a set and villain had either a naked flush draw or some kind of combo draw and I missed my full house every time and they hit their flush.

    You are correct in your understanding that with this type of bad variance its impossible to win at poker over the short term. These big pots are key to anyones win or losing rate.

    My suggestion as I am actually taking my own advice is to take a break. I stopped playing NL and wanted to learn EO so I have been doing that for a while. Now I am taking a break from both. I tend to bring up every "bad beat" after I lose a big pot and since its been so long and so far in between regular wins for me I just have to stop playing for a while.

    So I am maybe going to play once every couple of weeks live and keep playing for rather small stakes online. But use my online play to just get hands in and learn. We can all learn and I find its a great resource that many of us forgot about. I dont expect to get my money out but thats ok because the experience I can get playing say 5c 10c NL is better than say 1/3 or 2/3 at my local casino. Besides I dont have to get dressed put makeup on and drive the 30 min to play. laugh

    I think everyone would benefit from taking some time off and I think you would too.

    Also why not come to the SOP seminar in Vancouver? I think that will be an extraordinary experience imho and the nature that Bart and Dave are planning on teaching is something no one has done before. Collaboration is so much better to learn and solve problems! I am really excited about it and I think it would be a great benefit to anyone who wants to be a serious student of this game.

    take care!

    Wendy
  • Mike Posts: 371Member
    dont even bother trying to figure out your win rate for live play. You will never get enough hands to actually realize that win rate before it changes. Even though you are running bad in big pots i would highly doubt that you are playing to the best of your ability in any downswing or break even stretch. Varience is a bitch and mostly the reason why most people cant play poker for a living. You have to realize that shit like this is going to happen especially if you just play live poker for a living since you cant get that many hands in.

    My advice would be to only play thur-sat nights and just relax and do fun things the rest of the time. for a little bit anyways.
  • GL2UALL Posts: 22Member
    If you choose not to take a break completely from playing, I would suggest that you short stack the game for a while. If you are running bad in big pots that’s one way to make sure you don’t get in any big pots, or at least don’t have so much $ emotionally tied up in the outcome. This will save you money if you might possibly be tilting, and might not cost you as much as a break if you are still playing well. I would suggest you bring 2 minimum buy ins say ($400) for example and set that as a stop loss. Also any time you get up over $500 for the session, just get up book a win and go home. Do this 5-6 times in a row and it will greatly increase your confidence and won’t hurt your bankroll. It might seem silly to sit down play 5 minutes win a 1K pot and get up and go home but it will definitely help your mindset if you do it for a while. If you play disciplined and solid poker and the game is good, you could find yourself walking out a winner >80% of the time. Mathematicians and some poker theorist would say don’t do this, to keep playing as long as the game is good, but remember we aren’t robots. The chances are you are not playing your A-game if you have been running this badly. Set a mandatory goal of winning >$400-$600 between 5-8 times in a row before you allow yourself to go back to your normal buy in. Be disciplined and persistent in staying with whatever plan you choose and you should come out of the downswing running and playing better.
  • floppedawheel Posts: 1,063Subscriber
    nothing works like taking a break. in this case, sounds like a two week break would do it. if you're like most of us, you'll really want to get back out there, no matter how bad you've been running. so just say, 'ok, on X day in october i'm definitely playing again.' that way you'll have something to look forward to. would be good to make that day a softer day -- friday or saturday night. i like this approach better than playing only a short stack or getting up after winning X amount because no matter what you tell yourself, streaks of runbad muddles our thinking at the table. so it's better just to get away.... do some fun/relaxing things instead to fill the void.... you'll come back with your mind more clear and a greater enthusiasm for the game..... just curious, what's been your longest break since that first rough month? if you're playing for a living, it's especially tough not to play. and i don't play for a living, but i think you have no choice but to make sure you have the ability to incorporate breaks from the table into your business plan if you're a pro.
  • JCW Posts: 591Subscriber
    A lot of people have given some good advice.

    I don't know how to say this. I am struggling to make a coherent thought here. But what you are struggling with is IMO the greatest threat to being a successful professional player. You got to work though the negativity, frustration, lost confidence and unfairness of it all. Running very bad IS Being a Poker Pro. Surviving though these droughts is what separates the people that really do this for a living vs. those those that want to play poker for a living.

    This will not be the first or last drought. Good luck.
  • VernonJones Posts: 178Subscriber
    Great advice from everyone! Aopreciate it. 2 days is the answer. I really felt no need to take a break the first 6 months. My sessions are way too long and that needs to stop immediately.

    Here is what I have decided based on feedback. Which do you think would lead to higher win rate probability and which do you think is best. Leaning #1 based on feedback I have received from knowledgable friends but still open:

    1. Play 1/2 nl instead of the 2/5 . Its $60 min and $300 max and avg stack is normally around $175-$200. I played one month last year and won around $32 hr but sure I ran good . Players aren't very good so stress should be lower. I also may play 2/5 on weekend but still open minded.

    2. Short stack the $200-$500 2/5 game playing a variation of Ed millers SSS. I used this online years ago and did alright. These games are a lot of action so I think it could work well. If I get up to say$400 I could continue to play or switch tables or even play 1/2. All options are in play.


    Either way no more marathon sessions. I want to spend 2 hours a day working on game away from table. Just completed my 2 hours for tonight!

    The rake is going to be tough in either scenario , what do you guys think?


    floppedawheel said

    nothing works like taking a break. in this case, sounds like a two week break would do it. if you're like most of us, you'll really want to get back out there, no matter how bad you've been running. so just say, 'ok, on X day in october i'm definitely playing again.' that way you'll have something to look forward to. would be good to make that day a softer day -- friday or saturday night. i like this approach better than playing only a short stack or getting up after winning X amount because no matter what you tell yourself, streaks of runbad muddles our thinking at the table. so it's better just to get away.... do some fun/relaxing things instead to fill the void.... you'll come back with your mind more clear and a greater enthusiasm for the game..... just curious, what's been your longest break since that first rough month? if you're playing for a living, it's especially tough not to play. and i don't play for a living, but i think you have no choice but to make sure you have the ability to incorporate breaks from the table into your business plan if you're a pro.
  • VernonJones Posts: 178Subscriber
    Awesome quote!
    JCW said

    A lot of people have given some good advice.

    I don't know how to say this. I am struggling to make a coherent thought here. But what you are struggling with is IMO the greatest threat to being a successful professional player. You got to work though the negativity, frustration, lost confidence and unfairness of it all. Running very bad IS Being a Poker Pro. Surviving though these droughts is what separates the people that really do this for a living vs. those those that want to play poker for a living.

    This will not be the first or last drought. Good luck.
  • VernonJones Posts: 178Subscriber
    Going to do stop loss whether it's short stacked or 1/2 . Good advice


    GL2UALL said

    If you choose not to take a break completely from playing, I would suggest that you short stack the game for a while. If you are running bad in big pots that’s one way to make sure you don’t get in any big pots, or at least don’t have so much $ emotionally tied up in the outcome. This will save you money if you might possibly be tilting, and might not cost you as much as a break if you are still playing well. I would suggest you bring 2 minimum buy ins say ($400) for example and set that as a stop loss. Also any time you get up over $500 for the session, just get up book a win and go home. Do this 5-6 times in a row and it will greatly increase your confidence and won’t hurt your bankroll. It might seem silly to sit down play 5 minutes win a 1K pot and get up and go home but it will definitely help your mindset if you do it for a while. If you play disciplined and solid poker and the game is good, you could find yourself walking out a winner >80% of the time. Mathematicians and some poker theorist would say don’t do this, to keep playing as long as the game is good, but remember we aren’t robots. The chances are you are not playing your A-game if you have been running this badly. Set a mandatory goal of winning >$400-$600 between 5-8 times in a row before you allow yourself to go back to your normal buy in. Be disciplined and persistent in staying with whatever plan you choose and you should come out of the downswing running and playing better.
  • VernonJones Posts: 178Subscriber
    Thanks Wendy!

    And yes I'm missing every full house in this spot. We all lose 35% hands, coolers , etc and have bad stretches. My issue is I'm now concerned whether I'm good enough to make what I need. It was easy at first but now I'm thinking I should have won more so the downswings wouldn't hurt as much.

    Vancouver hmmm ;)
    Thehammah said

    Vernon

    I hear yah man. Before I took an extended break from NL I had a bad streak like yours but it has been almost every big pot for a couple of years. I dont remember the stats but I know of only 1 or 2 pots over $1500 that I have won in the last few years that I had my opponent to usually a flush draw that I won. Generally the money goes in on the flop .. I have a set and villain had either a naked flush draw or some kind of combo draw and I missed my full house every time and they hit their flush.

    You are correct in your understanding that with this type of bad variance its impossible to win at poker over the short term. These big pots are key to anyones win or losing rate.

    My suggestion as I am actually taking my own advice is to take a break. I stopped playing NL and wanted to learn EO so I have been doing that for a while. Now I am taking a break from both. I tend to bring up every "bad beat" after I lose a big pot and since its been so long and so far in between regular wins for me I just have to stop playing for a while.

    So I am maybe going to play once every couple of weeks live and keep playing for rather small stakes online. But use my online play to just get hands in and learn. We can all learn and I find its a great resource that many of us forgot about. I dont expect to get my money out but thats ok because the experience I can get playing say 5c 10c NL is better than say 1/3 or 2/3 at my local casino. Besides I dont have to get dressed put makeup on and drive the 30 min to play. laugh

    I think everyone would benefit from taking some time off and I think you would too.

    Also why not come to the SOP seminar in Vancouver? I think that will be an extraordinary experience imho and the nature that Bart and Dave are planning on teaching is something no one has done before. Collaboration is so much better to learn and solve problems! I am really excited about it and I think it would be a great benefit to anyone who wants to be a serious student of this game.

    take care!

    Wendy
  • VernonJones Posts: 178Subscriber
    I went through a stretch where I won 18 sat in a row. I never felt I ran great because i hardly ever got all the money in as a dog and when i did i normally lost but I always seem to win when I was favorrite Now I know that is running good. I will always play all day on Sat.

    Mike said

    dont even bother trying to figure out your win rate for live play. You will never get enough hands to actually realize that win rate before it changes. Even though you are running bad in big pots i would highly doubt that you are playing to the best of your ability in any downswing or break even stretch. Varience is a bitch and mostly the reason why most people cant play poker for a living. You have to realize that shit like this is going to happen especially if you just play live poker for a living since you cant get that many hands in.

    My advice would be to only play thur-sat nights and just relax and do fun things the rest of the time. for a little bit anyways.
  • PokerIsFrustrating Posts: 657Member
    I was going through a pretty bad run like that. You do need to honestly evaluate whether your game is good enough. You can't simply go in assuming you're the best player at your limit and try to figure out how you're losing.

    I think of it this way. On average, everyone has average luck. If you're at the casino every day, it's highly unlikely you're "unluckier" than the next guy over hundreds and hundreds of hours.

    So if you're not just unlucky as a person, you're just running bad. Eventually you'll run good. This is the time to really work on your game, and realize that any money that you don't lose or any small bets you win that you wouldn't before are just as important as the big pots you take down.

    I highly recommend Jared Tendler's mental game books. They helped me a ton.

    Finally, as Mike said it's very hard to play poker for a living. Very few people are making the $50, $60, $70+/hour that makes it easy. I don't believe ANYONE who tells me their win rate, because everyone is going to bump it up. It's really hard to do, and you can't really tilt or have big run bad streaks and you might have a big month and 2 or 3 bad ones. Playing poker for a living has a lot of downsides.

    Don't short stack live BTW unless you have no BR. You're not playing 24 tables online (I used to do that so trust me I know SS strategy). If you want to make it as a pro, you need to learn deepstack strategy and move up ASAP to a beatable level. At some point you need to kinda "push all in" and hope you run good. It's just how pros are made. Someone once said that the guys who end up as pros are the guys who started playing poker not knowing what they're doing and just happened to run good at first and then learned the game.
Sign In or Register to comment.