Running Bad – Get yourself out of da funk in 3 easy steps

July 20, 2008

This post will be kinda quick, but really useful I think (hope).

If you are currently amidst a downswing, or have been losing for a few consecutive months and feel really frustrated by the game try the following 3 step recovery plan:

Step 1: Take a break. It’s important to come back to the game with a refreshed spirit. How long? The length of a break depends on where your head is at, but generally speaking, around a week is going to get the job done. In this week, it is important to not think about poker. This may be tough, as your used to scouring the forums, reading the blogs, watching the videos…cut yourself off for a few days at the very least. After a few days, if you want to start watching a video or two, or lurking in the forums fine. But no playing!

Step 2: Drop down a level, or two: When you come back to the game, play at a level that you really could care less about losing a buyin or three. You are just pushing the reset button here….this is important, especially for your confidence. So you normally play .25/.5? Who cares if you play a few sessions at .05/.1…check your ego. This is about getting off running bad.

Step 3: Play much tighter out of position and from the blinds, and much more aggressive in position especially button and cutoff. Position is not much of a secret these days, but I’ve found that when a lot of people are running bad some terrible habits creep in. There game starts to average out. You are looking to win bigger pots, one way they try and do that is loosen up your preflop calling ranges out of position a bit…and combined with that, you start playing a little too conservative in position, not c-betting like you normally would, or not 3betting aggressively enough.

If you are playing deeper stacks (200bb+) then you can start trying to lower variance in some spots, where you might be inclined to protect your hand (vs flush/str8 draws) by reshoving on the flop. It’s ok to give free, or cheaper, turn/river cards sometimes – to prevent the monkeys from shoving…always remember a skilled player will make better decisions on all streets vs. a weaker player. If you only have one street to make a decision you lose much of your edge – leaving it up to the poker gods you curse so much.

GL – I hope you get out of your funk soon.

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Poker Health Tip – Control Your Tilt

September 10, 2007

Often while playing online, we come across those individuals that completely ‘lose’ it at the table – cursing, beraiding others for their ‘bad’ play, moaning about all the bad luck they have, etc.  You know the type.  We have a recommendation for them: either a: move down in limits so it isn’t so painful, or b: quit playing all together.

Neither choice is all that appealing to someone stuck a few hundred or a few thousand at a time, but it is a necessary choice.  Playing successful poker requires a calm emotional state – to think clearly about the game – at a higher level than the ‘average’.  Generally, playing successful poker will result in you getting ‘sucked out on’ more often than you do it to someone else.  So don’t let that next unlucky hand set you off.

It all hinges on being able to put it all in perspective. Read the rest of this entry »