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Dealing with a day of bad beats?

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  • Dealing with a day of bad beats?

    Yesterday was the most brutal of my poker days actually most days are like this, been playing well building up 5-10 BB an hour and every time I have a big hand, either I get out drawn or I get cooler with a boat, nut flush or set over set.

    Honestly this has been happening on most of my session, every session playing well and building up steady BB every hour and 70% of big hands I just get sucked out or just brutal coolers. Am I just a bad poker player or am I on a down swing? I am seriously contemplating on quitting poker starting to feel the whole thing is rigged against me, even today run up a $2 tournament just to test my luck. I get sucked out again when I clearly put the range of my opponent on a worse hand and he still out draws me on the river.

    When I look at my entire poker history (only started playing in April this year) it shows on a bad run (down swing) funny how your whole run has been a bad run. If you guys want hand history, I have it but not sure if people want to see bad beats since everyone has them.
    Any advice is much appreciated.

    Fellow student.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by fishinthepond; 07-18-2020, 03:57 AM. Reason: Two of the pictures are showing my regular hold em table sessions as a whole and the other is rush which is the same as Zoom on PS.

  • #2
    Everybody takes bad beats. Everybody has bad sessions at least once in a while.

    Mike Caro used to say something I find very useful. Yes, the ultimate goal of playing poker is to win a bunch of money. But when we sit down to play, our goal in playing in the moment is not and should not be to win money. Instead, our immediate goal should be to make good decisions.

    We cannot control results -- that's why they call it "gambling." It would be ideal if we can let go of results completely and instead try to focus on the decisions we make, trying to make them the best decisions that we can. Win? Lose? Who cares? Focus on the decision-making. Take the right action for the right bet size with the right part of your range. Let the chips fall where they will.

    This is an ideal. I aim for this. I do not achieve it anywhere near often enough. But even just the aiming for it is going to improve your game, especially your mental game. It has improved mine.


    • #3
      I have lost my last 7 50/50 flips in a row, and only won 2 out of the last 14.

      Does this misfortune have any bearing on my ability?

      All that matters is whether or not I had the correct odds to make the call, and if my decisions will make a profit in the long run.

      That doesn't mean isn't a shitty feeling, if I'd won half my flips as would be expected then I would be 10 buy-ins better off than I currently am in just a very short space of time.

      However, if I was to be involved in 1,000,000 flips then my results would be extremely close to 50%.

      There will also be times where I win 12 out of 14 flips.

      Variance in the short-term can be brutal, but its effects are cancelled out over time.


      • #4
        There are a few things you can do. Complaining, as nice as it might feel, is not one of them. Clearly, the game is not rigged against you personally, but I understand why you might feel this way.

        Your ability to get over bad runs and manage your mindset and bankroll properly is what separates a lot of good vs bad poker players.

        1. The first thing that I like to do after a session is check my EV line. This will tell me how much below or above variance I am.
        Example session:

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        The EV line is in yellow. So in this session I lost 20$ at 10NL despite the fact that it should have been a breakeven session. FYI, EV line takes the all in before river hands and assigns you the % of the pot that belongs to you. So if you are all-in AA vs KK preflop and lose, you are -10$, but EV line will be aprox 8$ as this is what belongs to you in the pot. If you had the KK and win, you have +10$, but EV line is actually at 2$ only, as only 20% of that pot belongs to you.

        So the EV line tells me that, overall, I have played well on that session or not, despite having bad beats.

        FYI, I am more than $200 below EV line. This for me is an encouragement as I know for a fact I got it in good. It's easy to get overwhelmed by a few bad beats and then completely forget the times you got lucky. This EV line doesn't lie, so check it.

        2. Next thing is objectively analyzing the hands in question. Some will be just bad beats, but in a lot of cases you could have done something else that would have resulted in you losing less money or even winning. A classic example is a hand you chose to flat with preflop instead of 3betting. Perhaps you had a perfectly reasonable hand to 3bet with but did not and you allowed villain to call and cooler you, whereas if you 3bet you could have actually made money by getting the pot preflop. You could also look at raising. Perhaps you allowed your opponent to cbet flop, check back turn and get a free card. Maybe you made a plain mistake. You get the point.

        It's best to share a few hands when you are not sure on the forum to get more feedback.
        The focus as mentioned should be on making the best decisions possible. If you want to make money out of poker, you'll have to play for years anyways, getting good should be your main reason for playing.
        So make sure you take time to study, ideally every day in some form or another.

        3. I would play around with a poker variance calculator.
        A lot of people massively underestimate how big variance can be. A 2-3 BB/100 winner has a decent chance of not making money in the next 100K hands (you probably have not even played that many so far).
        If you are not a crusher (5BB/100+) in your game, you need way more than 100K to realize your full EV.


        • #5
          thanks everyone for the encouraging words, took a few days off and came in fresh again. Relooked at the hands and tried to fix some holes. Hopefully this month would be a better one.