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Running bad in live play, looking for advice on managing expectations

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  • Running bad in live play, looking for advice on managing expectations

    I know, one of these posts. I'm not here just for validation but looking for some coping advice.

    I've been profitable (15bb/hr) at 30nl and an even player at 50nl online for about 6 months. After the consistent success I decided to try to play live 1/3, which I only did casually prior.

    First few sessions were fine, then for the last 7/8 sessions I've been getting crushed. These tables have a lot of passive players that will call as long as they have a draw to the nuts. That's usually amazing, unless they actually hit.

    Few premium hands with a good bit of bleeding chips, but my main problem is bringing in small pots but losing the large ones. Over the last 2 nights I have lost about 5bi over 3 pots where I am ~70% or more favored. Being on a downswing and getting those hands telling yourself "this is the one, this makes it all worth it" and to get sucked out on a 6 outer on the river is just devastating.

    I'm down 11 buy ins now and starting to seriously question taking a shot at playing live. Is this kind of run normal, and I'm just unfortunately hitting this kind of downswing early? My play online hasn't really changed, I'm really only getting crushed in this live game, where I honestly feel like one of the better players most of the time.

  • #2
    When on a downswing it's very important to ignore your actual results (much easier said than done) and focus instead on your play.

    Let's look at a simplified example using your quoted 70%.

    Ignoring blinds and antes, you and your opponent both go all in for 100bb.

    How much can you expect to win on average?

    (70% * 200bb) - 100bb = 40bb

    So if you if this was to happen 3 times in a session, across these hands you'd make an average of of 120bb (40bb * 3).

    People expect because they have a large advantage that they should win every time. But really, you are only to win all 3 hands roughly 1/3 times (0.7 ^ 3 = 34%)

    What about the worst case scenario where we lose 3 in a row? We can do 0.3 ^ 3 = 2.7%

    That does seem like a small percentage indeed. But what if you rolled two dice and rolled a double 6? Does that seem ridiculously unlikely and would you be shocked at the outcome? Of course not. It's the same odds.


    • typicaltyrantHS
      typicaltyrantHS commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the perspective, that's a good way to look at it. Going to get back on the horse tonight and hopefully fair better. Either way I'm going to try to focus on making sure I get my money in good and not necessarily just the end result.

  • #3
    How do you feel about your adjustment to live game strategy? You mentioned online limits, but 1/3 live has large opens, mostly multiway pots and is generally deep stacked. Possible you are tagfishing and overplaying your tight range?

    There are many good players who will notice you only play good cards, others will label you as nitty and just apply pressure or avoid you. Settle in, observe the table and chip up a bit. Then add middle connectors with 1 or 2 gappers to take down bigger pots. When 3 players limp in for $15 ahead of you, implied odds and position can allow you to get a little splashy. Old Man Coffee doesn't sit at 50nl.

    Be social.