HOW TO COPE WITH A POKER LOSING STREAK
There are times when even the most experienced poker players have a run of bad luck. The longer the losing streak lasts, the harder it is to believe that it is just bad luck. It may seem that you’re in a downward spiral that is never going to end. However, there are some things that will help you cope with a losing streak.
THE SLIPPERY SLOPE
Be sure to avoid the slippery slope. We all head to the poker table with knowledge of which hands to fold and which to play. This does change slightly with the looseness or tightness of each individual game. However, sharp poker players will stay away from the hands that can be dominated. Stay alert for your opponent’s tells, especially those that indicate the player has been outdrawn.
Most poker players can follow their instincts, but if hours pass and they are not winning, their stack dwindles rapidly. This is when players play hands that they should fold. They take a chance simply to see the flop. Often, this trend continues throughout the game. Post won are offset by numerous times of limping to the flop. Stay alert! Be selective of the hands that you play. If you play mediocre hands, bad things will happen and you will continue to play marginal hands over the course of the game. Keep track of your starting hands and how they play out. This should be done with all poker hands and not just when you are on a losing streak.
RESPECT THE RAISE
In all poker games players raise when they have a good hand. Online, this is especially true. Often, players are multi-tasking by playing several tables at one time. If you have to call two bets to stay in the pot instead of only one, you’re cold calling. This will contribute considerably to a losing streak because most of the time you’ll end up folding at the flop.
Be sure to respect the check raise. If the chips are down and you’ve put money in the pot because you think you have a good hand, it can be very frustrating. The result is often a quick call, even to the River. Be sure to
keep your emotions in check at all times to prevent being blinded, especially when you’re down on your luck. The check raise means you must have a very powerful hand. Top pair isn’t going to see you through.
PLAYING DRAWS IN SMALL FIELDS
If you’re drawing hands with flops of four to the flush or straight, you need to play large fields. Without a large field, you aren’t going to get the proper pot odds. If you see a lot of flops that have small or medium connectors in tight games, this will contribute to your losing streak.
You may think that seat selection in a random game has little effect on the play. Nothing could be further from the truth. Seat position has a large effect on any poker game. Players of all types are found in random games. It’s fine to change seats or to leave the table in search of another game if you do so for the right reasons. If there’s a chance of another player winning a big pot when he moves into your empty seat, stay put. If the player to your right is being very aggressive or making remarks that are pushing your buttons, find another position or leave the game.
KNOW YOUR LIMITS
If you’re having a run of bad luck, never move up a level thinking you will get your money back. This is easy to do when playing poker online, but it’s very dangerous because it’s a hit and run strategy which will hinder your ability to play your best. Why? Because you will fear losing an amount you can’t afford. Moving up in the amount you bet will only prolong your losing streak.
Whether you’re playing poker at a land casino or online, the best thing you can do to improve your game is to always remain disciplined.