How to Handle Massive Poker Losses?
Playing poker is extremely fun, especially when you’re winning tournaments and cash games.
But what about when you’re on a bad streak and you suddenly start hitting zero flops and get outrun by novice players? Let’s face it – no one likes to lose, especially not significant amounts of money.
How you react when things go south will shape you as a player and a person.
In today’s article, we’ll talk about dealing with massive poker losses. But you’ll also learn:
- What mindset you should have toward the game to avoid tilts
- How to approach the game
- How to manage your bankroll
- How to get over a loss
- How to deal with the “agony of defeat”
All of these aspects are essential for handling substantial poker loses, which is why we’ll discuss each and every one of them in detail. Stay tuned!
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Change in Mindset
In cash games, your win rate can depend on you avoiding tilts as much as possible. That’s even more important than playing better than your opponents.
If you’re a great player but manage bad streaks poorly and tilt hard every time it happens to you, then good luck is all we can say to you.
If you can’t control tilts, then quit playing next time you go on a losing streak. The solution is right in front of you, but we must admit, executing it can be tough. If you learn to manage your emotions, your win rate will skyrocket. That’s just the way it is in poker.
A change in mindset can help those who struggle with tilt. Just think about it from a math and probabilities perspective.
For example, you get in with KK against a player who calls with 66, and he beats you with 6 on the river. The probability is around 18% for that to happen, but 82% of the time, you will win that pot.
And you shouldn’t feel bad when that happens. Just have in mind that it will earn you so much profit in the long run that a simple unlucky hand won’t change anything.
When people don’t consider probabilities, they automatically assume that whenever they have KK against QQ, they’ll win. But poker doesn’t work that way.
Don’t get upset when a lousy hand happens. So what? It’s not like they’re going to disappear. Like in life, bad beats in poker are inevitable and they are and always will be part of the game. No one likes bad beats, but the good feeling you get from knowing it was a productive day can help you feel better after a bad beat.
No one is immune to tilt, not even the best players in the world. But the difference is, they can control their emotions much better than most amateur players.
You should read and learn about Expected Value (EV) if you haven’t by now. Once you do, you’ll be able to understand how much money you are expected to win in the long run when it comes to a specific situation in poker. In most cases, you shouldn’t react in any way to bad beats when they happen. I actually smile when a fish beats me with that “strategy” because I know they will basically just shove money my way in the long run if they keep playing that bad.
But when you’re getting a lot of bad beats (which can happen from time to time), it’s tough not to get stressed about it. In those situations, leaving the table is probably the best option.
What we’re trying to say here is that you shouldn’t get upset over a single bad beat. But if you’re experiencing a lot of them and losing massive amounts of money, the best thing you can do is quit the table and cool off a bit. If you play under a lot of stress, your game will suffer, which will inevitably lead to more losses.
You shouldn’t get upset over one bad hand, or even a terrible poker night because, in most cases, it won’t affect your long-term budget. Poker is never one cash-game session or one tournament. It would be wrong not to consider poker a long game.
How much did you win in your poker lifetime? The answer to that most likely outweighs the losses in one session. It’s proven that by thinking positive, positive things are going to happen in your life – the law of attraction. Poker is a game of skill rather than a game of chance, and if you deploy a good strategy, you’ll most likely make money in the long run.
You also have to understand that it’s impossible to win every single time, which means you sometimes have to lose. How much you lose depends on how much you are willing to risk. The more risk you take, the higher the potential reward will be. But you can’t always expect the poker gods to reward you for your courage. And once you accept that losing is an inevitable part of the game, you’ll handle the losses much better, regardless of the invested sum.
Practice Bankroll Management
Managing your bankroll is vital, although it’s far easier to do so when you’re winning.
You must decide on your poker bankroll in advance and forget about spending a dime more.
Poor bankroll management is a common reason why so many players (gamblers) go broke.
Make it imperative that you adhere to your bankroll management at the expense of everything else in your poker game and you won’t have any regrets.
Don’t Be a Sore Loser
Taking hits to your bankroll is one thing, but being depressed because you ran into a bad beat when it’s for a top ten stack is quite another. And when all that anger gets bottled up, you start feeling suffocated and you need to vent. Suppressing anger is never a good idea. However, splattering social media with your frustration or complaining to your friends about how unlucky you are won’t help you either.
Why? Because no one cares. You’re not going to change anything by whining, you’re just going to waste your time. Instead of raging about bad beats, focus on weak aspects of your game. Don’t be the person who thinks he’s the unluckiest one in the world because you lost one hand in poker.
Analyse Your Game
Analysing and reviewing your style of play can be one of the most challenging things to do. For that reason, consider going over your hand history with a poker-playing friend. Thoroughly examine your game and pinpoint the mistakes of every session. Stack-size monitoring, bet-sizing, three-bets, four-bets, and whether you should have called or raised are just some of the things you should take into account.
Once you examine your game, you’ll realise there were some hands in which you should have folded and saved some cash. By constantly analysing your gameplay, you will get better at poker and make fewer mistakes.
Losses are an inevitable part of life, and of course, poker. Even the best players don’t always win. But what’s even more important than winning is how you recover from tough losses. Only when you approach the game in the right way, as we’ve instructed you in our article, will you be able to handle poker losses properly.
We would love to hear what you think about this matter, so feel free to share your thoughts with us in the Comment section below!