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Sticking with it through a bad run

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  • Sticking with it through a bad run

    In this section I often see players describe their frustration when nothing they do seems to work at the poker tables. Stories of constantly getting it all-in with the best hand and being outdrawn, see bankrolls withering down to nothing from bad luck sometimes compounded by -EV adjustments and tilt.

    The universal advice is stick with it, make sure you continue to play well and eventually it will pay off.

    As a way of encouragement to those that suffer these periods of bad runs I thought I'd share my recent experiences.

    I play PLO2 mostly on the Zoom tables. At the start I seemed to do well and over the first ~27,000 hands, I had a win rate of around 14 BB/100. There were a few short periods where I lost some money, but nothing that was going to change my view that I was doing OK at this level.

    Then in late March this year, I started to hit a few bad beats. These were typically all-ins with equities between 60:40 and 85:15 in my favour. I'm not saying I lost every one of them but I was losing more than I should and my bankroll was starting to fall. I confess I was getting really frustrated and I couldn't seem to break out of the bad run. This went on for over 6 weeks and 8900 hands, during which my bankroll fell by over 12 buy-ins. I suspect that towards the end I was adjusting my play in a way that was not always positive, avoiding all-in shoves even though I knew I was ahead. At times, I wondered whether I should continue to play.

    But, like the sun coming over the horizon, it suddenly corrected itself. I played a long session with no bad beats and won 5 buy-ins back. From the low point it only took 4600 hands to make back all I lost during the bad run, at a win rate of 26 BB/100 and we are moving forward positively again.

    I had never expected to go through such a long losing period of ~9000 hands, especially at micro stakes, but it did happen and it did come good in the end.

    I hope this helps with anyone else going through a similar bad run. As long as you can convince yourself that your game remains solid: do this by reviewing your play, then your results will reflect that eventually.
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