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poker variance advice plz?

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  • poker variance advice plz?

    im only a small stakes player, a few months ago i finally went ahead and studied poker instead of just playing. my game dramatically improved and i slowly started to win more than lose. great stuff. this past week tho lady luck is against me. everytime my chips are in and i think im good post flop im actually behind. i mean full house beaten by better full house etc. even pre i get in with a better A, i know im not miles in front but everyflip seems to be going against me. even heads up, some agg muppet pushin all the time, great news for me, i wait, get AK he pushes i call. he turns over K7 preflop and makes a straight as the cards come out arrggghh. heres my problem, has anyone else when new to poker and felt the cards against them for the first time started to think its there game, or there fault. its hard to keep my winning style when swimming against the tide. i start feeling i have to addapt, tighten up, more pot control etc just because im losing. is there any advice or something i could read other than just suffer it out untill luck picks up

  • #2
    Hi brownd,

    Welcome to the forum!

    Everybody I know who plays poker has hit this sort of wall at some point in their poker career and the most irritating aspect is that when you try to adapt and adjust your game to it, it only gets worse. You decision making and judgement get coloured by what you think might happen.

    It takes a great deal of discipline and self control to not let variance be the master of your game. My tips for what they are worth are to realise that it is how you deal with variance that will determine your progress as a player, everybody and I mean everybody experiences bad beats and bad runs, it is how you manage that, that is the difference between being a winner or a loser. If you cannot manage take a break! Don't worry about the short term losses, look at your profitability over the longer term and if you are making money in the long term, then you are making good poker decisions and poker variance will take care of itself.

    When variance is really kicking my door down, I set a limit of what I am willing to lose at a session, and once and if I reach that limit I simply stop playing the session.

    I have read no books on variance myself but I am sure someone will come along and give a recommendation. In the meantime I will do the honours and link you to Dan's post on making the best of the forum: if you go through it all it will definitely take your mind off variance.

    If you need any other help just drop me a PM.

    Edit: This might help as well.


    Last edited by topthecat; Sun Jan 01, 2012, 04:21 PM. Reason: Update


    • #3
      Been there

      I had a decent thing going over at FTP (just for fun, stakes way too low to actually be useful), but at some opoint things went bad. just as you say, I found myself at the wrong side of most of my allins, and I didn't know if that was just my mind playing havoc, or something was actually wrong with my game.

      So I started keeping track of every single all-in situation. Mind you, this is strictly SnG/MTT. Turns out I was pushing allin with the best hand more than 60% the time, and winning just over half of those. But when calling, I only had the best hand less than 30-% of the time, and I won about 5% of those hands.

      So I started tightening up my calling range, which improved my figures. Still, I was getting sucked out on a lot more than I was doing the sucking, and there's little one can do about that, so my bankroll still dwindled down.

      In the end, I took a break from poker that ended up lasting almost 7 months. Been starting up again recently, and so far things are going well. I watched a lot of poker stuff, read up some stuff, and so far things are going as they should.

      Maybe some useful things?
      The Road to Fame and Fortune - Keeping track of my poker semi-career
      Keep up to date: @Ov3rsight


      • #4
        variance is part of poker

        you can't win them all

        but when your ahead 70%-30% still lose. we get dissapointed so much sometimes it triggers us to gamble more be way too aggressive.

        you got cracked.

        you think your steaming

        you really need to get away from the table 5 to 10 mins just to freshen up.

        your time will come, you just have to be patient everytime


        • #5
          thanks for all the replies, they were very helpfull, gonna make note of my allin situations, see if theres anything i could change there. also gonna take the advice of going studying for a while, take my mind of the bad run and return to the tables with a clear head. i suppose shit happens in poker lol. thanks again =)


          • #6
            Notice: This worked for me at MTT and SNG. Probably not the best way to approach cash games I know what you're going through, had this down swing for a pretty long time a lot of bad luck getting beaten by 4 outers all the time just horrible. What I did to 'try to'' avoid this as much as possible where: - First I just dropped down a little in buy-in and limits. - then I tried to avoid all-in situations as much as I can till I have seen the river or know I am way to far ahead. - Bet a little more aggressive to get lost of the fishes (This works most of the time, not always though) - Played a way less hands, really played according the book you know very tight. - And when I got rid of the bad luck, started moving up the limits a bit. - And then started to loosen up a bit more For me this really worked out great, got ITM a decent amount of times (about 30% in MTT and 50% in SNG where it was like 10% and 25%). And also got deeper in tournaments. And remember bad beats are a part of the game and will always be, just try not to go tilt when it happens. I hope it works for you too and good luck umbup: ps. I also took a 3 month break after losing a big part of my bankroll in August and September, it really helped me straightening things up


            • #7
              Hi brownd,

              I'm afraid to say at microstakes this is something you really have to get use to, the amount of times that my aces get cracked by 2 rags is unreal, its only been a week my friend this wall can last for months, i'm trying not to be negotive here but you must expect this all the time playing against fruit machine players there not here to outplay you there here to hit that button and watch them reels spin, dont get angry at them, there playing for fun and do not take the game as serious as you.

              Do not get angry, don't allow emotion into your game.
              Do not start thinking well if i cant beat them i will join them.
              Do not change your game play style, stick in there my friend and just ride that crazy roller coaster.

              The reason i say these things is because ive been pushed so close to that edge in the past, and know extactly what your going through but so does every other pso member here.

              GL at the tables.


              • #8
                Hey brownd... If you are continually getting your chips in with the best of it understand that you aren't doing anything wrong and are making more correct decisions than not. So if that is the case there's nothing that's really badly broken (we ALL can make tweaks and adjustments to our games to improve,whether running good,bad or neutral) so no real reason to make radical changes. The main thing you can do is take a little more time in self-analysis (many times you'll find that it wasn't necessarily the hand that railed/stacked you that was the one you need to address,but an earlier hand or hands that you didn't maximize your gains or minimize your losses on with an easily correctable fix...),keep plugging away and focus on making correct decisions. Do that,play through the variance and the results will come. DO NOT punt on proper BR management principles,i.e.,playing bigger buy-ins to try to recoup any losses more quickly. That is a very common BR leak and many more times than not just leads to the rabbit hole getting deeper,wider and darker. Keep your head,keep you cool and you'll keep THEIR chips. Good luck and better decisions. umbup:


                • #9
                  brownd86, I've had months that were like this, not days, but months. Variance runs are inevitable for all poker players. All you can do is to keep playing and making the correct decisions. You may want to get the hand histories and review them to see what the exact hand equities (odds % for you to win) were on each hand (you can get a free program to do this from and here is a link to a video from Dave on how to use pokerstove. When I first started doing this, I found that some of the hands that I thought I was a much larger favorite than I was and was shoving too often. I've learned to make more value bets, etc, instead of shoving anytime that I thought I was ahead. Hold'em has 7 cards instead of two and some players over-value hands and shove too early in the hand (ok on a shorter stack). By playing the hands more after the flop, you can, in a number of cases, get more value from an opponent, while lessening the risk that the opp has a better hand than you. Using good bankroll management is a key too, because it will allow your bankroll to withstand these variance swings. Keep learning from all these situations and good luck at the tables umbup: John (JWK24)

                  6 Time Bracelet Winner



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