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Emotional Control

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  • Emotional Control

    I was wondering how some of the Team Pokerstars players manage their emotions at the tables? More specifically, I am interesting in what you do during downswings when you spend an entire session getting beat up over and over even while playing very well. How do you keep your emotions in check even during those worst of the worst days when the universe is aligned against you? It is enough to emotionally break some people. How do you deal with this?

    P.S. Would certainly like hearing from non team pokerstars PSO members as well
    Last edited by RockerguyAA; Wed Feb 23, 2011, 02:33 AM. Reason: Thread title supposed to be 'Emotion Control'

  • #2
    I typically just take the loss and plan the next tourney. Unless I start getting lucky. Then I just play and try and take the win.

    It's not so soul-crushing if you have money to spare and you're a winning player, I imagine. If you're terrible at poker, then getting unlucky is like a kick while you're already down. If you get unlucky but still generally turn profits, then yippee it's just a fluke turn of bad luck.

    Sometimes when I have a downswing, I go back to my poker studies. That helps a bit, too.


    • #3
      Well, after putting some thought into this and going through another epicly nightmarish session at the 1/2cent cash tables.... I've come to the conclusion that the solution is to have such a massive bankroll that you couldn't really care any less about it. It is easy to keep your cool after one bad beat, but theres no way to plow through 4 hours of constant bad luck without having a bankroll that will barely change because of it.


      • #4
        I am sorry to say folks that losing is a very big part of the game of poker, and you have to learn how to deal with it. I have seen pro's bomb out of tourney's having never made a single mistake in their game play. I take every lose as a learning event. You have to ask yourself what could I have done differently? When you answer that question honestly, write it down on a piece of paper, enter your next game and before every hand that whole game/tourney read what you wrote and apply it.

        If you allow yourself to get angry, start beating yourself up over how you played, etc, your just reinforcing an underlining negative feeling to playing poker that will affect your next game. Humans tend to only remember negative expereinces, ask yourself when was the last time you remember that amazing suk out on the river or an awesome buff you pulled?

        Every player goes through these things, but the successful players are the ones that can seperate themselfs emotionally from the game when things go baddly. If your stuck in a funk that you just can't get yourself out of, then walk away from the tables for a bit, listne to some upbeat music or watch a funny show or comedy.

        If you facing a horrible downturn in your game play, work through it at the free money tables and don't return to the cash games untill you get it out of your system.

        I actually stopped playing cash tables for almost 6 months after a horrible 2 months that I just could not break. It happens to everyone, amature and pros alike, but it is how to address it that makes all the difference.


        • #5
          Yes Maveric I am aware that downswings and losing hands in general is part of poker. My question is how pro's handle extended downswings. The kind of insane variance that causes you to lose big hand after big hand even while playing totally correctly and not making mistakes. Sometimes there really isn't anything you could have done better. That is what is so hard about it, because you see you money vanishing and there isn't anything you can do about it. I'm not saying I or anyone else is perfect, but there are some times when it really doesn't matter what you do, you are going to lose. Do the pro's just walk away at the first hint of a bad session? Or do they hit the gym, smash their monitor, or just grind through it?


          • #6
            Well I can't say that I am professional, so I am not sure I really qualified to answer your question directly, but as an avid gambler, (I play blackjack, craps and poker) these harsh downswings IMO is just something you have to work though. This month in the PSO, I started out with the worst week I have ever had. Litterally every hand I touched turned to trash. Even had a 4 of kind in Queens get beaten down by a 4 of kind in Kings.

            For myself, I have had this luck/variance happen in all 3 of the games I play, I have tried walking away from it for long periods and returning later, only to find it waiting there for me at the tables.

            The only sure thing about luck is that it will change. One way or the other

            I believe in luck: how else can you explain the success of those you dislike? ~Jean Cocteau



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