Mental Game

Steve JonesSteve Jones Red Chipper Posts: 95 ✭✭
Hey guys, dont really know why I am posting this just wanted some feedback I guess. The past 4 sessions for me have been tough, I have actually won a lot for the month of December, around 4k at 1-2.

It seems that I am running bad in big pots recently. I am not trying to whine about bad beat stories, but how do you guys deal with the mental game of poker. When you get very frustrated?

2 sessions in particular recently I have run bad in 1k pots. Both times I had KK and once got beat by a 2 outer on river QQ, and once got beat by Q8 vs KK when I made it 175 pre. Guy went all in on a T84 flop with Q8.

Both times I paid attention to the player I wanted to stack, and waited for my opportunity to stack them. Both times I was a favorite of over 90% to stack these people. Both pots were over 1k. So I did everything correct and still lost. I only lost 400, and 250 for the sessions, but the loss of those pots was a huge blow to what I would have won.

I left after both of these situations, but I am just very frustrated at these outcomes. I never said anything bad to the players, just nice catch, I mean at the end of the day we are gambling. I just would like to know how everyone mentally deals with the fact that you find your mark, target them, get them to make the mistake you know they will, and then lose a 1k pot anyway. Poker is the only game where you can do everything correct and still lose. How do you guys deal with this frustration?
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  • LeChiffreLeChiffre NetherlandsRed Chipper Posts: 417 ✭✭✭
    It seems that I am running bad in big pots recently. I am not trying to whine about bad beat stories, but how do you guys deal with the mental game of poker. When you get very frustrated?

    This matters.
    2 sessions in particular recently I have run bad in 1k pots. Both times I had KK and once got beat by a 2 outer on river QQ, and once got beat by Q8 vs KK when I made it 175 pre. Guy went all in on a T84 flop with Q8.

    Both times I paid attention to the player I wanted to stack, and waited for my opportunity to stack them. Both times I was a favorite of over 90% to stack these people. Both pots were over 1k. So I did everything correct and still lost. I only lost 400, and 250 for the sessions, but the loss of those pots was a huge blow to what I would have won.

    This doesn't. Didn't even read it.
    I left after both of these situations, but I am just very frustrated at these outcomes. I never said anything bad to the players, just nice catch, I mean at the end of the day we are gambling. I just would like to know how everyone mentally deals with the fact that you find your mark, target them, get them to make the mistake you know they will, and then lose a 1k pot anyway. Poker is the only game where you can do everything correct and still lose. How do you guys deal with this frustration?

    It's mostly about not only acknowledging that that's how poker works -- which you seem to be doing, but also accepting and embracing it. From everytime you are dealt aces, to flopping a monster, to being a 95% to win the hand and you get all the money in... you're going to lose sometimes. Acknowledging is one thing, accepting this is the next step. When I take a bad beat I just shrug and laugh it off.
  • Michael EMichael E Red Chipper Posts: 90 ✭✭

    Poker is the only game where you can do everything correct and still lose. How do you guys deal with this frustration?

    Found your flaw.
    No it isn't.
    Almost all games, you can do everything right. That's why poker is involved in so many "life" stories like, it's how you play the hand, etc.

    What about a track athlete. Can he have the correct training program, follow all the steps, do the training properly and still lose?

    Can a Quarterback make the right read and still lose?

    Can a fighter take all the necessary steps in training and come across a different fighter?

    How about injuries? Weather? Disease? Accidents?

    Life is all about the unexpected. Poker is about the unknown.

    Worry about making the right decisions, not the results!!! With good decisions, come good results in the long run!
  • Steve JonesSteve Jones Red Chipper Posts: 95 ✭✭
    edited December 2018
    Thanks for the reply. I do embrace variance because I know thats where the money comes from. I also am very well aware, that if I am not 100% to win a hand that I will of course lose sometimes.

    I guess the frustration is paying close attention for hours at a time to a certain person, or people, who have no clue what I am doing. You really need to pay very close attention to find the type of player who is bad and willing to play a very big pot of 400 to 500bb. There are lots of bad players with 50bb, and I really will just laugh it off when they crack my AA. It happens all the time no big deal. I can grind 50 to 100bb pots all night, most go my way.

    It is a once every other night when the conditions arise to play a really big pot with a bad player, who has chips and is willing to play really bad with them. Then getting them into a 500bb pot with me is how I have made all my big scores. Running bad in these spots is where it really hurts, because it seems like I have wasted 2 days of work.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 1,797 -
    I recently wrote about this:

    https://redchippoker.com/poker-downswings-the-final-mental-game-frontier/

    As others have pointed out, most games you can play perfectly and lose. In the case of poker, this is actually a good thing.

    [Massive geek aside to anyone who play(s)ed Druid In Hearthstone: How d'ya like spending weeks building the perfect deck and getting Wild Growth and Nourish nerfed??]
    Moderation In Moderation
  • Steve JonesSteve Jones Red Chipper Posts: 95 ✭✭
    Nice article, the funny part is I wouldnt even classify myself as in a downswing. Im up a lot over the past few months. Its just running bad in huge pots is very annoying. Im over it now haha.
  • Paul_KPaul_K DFWRed Chipper Posts: 291 ✭✭✭
    I never said anything bad to the players, just nice catch

    This actually is a bad thing to say. It implies that they played the hand poorly when that may or may not be true.
  • Steve JonesSteve Jones Red Chipper Posts: 95 ✭✭
    Yea , I have seen that tone to saying that. I was racking up, and he was actually saying wow, I got lucky there! I said hey man nice catch, have a good night.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 1,797 -
    Nice article, the funny part is I wouldnt even classify myself as in a downswing. Im up a lot over the past few months. Its just running bad in huge pots is very annoying. Im over it now haha.

    I believe this is what my psychoanalyst refers to as "growth."
    Moderation In Moderation
  • Paul_KPaul_K DFWRed Chipper Posts: 291 ✭✭✭
    Yea , I have seen that tone to saying that. I was racking up, and he was actually saying wow, I got lucky there! I said hey man nice catch, have a good night.

    Well, unless you had a flight to catch, if you're able to rack up after taking a big hit, your mental game is probably in good shape.
  • Steve JonesSteve Jones Red Chipper Posts: 95 ✭✭
    Paul_K wrote: »
    Yea , I have seen that tone to saying that. I was racking up, and he was actually saying wow, I got lucky there! I said hey man nice catch, have a good night.

    Well, unless you had a flight to catch, if you're able to rack up after taking a big hit, your mental game is probably in good shape.

    Ive been playing for many years, nothing good ever happens after losing a 500bb pot. I learned a while ago, when this happens, just get out fast. I actually only lost 250 for the night, but I lost a ton in sklansky bux. Wish I could get paid in those!
  • Jordan PowerJordan Power Red Chipper Posts: 364 ✭✭✭
    Nice article, the funny part is I wouldnt even classify myself as in a downswing. Im up a lot over the past few months.

    Selection bias. You're only focusing on the pots where you suffered a bad beat. We all take them. You won enough other pots (many of which you wouldn't even know you ran good on since opponents will muck) to make up for these. If you truly got your money in good and played the hand well, ignore them. Do not give them another thought, sometimes V get there. If V had no chance to get there, we'd rarely make any money.

    You need players to play sub optimally. Embrace the suck when they beat you. I try always wish the All Ins luck against me. A woman who went all in against me on a FD on Thursday when I flopped a set said 'You don't really mean that.' I answered her back "I certainly do. Good luck." She rivered me, I laughed, patted the table, reloaded $300 more and she ended up paying for my all my girlfriend's Christmas presents within four hours.

    Find some strategy for dealing with them. If I can't laugh, smile, make a joke, or even just say good hand, I get up from the table and take a break. I'll go to the bar, order a club soda and sit quietly for 15 min. This rarely has to happen anymore. Just embrace it, sounds like you already have.
  • ChibberChibber Red Chipper Posts: 371 ✭✭✭
    Poker is a long term endeavor. You are not supposed to win every time you sit down. You are not entitled to anything in this game other than an opportunity to play your best each time you sit down at the table. If KK didn’t beat AA 18% of the time, the game wouldn’t exist. Once you accept this, you’ll be on your way to better poker.

    There are plenty of resources to assist you with improving your mental game. You may look first to Dr. Cardner who has several short videos on the subject. TMGP volume 1 and 2 are excellent resources as well.
    Cheers and good fortune.

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