Some Tips That May Help You Out of Your Downswing

Q: What Are The Best Ways To Deal With a Downswing in Poker?

A: It happens to everybody - even the very best poker players in the world.

You will be enjoying life and making money when suddenly, the inevitable downswing will hit.

Will it ever end? Will you ever making money playing poker again? Will you go broke?

A streak of poor performances - Downswing - Can happen to anyone.  Illustration.Downswings happen to every single poker player. The successful players know that variance is part of the game and that downswings happen. Downswings can ruin a player and many have gone broke as a result. It's easy to just increase your stakes in order to "make the money back", though this is absolutely the worst thing you can do.

If you are suffering through a downswing, here are some things that you should consider doing:

1. Move Down in Stakes Temporarily. Regain your confidence at the lower stakes, even if it is for a day or a week. If you are blowing through $5,000 a day in buy-ins playing in $109+ buy-in tournaments, why not temporarily move down in stakes until you get your mojo back?

If you are paying $5,000 a day in buy-ins (average) online, setting a smaller limit on your buy-ins will help settle you down, and you can focus on playing solid poker once again. If you are watching your money get incinerated day after day, the worst thing that you can do is continuing playing at your usual stakes, as you won't be playing your A game.

Why not put a limit of $1,000 on your daily buy-ins until you start winning again, and then scale back up? Pick your highest ROI tournaments and focus on those until things turn up again. When you are winning again, you can scale back up to $2,000, $3,000 and then $5,000 in buy-ins once again.

2. Take Some Time Off. If you are in the middle of a long downswing, there is a very good chance that you are feeling burnt out. Take a long weekend where you play absolutely no poker of any kind. Go for some long hikes. Watch Netflix. Remove yourself from the situation and you'll gain some perspective.

3. Perspective. Let's say that you have made $200,000 in profits over the last two years from playing online poker, and now you are in the midst of a $35,000 downswing.

Don't think of things in terms of you needing to make that money back. Think of the things that you have accomplished over the past couple of years instead. You are still a massively profitable player that probably had some big upswings along the way. Downswings are just part of the game and you have shown that you are a winning player over time - don't let a temporary downswing get you down.

4. Study. Take this opportunity to maybe play a bit less and study a bit more. Improve your game. Talk to your mentors. Where are your leaks? Has your game degraded in the face of your downswing? Are you making bad and irrational decisions? Are you tilting?

5. Change Your Scenery on a Temporary Basis. Maybe you are grinding at home for 10-12 hours per day. Try getting out and playing in a live tournament at a local casino. Go down to the local Starbucks to grind for the day. Change things up - you might be feeling stale and stagnant, and a change in scenery might be perfect.

6. Talk to Your Mentors. If you are a successful poker player, there is a very good chance that you received some coaching along the way. Ask your mentors questions about how they have dealt with downswings. How did they get out of it? What changes did they make?


Most importantly, don't chase your losses. This is the typical gambler's way of trying to "make it losses", and it almost always results in disaster. Don't let this downswing ruin you - instead, learn from it, as all of the best poker players in the world have in the past.

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