If you play poker, you will have downswings.
DOWNSWINGS ARE INEVITABLE
There is no way around it. You may have entire weeks, months, and sometimes even longer where nothing will go your way. It will suck, but downswings are inevitable.
Usually players understand this, and believe that they can get through the inevitable downswing around the corner. Most can, and most do. But be careful during a downswing, as it can be a dangerous time.
Downswings are capable of making even the most disciplined players stray from their bankroll strategy, and the best of players play hands terribly.
Downswings can be hard to get out of too, because they feel like they’re never going to end. But they always do. So keep your head up, stay disciplined, and keep grinding.
Phil Ivey was once asked in an interview what the difference is between the good player and the great player. His answer was a lesson that the great Chip Reese taught him over a decade earlier: how you handle yourself when everything is going against you.
“Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.”
HOW TO GET THROUGH DOWNSWINGS
1.) Drop stakes – Drop down a level. If you’re used to playing $100 average tournaments, drop down to $50 average tournaments or lower. Until you regain some of your bankroll and your confidence with a win, this is a great strategy to follow during a downswing.
2.) Play a few less tables – Concentrate on playing correctly rather than maximizing your profits.
3.) Take some time off – This is a perfect time to take a few days or more off of poker. Clear your mind. It will make you enjoy the game again when you sit back down to play.
4.) Talk with other players – Make sure that your plays are still profitable, and that the downswing is not causing you to play incorrectly.
Getting through downswings can be the toughest part of playing this game. Dealing with this effectively will help ensure you long term success (and sanity).