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Poker Mental Game & Planning

How to Get out of a Poker Downswing

1,852 Views on 23/8/23

In this article, we will explore some tips on how to get out of a poker downswing

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Poker is a game of skill and luck, and even the best players can find themselves in a downswing from time to time. A downswing is a period of time where a player is losing more often than they are winning. It can be frustrating, demoralizing, and can even lead to players questioning their ability to play the game. However, a downswing is not the end of the world, and there are things that players can do to turn their fortunes around.

In this article, we will explore some tips on how to get out of a poker downswing.


Take a Break

When you are in a downswing, the first thing you should do is take a break. Continuing to play when you are losing can lead to tilt, and tilt can lead to even more losses. Taking a break can help you clear your head, refocus, and come back to the game with a fresh perspective.

How long of a break should you take? It really depends on how you are feeling. Some players only need a few hours, while others may need a few days or even a week. The important thing is to take as much time as you need to feel ready to play again.


Analyze Your Game

When you are in a downswing, it can be easy to blame your losses on bad luck. However, it is important to analyze your game and see if there are any areas where you can improve.

Take some time to review your hand histories and see if there are any patterns or mistakes that you are making. Are you playing too many hands? Are you calling too often when you should be folding? Are you not bluffing enough? Identifying these mistakes can help you make adjustments and improve your game.


Focus on Bankroll Management

One of the biggest mistakes that players make when they are in a downswing is to start playing higher stakes in an attempt to win back their losses. This is a recipe for disaster and can lead to even bigger losses.

Instead, focus on bankroll management. Make sure that you are playing at stakes that are appropriate for your bankroll. If you are losing, consider dropping down in stakes to protect your bankroll. Playing at lower stakes can also help you regain your confidence and get back to winning.


Stay Positive

It can be easy to become negative and lose confidence when you are in a downswing. However, it is important to stay positive and keep a level head.

Remember that poker is a game of variance and that even the best players can go through periods of losses. Don't let a downswing affect your confidence or your ability to play the game. Stay focused, stay positive, and keep grinding.


Seek Help

If you are struggling to get out of a downswing, consider seeking help from a coach or mentor. A coach can help you identify areas where you need to improve and can provide you with guidance and support.

There are also many online resources available to players who are struggling with a downswing. Forums, blogs, and training sites can provide you with valuable information and strategies for getting back on track.


Take Care of Yourself

Poker can be a stressful game, and a downswing can add even more stress. It is important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally.

Make sure that you are getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly. Taking care of your physical health can help you feel better and reduce stress.

It is also important to take care of your mental health. Consider practicing mindfulness or meditation to help you manage stress and anxiety. Taking care of your mental health can help you stay focused and clear-headed when you are playing.


Play a Different Game

If you are struggling to get out of a downswing, consider playing a different game for a while. This doesn't mean that you should stop playing poker altogether, but rather try out a different format or variant of the game.

For example, if you usually play No-Limit Hold'em, try playing some Pot-Limit Omaha or Stud. Playing a different game can help you break out of your routine and force you to think about the game in a different way. It can also help you develop new skills that you can apply to your main game.


Keep Learning

Even the best players in the world continue to learn and improve their game. When you are in a downswing, it can be a good time to focus on learning and studying the game.

There are many resources available to players who want to improve their game. Books, videos, and training sites can provide you with valuable information and strategies for improving your game. Take advantage of these resources and use your downswing as an opportunity to become a better player.


Don't Chase Losses

One of the biggest mistakes that players make when they are in a downswing is to try to win back their losses as quickly as possible. This can lead to even bigger losses and can put your bankroll in jeopardy.

Instead of chasing losses, focus on making good decisions and playing your best game. Remember that poker is a long-term game, and that one downswing does not define your overall success as a player.


Take Responsibility

Finally, it is important to take responsibility for your losses. It can be easy to blame bad luck or other external factors for your downswing, but ultimately it is up to you to make the best decisions and play your best game.

By taking responsibility for your losses, you can focus on making changes and improving your game. This can help you turn your downswing into a learning experience and come back stronger than ever.


In conclusion, a downswing can be a frustrating and demoralizing experience for poker players. However, there are things that you can do to turn your fortunes around. By taking a break, analyzing your game, focusing on bankroll management, staying positive, seeking help, taking care of yourself, playing a different game, learning, not chasing losses, and taking responsibility, you can get back on track and become a successful poker player once again.

Remember that poker is a long-term game, and that one downswing does not define your overall success as a player. Keep grinding, stay focused, and never stop learning.

Author

Mark Patrickson

Mark Patrickson is a professional cash game player grinding stakes up to 100nl 6 Max NL Hold'em13 years experience of poker, across MTT SnG and cash, FL PL NL.Currently living in South East Asia and trying to make it back to mid-stakes befo ... Read More

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