Ending a Losing Streak In Poker
All poker players at one point or another will find themselves in a losing streak. Regardless of what they do or don’t do, it seems that the cards are against them. Interestingly, this may not be the case as it is a symptom of what I like to call “extended tilt”.
What on earth is the extended slope?
A player who is inclined has just experienced some kind of “bad beat” and is no longer in control of his emotions. Depending on the style of the player, they can get extremely loose or extremely tight when it comes to betting and hand selection. The inclination usually lasts a few hands, perhaps a session. Extended tilt, on the other hand, is the accompaniment of tilt. The next time a player sits at a table, he may still feel symptoms of that last bad session. In this case, they will not yet be 100% in control of their emotions, causing poor judgment in terms of hand selection or betting strategies.
Say, for example, that a player had his aces broken by someone who called with a strange hand, such as jack-eight. Strange hand to call an all in, but I’ve seen weirder dominoqq. Therefore, the player with aces is upset about losing this hand and now gets tighter in hand selection for the rest of the session. When he stops touching, the emotion associated with this loss still lingers in his subconscious mind.
The next time this player sits down to play cards, his subconscious will still remember that ugly beat. The selection of hands for this particular player will change to a slightly more restricted game strategy. Hands like Ace King or Ace Queen that would normally be associated with a raise can only be called now. The lack of raise with Ace King or Ace Queen causes this player to lose again what he considers a “bad beat”, even if that bad beat could be avoided if the player raised in the first place.
Or maybe the player gives up an Ace Queen raise to find out only that he would have won the hand if he played. Due to the loss that still lingers in your mind, hand selection has become extremely tight, thus turning a winning session into a loss.
So what can be done?
For casual poker players who don’t make a living with playing cards, they may simply stop playing for a while. The period varies from person to person, may take a few hours or may be a month. The main thing we are looking for here is a decoupling of the original bad beat so the player can play.
For semi-pro and pro gamers, a one-month break is out of the question. Again, hand decoupling is required. Semi-professionals may have more difficulty with this, as professionals can usually overcome a bad beat in a shorter period of time. Go to another hobby to clear your mind of what happened. Golf, swimming, swimming, it doesn’t really matter as long as one can relieve some of the stress associated with what happened and distract the mind to the point of what happened.
Poker is a game of skill with a degree of luck. Winning poker players know that luck can affect a specific hand or session, but in the long run, luck ends. It is readings, betting strategies, hand selection and math that make up a winning player in general.