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Can you really win?

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Can you really win? - Fri Sep 16, 2011, 06:49 PM
(#1)
the_eagle23's Avatar
Since: Nov 2010
Posts: 231
Same as the last 3 or 4 times, i build by BR up to the $100 range and that's where i stay until i eventually hit a downswing go on tilt and bust ( i'm a lot more cautious of this now) and i can't do anything about it, sadly now i am down to about $83. So can you really win playin SNG's and Cash Games?.... obviously you can... but how the hell do you do it!? i mean i win a couple lose, win a couple, lose then maybe lose some more and maybe just maybe win again... it seems the only way to win at this is to win a big tourney. I'm just a litlle frustated.... can someone help guide me?
 
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Fri Sep 16, 2011, 07:17 PM
(#2)
topthecat's Avatar
Since: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,962
I believe you need to play really ABC poker in order to build your bankroll unless you are playing cash.

Personally, I have no idea how to combat those that limp playing the formats that you play in, they limp every hand and you have no idea where you are at at all, even though what they do goes against any type of normal poker strategy, and when you raise the call as well.

Be like me, give up thinking about winning and just raise, raise, raise with anything, and then they are just as confused as you are!!!

TC
 
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Fri Sep 16, 2011, 08:59 PM
(#3)
PaidInFull6's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 342
I think it comes down to bankroll management. You should come up with your own BRM standards, you've probably heard the "at least 50 buy in's for SNG" theory, I don't subscribe to that, play with as many buy in's as you need to not go broke. Personally I wouldn't play with less 100 SNG or MTT buy in's in my roll, and I like to have closer to 200. If your edge on your opponents is not really big, a downswing can demolish a 50 buy in roll. My advice to you is to move down in stakes so that you have enough buy ins in your roll to survive a downswing.
 
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Fri Sep 16, 2011, 10:09 PM
(#4)
JDean's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,145
BronzeStar
A lot of your frustration likely stems from the fact you are playing with "un-important money".

Consider...

Is $100 or $150 even enough for you to think about cashing out?

Fact is, when you play LIVE, you generally can afford a buy in for a certain game. If you WIN that particular night, you have plus money you can immediately spend. If you lose, you have simply lost money you had intended to use for recreation anyway. You either get immediate benefit form your play, from plus money or "entertainment value", or you lose cash you were willing to lose anyway.

If $100 or $150 is not enough for you to think aobut cashing out, what you are more likely to do is play HIGHER buy in games when you get to that level of cash. Since you probably do not have the same cushon against variance when you step up in levels, it is only natural you go bust.

Since you do not view the relatively small amounts you win on line as "important", you do not take cash outs and derive any BENEFIT from your poker, except for the ability to play higher and higher buy in games. It is quite easy to become frustrated with loss when you never derive any worthwhile benefits at all from the times you win.

There is no real way around this, short of moving up to a level of on line play where you WOULD be willing to take daily or weekly cash outs (likely the $1/$2 NL ring or $22 SNG/MTT levels), unless you STOP viewing the cash you have on line as anything except a "building block" to the time you CAN cash out.

If you view the money you have as part of an amount you will cash out, and accept as well the fact that since you are playing "lower" than a single session = cash out level, you MUST wait until you;ve built up before taking benefit. That means no stepping up in levels unless you have the amount needed to off-set variance.

If you keep jumping up in hopes of speeding up the process of cash out, you are likely to simply keep forcing yourself to deposit time and time again.
 
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Sat Sep 17, 2011, 10:53 AM
(#5)
mytton's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
Posts: 181
I can sympathise with the frustration. I am grinding 1c/2c cash games till I reach $200 bankroll and can move up. I was within a single buyin of achieving this goal, when the downswing hit and I found myself back where I had been a week previously. Now I am gritting my teeth and attempting to grind back up again.

If your bankroll keeps slipping back down, it's possible your skill edge over the competition isn't big enough to ensure consistent profit. Obviously the only answer to that is to study more and improve your game. We should all be doing that anyway. But the other possibility is that you are letting the downswings affect your play and tilting when things run badly, losing you more money than necessary.

I think it's especially important to review your sessions when you are losing. It's there you can establish if you were playing well but getting unlucky, or starting to make mistakes as the pressure of a losing sequence got to you. Tilt takes many forms and can be subtle as well as obvious. Maybe you are subconciously tightening up, or getting too aggressive, or too passive, when the pressure is on. Personally I tend to find myself liable to fold perfectly good hands to random aggression in these situations, simply because I am all too ready to believe the poker gods have sided with my opponents yet again (as it seems). Of course, blindly betting out in futile retaliation at the fates is not a compelling strategy either

I am coming round to the view that continuing to play solidly through a downswing is arguably the toughest and most important skill a poker player can have. Spending more time reviewing your own play will tell you what if any mistakes you are prone to. Once you have figured this out, you can enter the next session with confidence and a clear plan rather than with that helpless feeling that the results are simply in the lap of the poker gods.

Hope that helps, and good luck.
 
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Sat Sep 17, 2011, 12:34 PM
(#6)
TheLangolier's Avatar
Since: Jun 2010
Posts: 13,512
(Head Trainer)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mytton View Post
I can sympathise with the frustration. I am grinding 1c/2c cash games till I reach $200 bankroll and can move up. I was within a single buyin of achieving this goal, when the downswing hit and I found myself back where I had been a week previously. Now I am gritting my teeth and attempting to grind back up again.

If your bankroll keeps slipping back down, it's possible your skill edge over the competition isn't big enough to ensure consistent profit. Obviously the only answer to that is to study more and improve your game. We should all be doing that anyway. But the other possibility is that you are letting the downswings affect your play and tilting when things run badly, losing you more money than necessary.

I think it's especially important to review your sessions when you are losing. It's there you can establish if you were playing well but getting unlucky, or starting to make mistakes as the pressure of a losing sequence got to you. Tilt takes many forms and can be subtle as well as obvious. Maybe you are subconciously tightening up, or getting too aggressive, or too passive, when the pressure is on. Personally I tend to find myself liable to fold perfectly good hands to random aggression in these situations, simply because I am all too ready to believe the poker gods have sided with my opponents yet again (as it seems). Of course, blindly betting out in futile retaliation at the fates is not a compelling strategy either

I am coming round to the view that continuing to play solidly through a downswing is arguably the toughest and most important skill a poker player can have. Spending more time reviewing your own play will tell you what if any mistakes you are prone to. Once you have figured this out, you can enter the next session with confidence and a clear plan rather than with that helpless feeling that the results are simply in the lap of the poker gods.

Hope that helps, and good luck.

Very nice post, and the part I bolded is particularly true. I wouldn't necessarily call it a skill, it's more like a combination of skills, but certainly one of the toughest times as it's hard to use all those skills well during a downswing. Poker's an easy game when the cards are all falling right, the real test of a player comes with the adversity of a downswing and how one handles the tough times (poker mirrors real life in many ways).

MTT's and larger fields have a naturally high variance,and luck factor, which creates more fluctuation in your br. It's definitely possible to be a long term winner, but there will be swings created by this variance. Cash games provide more stability in growth, but they still include downswings and they also include the peril of deep stacked play which is a benefit if you understand how to play deep stacked, but a detriment if you don't (it's often totally different from how you should be playing shorter stacked, which is what mtt'ers are used to).

One thing you might consider if going through a rough patch is taking advantage of the member reviews currently being offered in live training. Pick a session that you found bothersome and submit it, some direct feedback and analysis is usually quite helpful.

Dave
 

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