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Discussion in 'Poker Strategy General' started by Meddler, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. Meddler

    Meddler Well-Known Member
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    We play $1/2 NLHE weekly. Have been for at least 15 years with same group of 7-8 guys. Over that period I'm realistically probably a small loser. By small I mean maybe down $200-400 (maybe more) at the end of each year....I'd have to go look at my archives.
    I understand poker success should be considered over the long haul due to variance etc. I've read books and changed my play over that time hoping will improve my game so that I win more often than I lose.

    I understand that bad beats and such are part of the game and this is not a request to necessarily analyze my play as I don't have enough data of my play but here's a few hands from last Saturday which epitomizes the bad swing I'm on. These hands accounted for $700 in losses. All these hands Hero lead out with betting at some point:

    Hero hits 2nd nut straight on the turn and improves to A high flush on the river. Loses to straight flush on river. Luckily checked behind and minimized loss.

    Here flops trip 5's. Loses to runner runner straight to villain holding 42o. (yes hero led with $10 PF raise.)

    Hero flops 2nd nut straight and loses to runner runner full houses.

    Hero calls a PF shove with AKo. Villain shows AQo. Villain hits Q.

    And the kicker....

    Here flops FH holding J8 in the BB. Flop comes JJ8. Bet/Call. Two players to turn and river. Bet/call Bet/call. River is A. Hero loses to villains JA. Surprisingly this hand bothered me the least as there was nothing I could have done, no bet size would have gotten villain to fold his JA.

    So my general question is should I take a break or quite the game altogether? I've been taking these beats for the better part of a year now.
     
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  2. Trihonda

    Trihonda Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried varying the people you play with? Get into a different game from time to time? I have people I play with that I never seem to have long term success against, and some solid players that are profitable for me.
     
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  3. abby99

    abby99 Admin / Chip Magpie
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    If you think you need a break, then you probably need a break.

    +1 to Trihonda's suggestion to play in other games every one in a while.

    One of my favorite books to get my head straight is Jared Tendler's The Mental Game of Poker. The original book has been very helpful to my game. I haven't read TMGoP2 yet.

    Keep in mind that from a variance perspective, the long run is a very, very, very long time.

    Good luck!
     
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  4. DrStrange

    DrStrange Creativity Alliance
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    I do not see anything in the thumbnails that seems troublesome unless you are waiting till the river to get the money into the pot. Most of these are people paying to draw at <10% rivers and hitting them. It hurts to get a bad beat, but you really do want them to try to hit lucky rivers. Soon enough, math will be your friend again.

    DrStrange
     
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  5. abby99

    abby99 Admin / Chip Magpie
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    Dr. Strange's post reminded me of this: We want our opponents to stick around when they're drawing thin and not getting correct odds to do so. Those are mistakes, and we want our opponents to mistakes. Sure, sometimes they'll hit, and if they're an 80/20 dog it will happen 20% of the time. Our job is to manipulate the pots so that they don't win their "fair share."
     
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  6. Mojo1312

    Mojo1312 Well-Known Member

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    The more poker you play, the more likely you are going to experience a lengthy downswing due to variance.

    I went on an absolutely crazy bad beat streak in October of 2013. I lost two hands to the same player in a full ring game one evening. I had a full house both times, and he had four of a kind and a straight flush. I am not a mathematician, but the odds have to be pretty slim for that to happen.

    In answer to your question, yes, you should quit the game if you truly feel that you have been taking more than your fair share of bad beats for over a year. Otherwise, you may want to make adjustments to your bet sizing.

    With the exception of last Summer, I have been playing weekly ever since I began playing 7 years ago. I have taken two-three week breaks over that time. Once when I stepped back from playing at the casino 30 to 40 hours a week, and once due to a number of successive sessions where I suffered several bad beats similar to the ones you describe. Personally, I feel both breaks were useful.
     
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  7. CaptLego

    CaptLego Super Moderator
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    If you're concerned about losing money on a streak of bad luck, perhaps your bankroll is too small for the stakes you're playing.
    If they're winning pots by getting lucky playing hands where the odds are against them, then you should be happy. This just encourages them to continue bad play. If you're not controlling the odds correctly for them sucking out on you, you may have a hole in your game.

    I'm not a professional poker player. To me, it's just a hobby. I don't play for stakes that I mind losing.
    One night, I had a particularly bad luck streak. You know those times where your hand is always second best? Flush loses to full house. Full house beaten by four of a kind. I finally got a royal flush - and had to split the pot (wild cards were involved). It was expensive, but one of the most fun times I've had playing poker.

    If it's a hobby, then the goal is just to have fun. Nobody I know that's tried to turn a hobby into a business has been happy with the result. Once it becomes about the money, it's a whole new thing.

    At any rate, whether hobby or profession, you've got to make sure that your bankroll and stakes can survive a streak of bad luck.
     
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