So … about that “Running Hotter than the Sun” entry. I think I might have jinxed myself!
It appears that $8k downswings at the stakes I’m playing are quite standard as I’m in the middle of another one. Unfortunately it means that I am losing quite a bit this month so far, as I’m currently running at around -2.5% ROI over ~1k games.
I will probably only play a couple hundred more SnGs this month, so chances are pretty much zero that I’ll end up positive for the month.
April has been pretty frustrating. During the last couple of weeks I have realized that I still have endless work to do when it comes to tilt control. I have gotten a lot better at controlling myself overall, but it seems that the really bad runs are pretty good at setting me off still.
If you are a high volume player, you’ll know that my monthly sample is very small. The biggest problem with playing a low volume is that the downswings can feel like they last forever. A breakeven stretch of 4k games might just be a month for some grinders, but it would last three months for me. It definitely sucks, but it’s something I have to accept. It is, however, admittedly quite tough to accept sometimes.
One thing I have going for me is that by playing less tables, my overall ROI should be higher than most. Hopefully this will help lower my overall variance a bit despite the reduced volume.
Everyone has different ways of handling downswings. Unfortunately, I think a lot of poker players deal with it by complaining to anyone that will listen.
I’m not gonna get on some high horse and pretend that I never moan and groan about bad variance, but I will say that I have tried hard to cut down on bad beat stories as much as possible.
I think that I have been complaining more than usual the last couple of weeks, though, so writing this post is a good reminder of how counterproductive it is to complain about variance.
A good friend of mine was recently dealing with a bad downswing himself, and he said to me, “The only thing I can do is review my game often and keep playing as much as possible. I don’t know what else to do.”
He may not know what else to do, but I’d say he’s going about it the right way. As long as you make sure that you are playing well and that you don’t have big leaks, then you just have to grind through the variance.
Ensuring that you are still playing well is obviously an important factor, but I think it’s also possible to go overboard. I find that I have a hard time relaxing when I am going through a downswing because I am constantly worried that I am playing badly.
Whether it’s worrying about regs outplaying me or worrying about spewing stacks, I feel like I should be reviewing 24/7 to make sure that I’m not doing something wrong. This is obviously unhealthy. Being able to shut off while you’re not playing poker is a pretty important skill and something that I need to work on.
What kind of strategies do you use while downswinging? If you have any unique ideas, please feel free to write a comment. Hopefully by the next time I write, though, I’ll be running so good that I won’t need to use any of your suggestions ;)