Luck is part of the game. We can argue that with strong preparation and studying a lot luck’s impact can be reduced, but it will never disappear and that’s the true essence of poker. If you do not want to accept it, just do not play at this game.
What is what we call variance, though? Poker is a game based on math and statistics. If you are supposed to win a spot 70 times out 100, there are still a 30% chance to lose the hand.
In the long run, it will indeed go as described by the rules of the numbers, but in short run, you can hit your “unlucky” 30% several times in row, making you feel as bas as poker can make you feel. The good news is that it will pass and you will be back winning steadily. The bad news is that it can last for many days/hands and you have to be prepared to this scenario.
Variance can hit you badly and even if you think you are playing your A-game, it might still lower your bankroll to a dangerous level. If you managed it well, you can still play with confidence, hoping to turn your “luck” around.
Which are the elements you have to take in consideration when you are in a days-long losing streak?
Review your game
Using tools for hands review, keep always an eye on the hands you play. It’s really important to review your game and put yourself in a position of doubts rather than just keep on playing believing you are doing it good. To help you to do so, talk with friends (either live or online on forums) to discover your leaks and – if they cannot find any – you can keep playing not happier, but at least less worried. The variance is part of the game and bad swings go away as easily as they came.
Do not tilt!
Handling tilt is a key ingredient for a successful poker player. Do not play if you are angry or upset. Do not play if you eager to win chips back from your opponents. They did not steal your chips, you will have other good spots to win them back, so keep your mind cool and stay focused on the game…or take a break!
Typical behaviors when you are on tilt are:
- playing too many hands
- playing too aggressively without a proper reason
- fold too many hands waiting for monster hands to win money back easily
- start chatting trash talking your opponents
Spoiler: none of these will help you to build your bankroll back or getting any confidence in your skills
Play lower stakes
Yes, your bankroll is still solid, but your confidence is at the all time low. A quick smart fix for this situation is playing at lower stakes for a couple of days. The lower the stake, the lower the skill of the players there.
Yes it will not help in building a huge roll, but in this situation nothing is more important than building your old confidence back and there’s anyone to judge you for this: do not feel ashamed by all means, it’s just a smart move that proves you can earn your spot in the poker world.