Saturday, 26 January 2008

Don't cry over lost profits!!

My initial intention on creating this blog was to discuss my daily exploits playing poker. I was going to review a few hand histories and generally share my ups and downs playing this fantastic game. However looking at hand history after hand history would probably get very tedious for the reader. After all, when you get all your cash in with a nut full house and lose to a runner runner 55 giving the other guy quads, what more is there to write about? So for now my blog is taking a turn to the more cerebral and emotional side of poker.

I have not been working now for about two and a half months. Poker still doesn't take up as much of my time as I would like (what with decorating and the likes) but I do get to play online every day. One thing is becoming increasingly apparent though! There can be big swings in my bank roll from day to day, even hour to hour. As a consequence my mood changes along with the flow of these wins and losses - Up when winning and down after suffering a substantial loss. So what to do about this?

So far I have developed a number of techniques to help me deal with these eventualities!

First and foremost ...

Swear at the computer and stomp around the room asking myself how this idiot could have called to the river holding " ... that S**T". Its funny but following a big loss this almost always is the first phase of controlling my emotions. Joking aside though I do think this is an important part of dealing with a loss. After all, how do I celebrate a big win. By stomping round the room shouting "..Yes, Yes ... Get IN!! " or something of the sort. In essence it is letting off that tension that builds over a session of playing.

Secondly ...

Take a break. If I have just suffered badly to the cards then I will always take a break. Just walk the dog or go to the shops. Anything that will take me away from the computer and its environment. This gives me the space to think about what has just happened ... How does it affect my monthly plans? ... Did I play poorly? ... What do I now need to do to get back on track?

Finally ...

When I decide I am in the right frame of mind to start playing again I will chose a game that I know I can beat. For example I may chose a low level 5 man STT. I may even play a few of these games if I initially don't get the results I like until that confidence and winning feeling returns. Then I will continue with my normal bank rolling methods.

Generally ...

In order to maintain a modicum of sanity I tend to try and keep to the following few easy rules:

1. I try to laugh when suffering minor setbacks. Luck is a big part of the game and someone does have the right to hit their 10% chance some of the time, its just not nice when it happens against me.

2. I try to keep my emotions level by not over exaggerating my current mood. For example try not to get too irate after a beat, and try not celebrate too much after a win.

3. And this is my most important point to note to date ....... DON'T CRY OVER LOST PROFITS.

Let me explain by using the example of the beat full house above. At the time I had that hand my month had been up and down with regards to profits, but I was $250 or so in profit up to that point. That hand lost me somewhere in the region of $150, but I was still in profit afterwards.

That gives me a great psychological advantage when looking to continue playing. " ...I can take a horrendous beat like that AND STILL be a winning player .... how good is that?".

"What happens if it takes you into the negative?" I hear you ask. Well as yet I don't know, but when it does I will be sure to let you know here.

So thats it! A general emotional overview of a typical day playing poker at the Jester household.

All that remains is for me to ask you to Keep It Tight! And if any of you have methods you want to share please email me on

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