Just Happy To Break Even

  • Just Happy To Break Even


    January 11, 2021 at 7:39 am

    Hey Guys…

    I know most of you have experienced (or is currently experiencing) downswing. Yeah it’s a nasty downside to an otherwise cool game.

    But have you ever had a session(s) run so bad, that you just wanted to break even for the day? Not even a buy-in at the stake you’re playing. Just $0.00 in the Net Won column of your poker tracker.

    My last few sessions have been like that and I’m not sure how to feel about it. Granted there were some hands where I thought my play was just magical and then there were others where I totally fumbled the ball.

    So how can I get past just happy breaking even? Or is this just a byproduct of the game?

  • Stevemacpherson

    January 11, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    It’s a bad mindset to have to think about “breaking even session by session, because poker is one long session with no real end – you just play. Each hand is a new hand, and they’re all combined into a graph.

    Trying to force a break even or thinking that way can really affect the decisions on the table. If you can try to switch your thinking to this way, it might be easier. The cure for a downswing is volume, but also studying. Spend extra time studying, looking for mistakes, and improving some of the poor parts of your game – so when the downswing is over, you’ll have even better results


      January 26, 2021 at 10:33 pm

      What are some ways that you would suggest to switch this way of thinking?

  • Harrrypokerrr

    January 11, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    I once heard that “each session is possession, like in basketball – once you have a ball and score (winning session) and once “they have it and score (losing session). There is no point in focusing on just one (pos)session, but rather on longer period – maybe firstly challenge yourself not to check the results for a week or so and rather to concentrate on decisions made on the table, focusing on getting reads, making notes, color coding players, etc. Try also poker variance calculator, where you can get the evidence what that misterious “downswing could look like from mathematical point of view, even for a winning player (btw. I also once heard a quote from a player “Your Doom that there is no such thing as downswing and I almost agree – there is such a term, but it is not what the most people think it is and for sure you cannot be “in downswing). You can also try to look at your results from a different time perspective

    • Stevemacpherson

      January 11, 2021 at 4:55 pm

      I also heard something similar – I think it was in a course I bought from Elliott Roe on Mindset. He talks about how you can’t be “in a downswing, because each hand is independent. It can happen that you lose 5/10/20 flips in a row – but the more you tell yourself you’re in a downswing, the worse it can be and the more you can believe it’s just bad luck, nothing you can do, which can make it last longer. Part of that quote was to think of like each session as having possession of the ball – sometimes you score, sometimes you don’t, but you’re going to have so many possessions you can’t think about the times you didn’t score every time you get the ball back.

      Yeah focusing on reads/notes/colors and improving away from the table can decrease the downswing, as you improve other parts of your game at the same time!


        January 19, 2021 at 2:21 am

        Switch my thinking how exactly? After a bad session, I’ll either watch training videos or just doing something else to get my mind off of the session.

        Looking at the session results is another issue that I have to work on. I mean I’m checking it every few hands to see where I am in the session. Of course you want to know how much you’ve won (or lost) during the session, who doesn’t?


      January 26, 2021 at 10:43 pm

      LOL…Not being able to check the results for a week or so is the equivalent of waiting for a pregnancy test result to come back! Yeah you can do that but why torture yourself?

      How can I do this and not be results oriented? For me, it’s hard for me to say that I had a good session, made all of the good decisions, reads etc and still lost money.

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