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Poker strategy essays

No Limit Texas Holdem Poker: Handling Losing Streaks

By Martin Fromage

Itís sad but true: if you play any kind of poker long enough, youíre going to hit a losing streak. No-Limit Texas Holdem is definitely not an exception. The best pros in the world will tell you thereís just no avoiding a stretch of play where youíre running badly. Itís really only a matter of time. However, itís what you do when a bad stretch hits that makes all the difference to your continued success.

Take a Break
The easiest way to stop a losing streak? Take a break. No-one says you have to go to the casino or log on to an online casino every day, or even every week. If you feel like things arenít going your way, take a few days off. Take some time to revisit things you maybe havenít seen in a while. Like, say, the sun. Or a park. Or people who donít even play cards. Donít make the same mistake so many have done before you, walk over to the video poker machines, start playing online caribbean stud or take part in some game where you canít have an edge. Chances are good youíll get back to the tables refreshed and with a new perspective. Every session is a new opportunity to start your next winning streak and the cards have no clue youíre in a slump. Theyíre just cards.

Take a Look at Your Game
It could be bad luck. It really could. A statistically rare stretch of bad luck even. Or the opposite could be true. Good luck may have hidden leaks in your play and youíve been winning despite yourself. Either way, most of us make mistakes in our game. No matter how good we think we are an extended losing streak is a great time to step back and analyze your game for those leaks. Think back on those bad beats or sessions you walked away a loser, and ask if there was anything you could reasonably have done differently to change the result. And the key here is 'reasonably'. Not telling yourself you should have folded with 9h 3h and a 9-3-6 flop and an opponent put you all-in with 4d 5s and won with a seven on the river. But considering maybe you shouldnít have played 9h 3h in the first place.

Take a Stand
Folding your pocket queens pre-flop because theyíve been cracked five straight times is no way to play poker. Neither is playing marginal hands because you 'canít win with big hands'. As long as youíre playing correctly... the only way to get back on track is just keep playing correctly; things will even out if you do. Playing carelessly or scared because of past results is fatal. Absolutely fatal. Being unlucky is no excuse to change your game. And playing badly is definitely not going to change your luck for the better.

 


 

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