When the Well Dries Up

I don’t care who you are you will always face bad spells even if you are an amateur or pro poker player. If you are a pro then you undoubtedly know how to deal with these dry spells. But, life goes on and so will the good cards eventually.

Good players know how to deal with these rushes of bad luck and go with the flow. Dry spells are always scary because they bring back memories of having to go back to that “Life Trap” they call the 9-5 job.< That’s the real scary part. Going broke is just the beginning. It’s the side effects that make you sick to your stomach.

Your Mind Set

Playing through the dry spells will only prepare you for the future. Minimizing those god awful beats and the urge to just say F*$*% it is what players like Phil Ivey and Helmuth can do and this is what sets them apart from the chump internet player that “Can never get a break.” I’m sure there’s been a time when guys like Ivey have gone on tilt and went broke but it’s not very often. If they did they wouldn’t be in the position they are in now.

How Long They Last

Dry spells can last months even for good poker players.  Some players bad spells only last a week and some can last a lot longer. Breaking even or simply losing can put some major strain on the bills and cause big time stress.

The thought of winning again seems almost impossible. You’re afraid to bet even when you know you’ve got the winning hand at the time. You fold every time you get re-raised and you just know that slimy little bastard on the other side of the table is going to suck out on you once again. Yes these are the pits but they will get better.

It Only Takes One

Sometimes it takes just one good hand and you’re back in the game. One big bluff or bad beat you put on another opponent is like a light switch. All the sudden you can’t do anything wrong again. You’ve got to ride this wave like it’s your last hope.

Make as much money as you possibly can and don’t stop. Look at the year of 2006 when Ivey basically became the best poker player anyone has seen. He dominated everyone with his bully plays and forceful maneuvers. He was running on such a high and had such a positive outlook that he felt that he couldn’t lose and his opponent feared this. He rode the wave and put fear in everyone’s eyes that tried to stop him.

Tournaments Can Ease the Pain

Playing in tournaments is also a good way to slow down the dry spell. Tournaments are much more relaxing and you can lose less. Unfortunately that’s pretty much what you are trying to do when you’re running badly. Try to lose as little as possible. It sounds bad but it’s the truth. In tournaments you can play for hours, still have a chance to win a lot of money, and reduce your risk all at the same time.

So how do you stop the dry spells and get back winning? Believe it or not a lot of the times your dry spells are caused by lack of confidence. Stepping it down a level can be a huge factor in getting your confidence back. High stakes poker can really make you too conservative if you on a bad streak.

Try playing lower stakes. The players will be worse and you will dominate them once again. Don’t risk too much money. Play a little tighter and concentrate on the game like it was your fist time playing. You luck is bound to change and you’ll once again think it’s the easiest game in the world to make a living at.

Running Bad Help List

1. Play lower stakes – The players will be worse and you won’t be as afraid to lose. Confidence is key and lower stakes will give you the confidence you need.
2. Don’t risk too much money – You don’t want to be risking a lot of your bankroll when you are having bad luck. Wait out the bad beats and run of garbage cards. When you finally start catching hands you’re going to want a bankroll to start up again.
3.  Take some time off – Sometimes you just need some time to clear you mind and relax. Playing when you are stressed out or edgy will only make you lose even more.
4. Play like it was your first time – Remember the first time you played poker in a live game? You studied every little move people made and you noticed a lot more things. If you find yourself getting lazy force yourself to watch the game more closely.
5. Play in some tournaments – If you go on tilt in a tournament your beats are going to be much less detrimental to your bankroll. You can play for 3 hours and only lose $100 in a multitable tournament when running dry. If you were at a cash table you could lose thousands.

Remember, sometimes its not about how much you win but how much you don’t lose.

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