If you read enough about poker you’ll see a common phrase: Don’t be results-oriented. New players have a difficult time taking this advice as it’s so difficult to keep the right frame of mind when losing more of your online poker money, even when you’re playing your best. But downswings happen to everyone; your ability to keep your composure is what will keep you from losing even more.
The worst thing many players do when in a downswing is made major adjustments to their game. Making major adjustments should only be done when you know for sure that you’re playing sub-optimally. There are a few different ways to check on your play.
The first is to review your hands yourself. Look at the hands you’re playing and when you’re playing them. My favorite way to review hands is to use the replay hand feature in Poker Tracker. It’s a nice feature of the program that allows you to watch the hand play out. It’s a lot easier than reading a hand history, and it gives you a feel for the play. While you’re reviewing your hands look at your starting hand, position, and the actions of players before and after you. As the hand plays out make sure that you keep an eye on pot odds and implied odds and the decisions you made concerning those calculations. Take note of any mistakes that you may have made, and what you could do in the future to keep yourself from making those mistakes again.
Another great way to evaluate your play is to have others look over your hands. There are many great forums online where you can post your hands and have other players advise on your play. This is one of the best ways to improve your play as you will get an impartial analysis of your game. You can participate in discussions, learn more about the game, and become a better player.
Your online poker money is at risk if you start making negative adjustments to your game when on a downswing. Look carefully at your game, get advice from others, ride out the downswing and get back to playing winning poker.