Everybody who plays poker is guaranteed to experience downswings, where nothing goes right and you just keep going deeper into the red. For some players, their downswing starts from the very beginning until they give up the game.
But no matter what your skill or experience level is, it’s important to know how to deal with poker downswings. And who better to learn from than high-stakes pro Doug Polk.
Polk just did a video where he discuses the two biggest downswings of his life – one was Black Friday, and the other was a period where he lost $1.7 million through high rollers.
“I have had two life-soul-crushing downswings I’ve dealt with,” says Polk. “They both lasted a year or two years. Luckily the in-between periods have been pretty good for me.”
So how did he survive these low points in his poker career and life?
“I’ve always been a big believer that when you’re on a downswing, it’s okay to move down in stakes that you might be very comfortably bankrolled for just to prove to yourself that you can still do this,” advises Polk.
He adds that you need to get over the feeling of downswings where “You feel like you’re always losing, you always lose the flips, always get in the cooler situations. You end up in these same spots where, you kind of start to get gun-shy.”
Polk also says that you might sacrifice some EV by moving down, but we’re not robots and you need to overcome these losing emotions.
If the losing continues, Polk says that it gives you an opportunity to really assess your game and see what you’re doing wrong.
“What do the best players do? Do these use these (bet) sizes? Use these hands? Get some analysis in there. Start to look at things. Look at the best people in your game, and figure out is this really the best strategy.”
This is only a fraction of what Polk discusses, so check out the video below to see his other advice.