How to Cope With Losing Streaks

Do you respect the raise?  Most players will raise with something good. This is especially true online, where players are playing multiple tables and multi-tasking, playing often on autopilot. When you have to call two bets to stay in the pot as opposed to just one, you are cold-calling, and contributing to your losing streak because more often than not you are folding on the flop. A typical situation in which cold-calling occurs: when you are ready to call as the action comes to you and the player right before you raises. Cold-calling with a decent hand is fine, but if you call all the time for two bets when you were going to call for one, you are not going to be a winner at the poker table.

 

You also have to respect the check-raise.  When the chips are down, and you’ve put money in the pot thinking your hand is good, the check-raise can be infuriating. The response is a quick call, sometimes to the River. During my last session, I made a big mistake on a particular hand by falling into this trap. I looked down to see QQ. In early position, I quickly raised and was called by two players. The flop came 475 with two spades. I bet and was check-raised by the player to my right. The right move would have been to fold. I called. No Kings or Aces came on the Turn or River, but it didn’t matter, as I still lost the hand, foolishly calling his bets on both the Turn and River. (He held 74 offsuit.) After being ahead early in the session I suffered some rough beats on the River (preceding the fiasco with the Queens). I left the session frustrated with myself, that hand bothering me all night. I know full well I’m a better player than that; I couldn’t have done anything differently to prevent the 74 offsuit from seeing the flop, but when check-raised I definitely should have gotten away from the hand, thinking I had run into a set. Never be blinded by your emotions especially when running bad. The check-raise means you have to have a powerful hand, and top pair isn’t going to be enough.

 

Are you playing draws in small fields?  Drawing hands like suited connectors and flops with four to the straight or flush prefer large fields. Without a large field, you simply aren’t getting the proper pot odds you need to chase. If you find yourself seeing many flops with small and medium suited connectors in tight games, understand that this is contributing to your losing streak. These hands pose a double threat to you. Not only do you go into the flop as an underdog in a tight game, but what many players are unable to do is fold the hand on the flop even when it hits them.

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