We decided to find out how some of the regulars on the Gipsyteam forum cope with downswings. Some people believe that a downswing can only be won by riding it out over time, and prefer to take only short breaks when what is happening at the tables goes beyond all limits. Others perceive the downswing as a reason to patch up holes that have not been touched for a long time, although for serious repairs they still recommend waiting until the end of the bad wound. For some, a downswing teaches humility, so they simply wait for the switch to flip and do not make sudden changes.
And some people don’t believe in downswings at all and think that you just don’t know how to play.
Downswings are God's hand extended to a lost soul who believed that he at least understood something about the game. The suffering that a downswing gives is the only opportunity for an ignorant, overwhelmed devil, mired in idiotic habits and delusions, to pay attention to the gravity of his situation. Since I didn’t want to learn like a human being, the pig, we will now learn through pain, like circus dogs.
A downswing teaches humility and acceptance. A kind of extended (sometimes for years) meditation. You look, observe, and try not to do anything: not completely change the strategy, discipline, or type of tables. You try, but it doesn’t always work out. You do stupid things – buy training, join foundations, pay for stupid expensive software, etc. And that's okay. But that doesn't mean it's good. You act smart – you go down the limits, increase the volume, and throw opponents worthy of average respect. This is also normal. And not good either.
Love for the game helps a lot. And also hatred towards opponents. The desire to win all their money. Dominate. F*** with 5%. Open it with obvious garbage, win, and write “sucker” in the chat. The desire to win every hand also helps. I fucking hate losing. That would have been the case. Downswings are complete crap. In a downswing, the game breaks down. I would f***ing punish them! And he forbade it to f***ing. Predatory instinct is a f***ing topic. And the singularity. There is also some advanced therapy, but ChatGPT will tell you about this (it was still not enough for my recommendation not to pass the censorship filter).
And generally speaking. Downswings are a commercial myth. It was invented by the guys from the “training” section and thus killed two birds with one stone:
1. They shifted the responsibility for their failures to the downswing.
2. Instead of wasting hours on a hated game, we decided to get paid for chatting on Skype while relaxing.
But in the end, they deceived themselves – training takes a disproportionate amount of their energy and steals precious hours that they could spend on becoming stronger as a player (I’m not talking about characters who once got into trouble, who are simply selling their media and don’t think in terms of becoming stronger and all that).
In general, there are no downswings. There is an incredibly low technical level of the game, poor selection, psychological problems that smoothly flow into mental ones, high rake, crap in applications, and, in the end, the second of the two years remaining for poker (and, most likely, humanity) is coming to an end.
The realization that you are in a downswing does not appear immediately. Up to this point, you are already, as a rule, in the negative. And so, you sit and think: “So, 20-30k hands are already at zero or minus, they are crushing me over and over, perhaps, this is a downswing. I notice that each session puts more pressure on me than usual and I’m already burning out.” Therefore, first of all, you need to restore your HP ( ed. – eSports health ) to 100%, and then, accept that a difficult time lies ahead, and “raise your shields.” This concerns the mental component.
If we talk about practice, then in the downswing, even with a restructuring of thinking, it is difficult to maintain optimal shape due to nerves, greater concentration of complex decisions, and bad runouts. Therefore, the logical solution would be to reduce the amount of play (by 20-30-50%), primarily due to those sessions where the results are especially disgusting and you feel like you’ve floated. We close these with a stop loss.
I think it would be a mistake to roll out more tables than usual, 1.5-2 times, since it is already difficult to keep your game focused during such a period, and doing this when playing a semi-automatic machine is even more difficult. You can play for a couple of months, at the end of which you will feel moral and physical exhaustion, as well as a bonus of a broken, simplified, or, conversely, loose gaming strategy.
To completely wait out the downswing, not playing for a week or a month, or lowering the limits by several levels (normally playing NL100 on GGPoker, but going to NL5-25, supposedly to feel confident) is even a little childish. Like, I’ll close my eyes and the monster will go away on its own, or a bunny will appear in its place. The exception is if you already play a mix of limits and decided to leave the top one – this way you did not change the “clearing”, did not lose much in profitability when leaving the downswing, but retained your ego, slightly reduced the pressure on the psyche and protected yourself financially.
Also, in addition to sessions that often end earlier, you can add days off according to your condition if you feel that you are already at your limit
Well, the obvious idea for everyone is that of course we need to work on the game. But here is my opinion: it is not necessary to try with all your might to understand what is wrong in your game – experiment, introduce new lines, analyze new spots. This is the worst time to do that. You don’t yet have confidence in your new knowledge, and your wounds are such that any bet you make without the nuts is rebuffed. You must try to pay attention to your weak points, which you already knew about, but never got around to them. Or let someone take a look at your database.
That is, the task is to work on obvious and frequent leaks + try to maintain your game through a thoughtful and calm analysis of hands.
In general, downswings are not about “making money.” They are about minimizing losses and preserving the psyche, and ideally, also a good time to patch up the holes that are easy to fix.
Andrey "Kot_Spartac" Kotelnikov
Downswings can only be beaten by solid and strong play, reliable bankroll management, and over a long time.
Downswings only end with distance and long hours. To overcome it, you don’t need to take any breaks, you just need to grind a lot. If negative emotions begin to take over and you fall into a state of tilt, then you should consider taking a short break. How long? It depends on how you deal with tilt. Personally, it’s enough for me to pause the tables and take a break for about five minutes, make tea/coffee, and breathe fresh air on the balcony, while others need a day off for a day or two, spend time with family/friends, and clear their head. But no more. It’s just that if you constantly take long breaks, then when you return after such a break, you can again fall into an unsuccessful period, and it will seem that you are no longer good at poker and are generally the most unfortunate and unlucky player in the world. But an adequate distance will not be gained.
Don't confuse a downswing with a bad game. The lion's share of downswings are simply weak games and not an increase in bad variance. When analyzing live sessions with some players, I often hear talk about bad luck, but after watching half an hour of video, it becomes clear that the player has fundamental problems with the game. This suggests a little advice for not the most experienced players: talk to the coach and analyze some of the hands – perhaps what you considered a downswing can be easily corrected in just one or two training sessions.
I wish everyone not to tilt, to work on their game, not to be lazy, and to play at adequate distances. Then downswings will bypass you!
You can’t wait out a downswing, it’s just an escape from reality and the illusion that troubles can evaporate on their own. During a bad run, you should try to evaluate the quality of your decisions impartially or ask other people to evaluate your hands. And also sit at the tables only if you have the desire and interest. During a downswing, I rely on my condition and quality of play, I try to play with a bankroll and on tables in which I have an obvious advantage.
Is it possible to wait out a downswing? Well, I’m just the same person who constantly waits for them. And if I am here, then this fact is the living answer to this question. Of course, it is possible and necessary. Everyone just does it differently.
From my own experience, I can say that, based on observations, all poker players can be divided into four main types, depending on how they experience a downswing:
1st type: Armored Car Players. Downswing, no downswing, it doesn’t matter at all, he continues on without slowing down the gas.
2nd type: Players who, when downswinging, begin to lament “oh, oh, oh, help, they’re killing.” They see bots everywhere, and it always seems like their time is running out. These are panic players.
3rd type: During a downswing, they start yelling: “How f***ed I am with all this! All! F*** this poker! I'm leaving!" They hit dishes, mice, and keyboards. It also seems to them that their opponent is not sitting quietly in his apartment somewhere very far from them, but somewhere very close. That's why they often hit walls too. And air. These are hysterical players.
4th type: Those who believe in horoscopes, folk signs and that their account is cursed. These are mystical players.
Personally, I am one of those rare people who combine several types at once. By tragic coincidence, I am a carrier of type 2, 3 and 4.
Good luck to everyone at the tables!