for a while i was playing very well at replay and grinded my roll back to over 50M quite quickly. but for some reason (no idea why) my concentration was turning extremely bad, resulting in very poor play and very poor BRM. my concentration is still going very poorly and donked my roll back to about 1,5M.

for some reason this isn’t the first time i am doing this, and i really have no idea why i’m doing it even while i understand quite well that what i’m doing is just really wrong.

so my questions is: how do you all deal with downswings and keep your concentration well?


The way I deal with a downswing really depends on how long a downswing lasts. Usually the first 1 - 3 days I try to grind it out and drop down a stake level. If the downswing last longer then 5 days I take a couple days off from playing then when I feel I’m ready to get back into the game I’ll start off playing a few very low buy in games and Freerolls to see where I’m at. If things haven’t changed much I’m my downswing continues I’ll take a few more days off.

What helps me a lot to break out of a downswing is reading strategy articles Also Replaying my hands and looking to see what I did wrong and what I could have done better helps.

As far as concentration goes for me I listen to music a lot while playing which helps me concentrate. The key for me is to avoid distractions as much as possible because once I start to lose concentration and start to daydream while waiting for the next hand it throws me off my game a lot of the time and I make mistakes that were avoidable.

Hope this helps @yiazmat.



I swear at the screen while giving it the middle finger ! :slight_smile:


I keep telling myself Patience!!! I’m an A type personality, I want everything yesterday and want to play every hand at every table so naturally I find myself in on every hand and chasing.

I just calm myself down, hit the reset button and wait!!! Sometimes I can wait long but at least I recognize the problem and try and correct it.

When all else fails I give the screen the middle finger and scream also lol.

We all have those days and weeks. Drop down to the low tables while you practice your patience. It won’t pay much but your in control again .

Hope this helps my friend.


@yiazmat, I’d like to echo what @Marc978 said. It’s important to analyze your own play to see if there are weaknesses that are driving the downswing that can be rectified. A few weeks back I was on a bit of a cooler, but when I went through the hands that had the biggest impact on my performance, it was clear I was making the right decisions. For example, I’d be all-in with 90%+ equity, and my opponent would catch a two-outer, or I’d be bluffing with ideal bluff candidates and happen to run into the nuts. At that point, I just have to trust my instincts and wait for my luck to change. That said, if there were flaws in my game, I’d consider dropping down in the stakes until I was more comfortable that I could handle myself in those situations.

Bankroll management is also important. Particularly with a larger 'roll, there are more games that you can afford. Set a limit on the size of the games you play - say, 1% of your total bankroll for tournaments, and 1.5% for ring games, with a maximum of 3 rebuys. That way, if you end up on a month-long downswing, it won’t come at the expense of your full stack.

There’s no shame in dropping down in the stakes in order to firm up your game. It’ll make your downswings less impactful, and give you the chance to build your bankroll back up as you beast those lower-stakes games.


I’m with Sharon on this one.
At the same time, I had a losing month last summer. The only real answer is patience and suiting your play level to your bankroll. When the big guys say not to risk more than 5% of your bankroll at a time, they don’t mean on every hand or even every game. I think–and observation bears this out–they mean per day of playing. I don’t even put that much t risk, more like a tenth of that. Chip (bankroll) management is a major part of the game. That’s why so many of the pros end up broke and scrounging for a stake.
Good folds are much more satisfying than bad beats, but they’re a lot harder to make. And every chip you lose becomes ammunition to shoot at you later. Good luck.


I make a bunch of high bets on marginal hands. If you would normally call, raise x3 instead. If you would normally raise, go all-in. After a short while, for some reason I start getting the miracle rivers and straight/flush/full-house flops.
Do this on low buy-in tourneys to minimize losses until the luck returns…and then revert back to normal play.
When you are slumping, always go all-in on AA, KK and AK…ALWAYS!
Make your own luck.

Also, and I saw this after I made my earlier post, professional poker player Ryan Fee had a really insightful blogpost at Upswing Poker on variance in poker. It covers how he dealt with his own downswing that cost him 61 buy-ins in a very short period of time. Without solid bankroll management and a willingness to drop down in the stakes, that would have bankrupted most pros, and would have sent most of us to the “Free Chip Top-Up” button on the bank page. I highly recommend checking it out, even if you’re only playing poker on this “free” site.


I really do not know how I would deal with a down swing…and I have no intention of finding out…

Nothing satisfying about folding…you don’t win any chips folding…

The chips you save are as important as the chips you win because you still have them to use later. This is why we need to know our opponents. Losing a whole stack to AK when we hold AQ is not an attractive prospect. In The Cincinnati Kid, Richard Jessup has “the Man (Lancey Hodges [Howard, in the movie version]) say something like : Kid, it’s like life, it’s knowing when to do the wrong thing at the right time.”


We generally don’t lose concentration when engaged in activities we enjoy. Therefore I think you have to ask yourself whether you are not enjoying it because you are losing or if you are losing because you aren’t enjoying it. Once you give yourself an honest answer to that question, I think the remedy will become apparent.

If I had to venture a guess, I’d say it was because you weren’t enjoying it right now. Take a break and do something else until you feel the urge to play. I think you will find that when you return, your concentration will be better and so will your results. You have the game to succeed and before I blamed variance, I’d take a look inside to discover why you aren’t playing the game you are capable of.


thanks every1 for all the great information.

don’t know why but my cloudy mind just dissappeared today and grinded myself back from 1,5M to almost 2,5M. not back to 55M of course but there is a good start now.

since this isn’t the first time it happens it will probably not be the last time either. so i shall certainly use these idea’s when i get into such a downswing again and try not to screw up so far in the first place.
hopefully my mind stays clear like it is now, but in case it won’t i will defenitely use these idea’s.

thanks again everyone and have fun. yiazmat.


Every good player goes through downswings. The ones who don’t are just fishes that eventually crash and burn… and bring our bankrolls back up. :slight_smile:


No assumption. I’ve been on several tables with him and watched him play on others enough times to make a statement of fact. Its amazing what one can learn through observation, such as who trolls forums for reasons only known to themselves and who contributes to the discussions.


thanks :slight_smile:

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You got that right Brother!!! Stand up guy right there !

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Sometimes I enjoy County’s snarky comments, but I can’t see this one because it is hidden, so it must have been particularly mean-spirited.

We all have areas for improvement, so a downswing is a good opportunity to take a break and look at what you could be doing better. Maybe you will realize that it is merely bad luck in this particular case, but it is still beneficial to put some distance between yourself and the downswing and analyze your play.

Bad bankroll management and boredom are particularly common on Replay because they are play chips. It is very tempting to take a shot at bigger stakes because you have nothing to lose (except the chips that you need to play at those stakes), and grinding your way up seems pointless when you know you can beat a certain level. I think this is where 1Warlock’s point is particularly relevant, you have to enjoy the game to be successful. Poker involves patience and good decision-making, and so many factors like sleepiness, drinking alcohol, emotions, hunger, and boredom can impact decision making. If you aren’t having enough fun to play within your bankroll then it might time for a break.

My experience has been similar, of moving up but then getting bored of grinding up. But when you take a shot at higher stakes without sufficient bankroll you are not only playing against better opponents, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage against those opponents (because they know you can’t withstand normal variance). I lost over half my bankroll when I had 70m and decided it was time to jump into the elite stakes. I’m still in that situation, where I am grinding 50k/100k at a rate of a few million chips per hour when I still need hundreds of millions to move up. I try to remember that getting bored doesn’t mean it’s time to play 100k/200k, it means it’s time to do something else.

Edit: For what it’s worth, I think you have the potential to be one of the better players here. Though you still have many leaks to plug, you have the creative and analytical skills to play more than exploitable ABC poker that is so common at the highest stakes. Of course, I am still just learning, so I’m no expert. Plus, County29 has also made what I imagine are similar comments about me on these forums despite only recently sitting at the table with me for the first time (I believe he sat for one orbit before leaving).


Do you think it was more or less mean-spirited than this one?

Than which one? Yours? Mine? His? I have no idea what you mean.

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