Getting through downswings and running bad at poker
I create videos on YouTube, and I play live poker for most of my income. I play in live low stakes cash games, mostly $2/$5 No Limit Holdem currently.
Downswings and running bad are part of this game. It's one thing I can't seem to ever get good at, losing. It's very stressful. But I try to remind myself anyone can win if the cards come, but surviving the bad times is the only way I can keep myself in the game.
I started really trying to improve my mental game a couple years ago... two of my friends talked about this concept, the laws of attraction. Basically, in a nut-shell, like attracts like.
These guys fold me about the laws of attraction because I must have seemed like a miserable person overall. Very negative. Unhappy. I would always focus on the bad things that were happening.
So, if we fixate on the negative, thinking or even saying things like "how am I going to lose today?" or "I don't want to play because I just lose every hand." - that is what we will get more of.
If we put those vibes into the universe, that's what we will get back, because that's what we are focusing our minds and energy on. And we may be very passionate about these thoughts as well, which - according to laws of attraction theory - will bring about the negative things we are focused on even more.
Conversely, if we think positive, those are the events we attract into our lives. That's pretty much how it works.
So, if things are going very bad for us in poker, life, love, whatever, if we think positive and always maintain that outlook, we will attract good things and life will be much better.
Now, I don't know if I actually believe that we can actually change events based on our thinking, but what I do believe is we can control our perception of the things that happen to us.
For example, we are in a poker game. An opponent sticks in 100 BB on the turn, with 4% equity. We have a set, and the opponent has aces, and rivers a higher set.
Negative me would think "man how can I ever win? I can't even hold as a 95% favorite!"
Positive me will think "as long as I keep playing well and making good decisions, I will win money in the long term. This is just part of the game. No big deal, the money will come back in some way or other if I keep doing what I'm doing."
We can focus on the positive things, and maybe things aren't actually that bad. And that, in turn, can lead to a better quality of life overall, which in turn leads to more happiness, which finally leads to less stress, and ultimately better decisions in poker, leading to more $$$.
That's what I believe I guess. We might not be able to influence events, but we can change the way we feel about them. I used to be very negative. I still fight these feelings today. The "poor me" attitude is pretty much gone.
It's still a work in progress though. Every day is a challenge to see if I can stay in that positive frame of mind. But, it really had improved my quality of life then fold bringing the laws of attraction into my life.
So, each day we can start out....
What are we grateful for?
What do we want?
Put ourselves in a position to get what we want.
I am grateful that I have family, a few good friends, and a home. I am grateful that I dont have to work a normal 9 to 5 job.
I want to be successful. I want to make it through this downswing. I want to save money. I want to continue make YouTube videos. I would love to see my channel grow, and maybe sell some shirts.
Now, I will put myself in a position to make these things happen.
Life is what I make it. If I focus on the wrong things - like negativity - I am wasting my time and energy. This time and energy could be used to think positive, happy thoughts, and trying to make good things happen for myself.