Treating each session as part of one big session

Poker is not like sports. In sports, winning or losing is all that is important, it does not matter how much you win by. If the Yankees won a game by a score of 12 to 3, they have won one game, the same as if they had won by a score of 2 to 1. In poker, winning or losing is important of course, but more importantly is how much you win or lose by. If you play five times in one week and have three winning sessions and two losing sessions, that does not say much about the results in that week. It could be that you lost twice as much when you lost as when you won, thus giving you a losing week.

You should think of every session as part of one very long session that you play during your lifetime. It is sometimes difficult to think that way when the cards are running cold and it feels like you are getting bad beat after bad beat. Without thinking in terms of one long session, you will be tempted to try to get back to even during that losing session. This may lead to playing too many hands, calling too many raises, and bluffing in unwarranted spots.

Oftentimes players on the table will say that they are "stuck," meaning they are losing. But it is all relative. I have heard a player complain that he was stuck $100 in a 40/80 game, when $100 is an invisible blip in a game of that limit. Thinking that he was stuck gave him a negative mentality, and he started to play more aggressively at incorrect times to try to get back to even. He left 10 hours later really stuck, with a loss of $5000. So do not worry about trying to get back to even for the night, the week or the trip. Just think in terms of playing each hand correctly and think of your wins and losses as a whole for your entire life if you are a long term winner. If you are a winning player, this will also make the inevitable losing streaks a little easier to handle psychologically. If you have not shown as much success in the past, you can think of today as the first day of the rest of your Hold'em life.

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