Quitting while you’re behind

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Sbrugby made an interesting observation about how Phil Ivey plays. “He always leaves after losing a big pot so once he dropped the 100 he left. I think this is a very good strategy for him and I admire his disipline to stick with it. I don’t think it would be best for me, so I don’t intent to implement it into my game, but it defenitly appears to work for him.”

This is a great strategy. Setting up a stop-loss and quitting while you’re behind ensures that you play more when you’re winning and less when you’re losing. Of course logic says that your odds are always the same whether you take a break or not. This is true, but remember that a huge part of poker involves psychology, and your emotional state effects your play.

Something about losing a lot of money in poker briefly changes your outlook on the game. You begin to lose confidence and play worse. Some people even spend their time trying to get back to even, which can do a lot more harm then good.

On the other hand, when you’re winning, you’re feeling good and playing better. You can see this first hand by observing players at a casino. The players who are winning sit up straight, have more energy, and have a clearer focus on the game. It’s a lot easier to play winning poker when things are going right!

So the idea is to play more when you win and less when you lose. This should result in bigger wins and smaller losses because you’re playing more hands when you’re feeling good and less when you’re feeling ‘bleh’.

The opposing argument to quitting while you’re behind is that you should never leave a table if you feel you have an edge. I agree with this to! If there’s someone spewing chips at the table, you don’t want to get up and leave just because they beat you out of a large pot.

I think both strategies can be used used effectively with each other. You just need to find a happy medium. Unfortunately there’s no clear-cut answer for this, so this is something you really need to find it for yourself.

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