We are not talking about the player who gets depressed when he loses, nor about the one who gets frustrated when his strategy does not work, nor about the player who has a losing streak: we are talking about the general depression that being in the Casino Malaysia environment can bring about day after day, week week after week, doing the same activities: either playing, organizing tournaments, or writing poker news, reports or articles (ahem…)
One of the clearest examples usually occurs every year at the WSOP. After spending weeks playing, immersed in an organization involving hundreds or thousands of people), only a few players will have earned bracelets and money. Some will leave made, and others will return home without a bracelet or money.
Statistically, 90% of the players will have lost at the end of each day, which means, in addition to the loss of money, disappointment due to broken dreams, unfulfilled goals, and unachieved goals. Of course, someone could claim that losing is part of the game, and players (especially professionals) have assumed that this will happen.
But it is also proven that those who best cope with these stressful situations related to poker are people who meet certain characteristics:
They are not “tied” to poker 24 hours a day, but can (voluntarily) walk away and do other things.
They have non-poker related friendships.
They can chat about something other than poker even with other players.
They sleep well, eat properly, drink little alcohol.
zThat is, we are talking about people for whom their personal well-being comes before poker. People who get depressed have their lives absolutely linked to poker, because it is their livelihood (they can be players or people who work with poker). And if a poker player enters a path of depression, there is only one step from there to total and absolute tilt. Bearing in mind, as we said, that the negative expectation is just over 90% when a player starts the tournament, it’s important to stay away from the poker tables every chance you get. Being in contact with other people, other environments and other activities is essential to preserve the state of mind of the poker player.
The bankroll in tournaments
Playing poker is equivalent to having a long series of confrontations. In some of them we will be the favourites, such as when we have a big hand, and in other occasions we will clearly be the underdogs.
But really, poker is about doing the best we can when we decide to bet our money. And many players pass up opportunities that could reverse a result. This is seen more clearly in tournaments than in full ring games. Most players agree that the strategy for the early stages of tournaments is similar to that at full ring tables. Although this is real, it is not totally true, since we have the limitation of the bankroll: in tournaments, after the rebuy period, the bankroll has no replenishment.
Losing your bankroll is not just losing money, it is losing opportunities. The less stack we have, the less we can pressure other players, and we will be the victim of big stacks. We will not have the possibility to use our bets as a strategy, nor to control the pot. Also, there will come a time when our only option will be to go all or nothing, because the amount of chips will leave us no other choice. If we lose our chips we are finished. That’s why we need to modify the full ring strategy, enough to keep our stack balanced, at least, or make it grow, if possible.