Dealing with frustration/emotions in poker?
What do you guys do when you get frustrated in poker? I mean, I'm happy I got out of my 24BI downswing at 100NL. I shot up like 36BI in less than 3 weeks switching from LAG to TAG, heavily reduced variance, and completely got out of it. My game has definitely improved a lot. But in the past few sessions, constantly running into the top of my opponents' ranges, getting called downed in spots where nobody is ever bluffing and where my range is so nutted, keep getting sucked out on, and losing flips over and over has been getting pretty annoying. It feels like it just eats away at me, especially at the higher stakes where the money really does matter. And especially right after experiencing a long, huge downswing that drove me insane.
Just yesterday, I played a two hour session. The very last minute I was supposed to play (so around the last 2-3 hands), I flop top two, GII OTF vs top pair + flush draw BB vs BTN, and lose the coin flip for my stack. I then lose my very next two and only all-ins preflop AA vs QQ, and KK vs AK. And today, I was only up 1 BI after a pretty long session because I spewed in some bad spots and got some coolers preflop. Then the last 15 minutes of my session, I lose 2BI in like 50 hands. I got sucked out on vs some loose aggro dude who was always playing back at me in a 3-bet pot, in some Zone poker, lose a coin flip (again) AK vs 22, and all that. I've been losing so many coin flips lately it's ridiculous, especially today. It's even more frustrating when you have 99 vs AK against a crazy guy 3-betting every hand, you dodge an A/K OTF & OTT, and then get owned on the river. He was tilting like crazy, and then when I have a hand he's at the top of his range. I think if he flopped an A/K it wouldn't have been as bad, but especially against a crazy dude losing to the A river was just pretty frustrating. Just after tonight, I noticed started to feel like really really hot. Like fever hot, maybe more. I just quit right after two big suckouts. It felt like my body was burning even though I was playing at night, and it was decently cool. I don't have tilting issues like I used to though, so it doesn't really affect my game.
I find the game pretty intriguing and interesting, but I get frustrated at times. I mean, I'm okay losing a BI or 2 when I get outplayed, just being pretty card dead, or just "normal" variance. But it really starts to take a toll when it just doesn't stop, and just keeps going on and on for like 20k+ hands and several long sessions in a row. Especially after recently getting out a huge downswing I didn't really anticipate or think would actually happen, and regaining my confidence back. And it really sucks when it's the last minute or last 10 minutes of your session.
I don't know. I used to be really passionate about poker. But ever since the first few months, it began to feel more and more like a job, especially as of lately. And it's not social at all, and not really any fun. You're behind a computer screen multitabling 2 Zone 2 cash with no interaction. You are constantly using your brain to figure out the best way to deceive people about your range to take their money, constantly ranging your opponent, making some pretty thin calls and value bets, thinking about what you can rep and what he thinks you have while pulling off a bluff, etc. Good decisions are punished constantly, in addition to every bad or suboptimal decision you make. The money feels like a lot to me for my age, and I think this further amplifies the swings/emotions I experience in poker. Is it possible to find poker intriguing, enjoy it somewhat, and yet hate it at the same time? I'm not saying I entirely hate the game. But sometimes it's hard not to hate it. I don't know... Maybe I should take a break again? I've taken a lot of breaks from poker, long and short ones. They do really help. I feel kind of obligated to play though since I just finished my first year at Uni and am on summer vaction . My summer is the only time I can actually grind everyday if I wanted to. It's a bad feeling though, because I feel like I'm starting to get more and more negative at times...