Poker Tips by George: On a Winning Streak? Don’t Lose it All Back!

By George Epstein
November 15, 2019

A sports team often enjoys a long winning streak – a sequence of games won, one after the other. The longest win streak in college football history is held by the University of Oklahoma Sooners, who won 47 consecutive games between 1953 and 1957. Streaks – runs of good or bad luck – are quite common in poker, but one doesn’t necessarily have to win or lose a large number of consecutive hands for it to be considered a good or bad streak.

If you play much poker, undoubtedly you too have been delighted when in the midst of a winning streak, and going home session after session with more money than you brought to the casino. This is something you can also feel online if gambling at sites like PayPal casinos, but eventually, whether at poker or any other form of casino gambling, you’ll suffer a losing streak. Such is the nature of a game in which skill notwithstanding, luck will always play a part.


Likewise, during a single session, you may encounter several winning and losing streaks. It’s inevitable. Go figure! There will be times when you decide to stay in and see the flop with marginal starting hands (for whatever reason) and manage to connect with the nuts on the flop. That type of good luck (sometimes referred to as momentum) lasts for a period of time, helping to build you stacks of poker chips. Your confidence surges to no end. Perhaps this is even a factor in your continuing good luck?

But, unfortunately, the opposite is also true: You can start with the best possible hole cards, like pocket Aces, and end up second-best. Catch a set of Kings on the flop but you’ll lose when an opponent catches a full house on the river –a bad beat, no less, and it’s demoralizing to say the least! Of course, it’s also quite costly. How many such losers can you handle before having to dip into your wallet for more money. Don’t go on tilt! Of course, these streaks also happen to your opponents.

My Experience with Winning and Losing Streaks

I don’t know about you, but good and bad streaks happen to me almost every time I play poker. Recently, while playing $4-$8 limit hold’em at the Hustler Casino in Gardena, California, I started off just great. I won the vast majority of the pots I entered. I was on a streak! The cards seemed to just fall into place, and my self-confidence soared.

I was well ahead when I took a break from the game to enjoy my dinner. As usual, the food at the Hustler was excellent, as is the food service – adding to my ecstasy and euphoria.

But all good things must come to an end – unfortunately. That’s life! A bit later, after I got back to the table, things changed dramatically. Most of the same players were there, but my good luck turned sour. Oh, so sour. Hand after hand, I took a beating. My profits dwindled.


Take a Break

I took a break from the table and went outside to refresh my mind and to THINK. I wanted to avoid going on tilt. What’s more, I decided it was a good time to quit for the session while I was still ahead. It was an hour before my scheduled Access van ride home; so, I decided to sit down at an empty table and draft my notes for this column.

How do you avoid losing back all your winnings?

The reader submitting the best comments to me via email ([email protected]) during the next two weeks will be awarded with a copy of my book, The Art of Bluffing (see below).

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George Epstein

After a long and productive career as a leader in the aerospace industry, upon his retirement in the 1990s, George Epstein chose poker as his “second career.” George has been widely recognized for his many significant accomplishments and contributions to our society. These include pioneering and innovations in various materials, testing and manufacturing technologies for […]


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