Poker pro Alex Millar’s advice on handling downswings

Alex MillarA poker player needs to know how to handle success as well as failure, as a career in this line of work is never a smooth ride. Most of those who play poker for a living have realized that downswings are a part of the game and unless you’ve got a strong will and flawless self-control, you will sooner or later fail. Alex Millar is one of the best players in the world, equally suited for online and live poker, so his advice on handling downswings is worth following. published an insightful article written by Alex, in which he describes his experiences in 2013. Overall, the year was a huge success, with the poker Pro winning $2.7 million, but he frequently found himself into a hole and had to dig himself out. The year started rather poorly, as Millar lost $1.5 million to Phil Ivey and Viktor Blom despite the fact that he was supposed to have an upper hand over these players at NLHE.

Luckily for him, Alex didn’t lose his focus and in time he completely offset those losses suffered to the poker professional from Sweden. Overall, he won $3.2 million of Blom and finished the year with a significant profit, even though only a fraction of that amount was credited to his own bank account. The reason for why Millar got less than $1 million despite winning $2.7 million is that he had to repay his investors. These are basically people with a lot of money who are willing to stake a poker player that they trust, and in return they receive a fraction of his profits.

This is how it was possible for Alex to play through 2013 despite the awful start and he was never in danger of losing a significant part of his bankroll. These are the kind of critical blows that can throw players off-balance, which translates into career ending downswings. Last year, Millar competed mostly at pot limit Omaha tables, frequently squaring off against poker pros at $200/$400 limits.

Having the cover of a steady flux of money, made it far easier for Millar to focus at the task at hand, so he strongly recommends players to seek sponsors. This is easier said than done, because even though there are people out there with the kind of money that makes it easy for them to invest in a poker player, they need to be confident in his abilities to compete. This is not charity work and the return on investment is pretty much all that matters, which explains why so many are reluctant to get into this business.

February 7, 2014 - Offer valid as of date published. T&Cs apply