Share this on

You’ve made the final table of a tournament with enough chips to make a run at the title. Things seem to be going well but then you go on a bad run or take a couple of bad beats and find yourself on the rail.

These types of final table beats are going to happen if you play tournaments with any frequency. Sometimes the beats can be so brutal that they significant impact our psyche and can even physically hurt.

So what do you do when you take a “soul crushing” loss at a final table? Keep reading for a few tips to help you get over the loss and move on.


The #1 thing you need to do after taking a tough final table loss is to get out of the casino. In the past, we’ve all heard stories of players that have taken a tough beat at the final table and then decided to either hop into cash games or play the pits.

The majority of the time, you’re not going to be in the correct mindframe to play any type of game optimally. Your best play is to simply walk out of the casino and go find something else to do.

Hang out with Friends

After a tough loss, consider going out with some buddies to help ease the sting of the loss. Whether you decide to go toss back a few drinks, hang out at the club or even crash on your couch at home, chilling with friends is a good way to get over your loss.

If nothing else, they can help lighten your mood or boost your ego after the loss. While that may be a bit self-serving, you can always repay the favor to them at a later date.

Spend Time with Family

Sometimes the only thing that will heal the hurt of a tough loss is spending some time with those we love most. Whether it means some quality time with the significant other or going on a trip to visit your parents, spending time with the fam is a +EV move.

Go Work Out

For some of you, there’s no better way to work off the frustration of a missed opportunity at the final table than a vigorous workout. In addition to helping you work off some of the frustration, it is also good for your health.

In a way, you’re beginning to prepare for your next final table run by improving your overall health and well being.

Walk Away from the Game for a Few Days

There’s nothing wrong with taking a break from poker for a few days after a tough loss. Chances are that you’re going to have the loss on your mind when you play and it will probably prevent you from playing your optimal game.

Poker is always going to be there, so take a few days off to get your mind right.

Go on a Trip

What better way to celebrate your final table run than with a short vacation. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Just get away for a few days or a couple of weeks.

Not only will that help you get over the tough beat but it will also recharge your batteries in general.

Discuss Your Run with Your Coach, Mentor or Trusted Poker Buddy

One thing that helps some players get over the sting of a tough loss is talking about their run with their poker coach, mentor or a poker buddy that they trust to give them solid advice.

By talking about the run, you can go over what moves you made and evaluate whether you did everything you could to win. Sometimes you will find areas that you can improve upon for the next time. Other times, you’ll simply figure out that you were the victim of dumb luck.

BONUS TIP: Focus on What You’ve Accomplished

How many of us focus on a final table bad beat rather than what we accomplished to get there. Instead of focusing on the negative ending, look at everything positive that led up to that point.

How many players did you outlast to get to the final table? What positive moves did you make during the event that will help you in the future. Most importantly – how much money did you make with your final table run.

Focusing on the positives can help you get over the sting of a soul crushing loss quicker and over time will dramatically improve your poker mindset.

Related Articles

James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.