Poker has its ups and downs – just like in life. We call it that variant. One minute you are up. You look at your rack of chips. They “smile” back at you.
A few minutes later, while betting a really great hand, the visiting opponent KingPoker99 – not even a good player – calls out to see the river. and he took a pot with Bad Beat over you. He only had two outs – a big mistake – but he caught one! You lose a shelf of chips in your “super awesome hands.” Yes, it does, it hurts.
Here’s an example: With the AK offsuit in the hole, the flop brings you the top two pairs, Aces and Kings. From the middle position, you raise the starting position bettor. Your increments are meant to decrease the field as well as the value. Ruling out multiple opponents helps ensure the likelihood that your two-partner will stand to take the bet on the fight. At the same time, you want a decent size pot to add to your winnings so far. (It’s not really greedy.)
Three opponents call out to see the turn. The pot has grown well. The dealer takes out 6 clubs – looks like they are empty. Now it’s checked for you; so you open a bet. Two opponents called.
The river is 4 spades – maybe another empty, you told yourself. Fully confident in the strength of your top two pairs, you are once again making your opening bet – fully hoping to take this pot. But this time the cut-off lifts you! Stop and think: He’s a bad player – “PokerPigeon” – prone to calling the bet slightly out, often chasing. He hasn’t shown any strength during this hand game until now. But you can never be sure.
What can he have in that hole? Most likely he started with Ace or King. Maybe he made two pairs. But you have the top two pairs – Aces and Kings. You are pondering: Should I get back up? Well, there’s a chance he caught a set; that will smash your hand to pieces. So, you call it the increase in wages. He appeared a pair of 4 in the hole. The set takes up a large pot you can almost taste.
In fact, your “idiot” opponent (to use the word poker celebrity Phil Hellmuth) is playing poorly. With only two outs, the odds were stacked against him – so far. The odds against him were more than 20 to 1. He didn’t know enough to get his hideous hands dirty. But Miss Luck is with him. And there’s nothing you can do to control your luck. Yes, that was a really bad Beat for you. He only has two outs.
As long as luck (some call it “chance”) is involved in the game of poker, there is bound to be a difference. That is the case no matter how skilled you are as a poker player. (That goes for life too.)
Don’t make things worse. Bad beats like this, can happen – no matter what the odds. After suffering a bad beat, some players will likely tilt. They get angry emotionally, and start playing badly – irrationally. They played hands that they would normally throw away without thinking. They became “unglued,” to use colloquial language. They are often said to be “steaming.”
As for you, be smart. Take control of your emotions. Break. Take a walk in the fresh air. Breathe deeply. Calm down before returning to your table. Learn to live with variance. Accept the fact that no one – not even the WSOP champion – can control luck.
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