Bad Beats - Poker Tip of the Week
Poker Tip of the Week - Bad Beats
By Chris Goudey
"#$%(&%#(&$)@&!!!", I said for what seemed like the 10th time. Yes, I just got sucked out again on the river by a 2-outer and have now lost my last four sit-and-go tournaments in the same way. The donkey across the table has pulled one of the two or three cards in the deck that they needed to beat me after the flop. Those are known as bad beats, and as any player who plays regularly can tell you it seems to happen all the time.
Bad beats happen to the best poker players, the worst poker players, and everyone in between. There really isn't a definition of what a bad beat is, but I would say it's any time that you have your money in the pot and have at least a 75 percent chance of winning the hand. There are plenty of times where you have a 50/50, 55/45 or 60/40 chance of winning and you lose, but those aren't really bad beats. They're just part of the game. The times when you are in a "race" with someone, meaning one of you has a pocket pair and the other has two cards larger than your pair, are really not much more than a 50-55 percent chance for the person holding the pair to win. Also, a situation similar to this, where you have one overcard and your opponent has two cards higher than your kicker, you are on ly a 60 percent favorite to win.Join the Most Popular and Trusted Sportsbook on the Web and receive a 25% SIGN-UP BONUS! Since 1996, millions of Americans bet on Sports, Horses, play Poker and Blackjack at the World's LARGEST online sportsbook, casino and poker room, SPORTSBOOK.COM! Enjoy a 100% Bonus in their Poker Room, always get a 21% Referal Bonus and the Best Credit Card Acceptance Rate in the industry!
The bad beats I'm talking about are the ones where you dominate your opponent, either with a higher pocket pair than his, a pair with a higher kicker or some other situation where he is a huge underdog once all the money goes in. Those are the ones that make you feel like you've been punched in the gut when you lose, and your reaction to these bad beats can make or break you as a poker player.
There is actually some good news in a continued string of bad beats. Bad beats happen to good players more often than they do to bad ones because the good players realize they have the best of it and get all their money in with the best hand more often. While a long run of beats will hurt your bottom line, you can take solace in the fact that you are playing solid poker. In the long run, getting your money in with the best hand a large percentage of the time is going to make you a ton of money. It's hard to remember that sometimes when you've just been rivered, but if you can control your emotions and not go on tilt, you'll be much better off. The key is just to tell yourself you made the right play and get on with it.
One way to lessen the effect of a bad beat in a tournament is to try to stay away from going all-in as much as possible. I can't tell you how many times I've suffered a stomach punch but still had enough chips to come back and do well. In fact, just the other day I was down to $40 in chips in a sit-and-go and came back to win. The saying "a chip and a chair" really does apply, so while you do want to maximize your profits when you have the best of it, you also want to try to insure that you don't get yourself knocked out of a tournament if the fish catches what he's looking for. You can be aggressive without over-betting.
As I said, bad beats happen to everyone who sits down at the table, but if you can remember that they are part of the game, don't go on tilt when they do happen, leave yourself some wiggle room, and know that you are actually playing very well, you can live to fight another day.
by Chris Goudey at WagerWeb.com on July 13, 2006
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