Don’t Tell Me Your Bad Beat

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Jeffrey | Poker and Life, Poker Articles, Poker Strategy

Submitted by Vic Porcelli, this article belongs to the Poker Strategy series.

“…so I got my full house on the turn and the guy gets an 8 of diamonds on the river for the straight flush and beats me.”  

How many bad beat stories have you heard?  Hang around a poker room for a night and you’ll hear plenty.  They will be offered to you.  You don’t have to ask to hear them.   As poker players, we remember those bad beats vividly.  We remember the suit and rank of every street, plus the hole cards involved in all of our bad beats.   Now let me ask you.  How many bad beat stories have you told?
We feel the need to tell these bad beat stories to anyone that will listen.  We even feel the need to tell bad beat stories to people who have not agreed to listen.  Why???  Let’s take an honest look at why we insist on telling everyone and anyone about our bad beats. 

The answer is really simple. To let everyone know what great poker players we are.  We didn’t lose the hand because we played it wrong.  That would never happen.   The planets lined up against us, the poker gods put a curse on us.  The cards came out to the benefit of an opponent and knocked us out of the tournament or at the very least decimated our chip stack.  So we steam out of the poker room to find a fellow poker player to plead our case. 

Keep in mind as you are telling your bad beat story to another poker player, he has had that and every other bad beat happen to him.  As a matter of fact, all of his bad beats are running through his head while you are telling yours.   At the end of the day, someone sucked out on you and knocked you out of the tournament.  Get over it.  It happens every day in every tournament in every poker room in America.  No wait!  Make that in the world.

If you have won a tournament or even just made a final table, you have sucked out on an opponent.  It has to happen.  Yet we don’t run to find someone to hear that story!  “Hey listen to this.  I just sucked out a flush on the river to beat this guy who had already flopped the nut straight!”  Why don’t we do that?  Well, that would make us look like a lucky player, not necessarily a good poker player.
The bottom line is, bad beats happen.  They will always happen.  They don’t make you a bad poker player.  They don’t make the guy who sucked out on you a bad poker player.  They just happen.  Trust me, no one wants to hear them.  

I learned this early when I had the pleasure to interview Antonio Esfandiari.  I wanted to tell him about this time I flopped the nut straight and my opponent put me all in.  Of course I called and he ended up with a full house getting an ace on the river.  I started telling Antonio my story and he stopped me and said, “Wait a minute, is this a bad beat story?”  There was a long pause and I sheepishly answered, “Yes.”   He then stated he didn’t want to hear it.  He did joke about it and didn’t make me look like an idiot but I got it.  Right then and there.  I got it.  Poker players don’t want to hear bad beat stories.
Bad beats will always happen.  The true test is how we handle them.

Do you jump out of your chair and berate the player who just sucked out on you?  Maybe you just tap the felt and say, “Nice hand.”  That will the subject of my next column,  Tableside Manner. 

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3 Comments to Don’t Tell Me Your Bad Beat

March 31, 2009

I totally agree. I used to complain about bad beats but have since learned to let them go. Occasionally the odd one will sneak in, but in reality I just don’t worry about them any more. Bad Beats, expect, accept, move on!

McTap03’s last blog post..April Goals

I would have to agree, even though sometimes bad beats are very hard to take and you just want to fight and complain the best is just to let it go – no big deal.

April 2, 2009

But it’s so hard to let them go…….

Mark’s last blog post..Calculating Bankroll Requirements

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