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little help with bad beats

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little help with bad beats

Post  trucker103 on 2009-05-09, 07:50

Recently I have seen a number of posts by newer players complaining about bad beats and suckouts and perhaps even suggesting that certain sites deliver a greater proportion of bad beats than others. There is already a sticky in the bad beat forum about this but I thought I'd update it to add a few points from the recent discussions.

Part 1 - The Realities of Bad Beats

1. Bad beats are part of the game.

Unless your opponent is drawing completely dead (eg. opp flopped a straight with no straight flush draw but you turned a full house) then there is always the possibility that opp will hit their card on the river. Even if they have only one out on the river and you're all-in on the turn, there is still a 1 in 45 chance that their miracle card will come. That 1 in 45 is NOT 0 in 45, it is still there and, however unlikely, can still happen.

2. Good players suffer more bad beats than bad players.

By definition, you suffer a bad beat when you get your chips in as a favourite but don't win the hand because the cards did not fall your way. By definition, good players tend to get their chips in as a favourite more often than bad players so good players will suffer more bad beats than bad players! Bad players are getting their chips in as an underdog more often so therefore they are not going to get sucked out on as often as a good player.

The good player who raises AK to 4x BB from UTG then gets sucked out on by a bad player calling the raise from the blinds with K9 when the flop comes K9x wouldn't ever be in a position to suck out because the good player would not have called the raise with K9 in the first place.

3. Bad beats reinforce bad players' bad play.

Unlike other games such as, for example, tennis, poker is a game where looking at results and changing your decision often isn't the right course of action. Say you keep on serving the ball into the net when playing tennis - the corrective action is to change your serve such that you (perhaps) toss the ball a bit higher before hitting it or change the angle at which your racquet makes contact. In poker, say you lose 3 times in a row with AA in an all-in preflop situation, the correct action is obviously not then to fold AA preflop!

In this way, bad beats can reinforce bad players' play because the freak time they hit their runner runner backdoor flush, gutshot draw or second pair when their top pair is outkicked on the flop reinforces the fact that they should chase against the odds because they remember that time they got paid off - without realising that the result of a hand does NOT matter - the only thing that matters is whether the decisions that were made were correct.

4. Bad beats keep bad players playing!

If poker was completely skill-based without the random element then the number of bad players around would dramatically decrease. Whilst there would still be a number of players who keep on playing despite losing money, whether it's because they are gambling addicts, prepared to pay the cost of their losses as a price for being entertained or whatever, a lot of players would either stop playing or get better. Say if you played chess for money and lost every game because all your opps were better than you. Wouldn't you give up or try to improve eventually?

The fact that there is a random element to poker keeps the bad players around, and isn't that what all good players want?

5. Humans have selective memory for bad events.

When you've got it all-in with your AA against opp's underpair, you've mentally added his stack to yours since you're a monster favourite. Therefore, the 4 out of 5 times you do in fact take his stack you think, "OK, thanks a lot, entirely expected, next hand". However, the 1 time out of 5 that you lose, because it is not the outcome that you've led yourself to expect, many players think, "WHAT THE F*CK, you DONKEY, this site is RIGGED!" despite the fact that the 1 time in 5 that you lose is as expected as the 4 times in 5 that you win.

The other thing that really gets burned into our memory is when the bad card comes on the river. When your AA is all-in preflop against 22, a lot of players shout, "RIVERSTARS" when the flop comes 345, turn A, river 6 than if the 2 just came on the flop. It doesn't matter how opp sucks out, a loss is a loss is a loss! You were 80% to win preflop and it is totally irrelevant how you lost - but somehow opp hitting a miracle draw on the river seems so much worse.

Part 2 - How to Deal With Bad Beats.

In The Poker Mindset by Matthew Hilger and Ian Taylor, the chapter on bad beats sets out the four phases players go through in dealing with bad beats as they gain more experience. They are:

1. Anger
2. Frustration
3. Acceptance
4. Indifference

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Re: little help with bad beats

Post  magic14916 on 2009-05-17, 15:56

wow cmon bro another good thread i wish i had ur brain lol

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