Bad Beats In Texas Hold Em Poker
Bad beat in poker is not the name of a bluesy heavy metal rock band. Bad beat is not even what your spouse gives you after you blow your bankroll. No, a bad beat is when you have a strong poker hand but lose the pot--to someone who had an even better hand against all odds, such as the famous true story of Phil Ivey vs. Chris Moneymaker in which Moneymaker first has his three of a kind Queens hand beat on the turn by Ivey (who gets a full house), but gets the perfect card--an Ace--on the river to get an even stronger full house that was able to beat the full house that he never knew Ivey had! Both players were confident in their hands after the flop and kept raising...Ivey got trout-slapped with the bad beat and lost at least a million dollars.
When you experience a poker bad beat, you been beat bad by Lady Luck. Some players even think it's worse to experience an online poker bad beat, as online poker games often include poker pot odds calculators and played-hand review software.
But is a bad beat always bad luck? Yes and no. An authentic bad beat is bad luck...but it's bad luck that every poker player, including those who have multiple World Series of Poker bracelets, has to accept. Every famous poker player--um, except maybe Poker Brat Phil Hellmuth--accepts bad beats. (And even Phil has to live with them.).
Now, here's where poker mirrors life (don't ya love it when a game mirrors life?). You see, your life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to that 10% of events. Well, the way you handle the bad beat shapes the way you handle the rest of your game. In other words, when you experience the bad beat, it never feels nice. But, if you just understand that Lady Luck's a fickle dancer and doesn't always love anybody, not even the world class poker champions, and accept that fate was not on your side that hand, you can move on possibly into ultimate victory and lots of money. On the other hand, if you dwell on it, that bad beat can turn into lots and lots of bad "luck"...only now, you're creating most of it yourself, through making poor plays in your distraction from the new game at hand.
Of course, it is a selfish thrill to put a bad beat on someone in a game like No Limit Texas Hold'em. It's not usually a thrill to crush them--the thrill lies in having won against all odds, in having seen Lady Luck give you a rare smile, in taking that sweet money pot when your money "shoulda" been lost. There are plenty of bad beat stories, and there is not a single great poker player who doesn't have at least one "classic" bad beat story. Whether it's in the bricks and mortar casino poker room or the online poker room, Texas Hold' em is ready to dole out the poker bad beats to even the best.
Now, that's not to say that luck is everything in the bad beats. You can bring on more bad beats than you otherwise would when you don't play your best. Being a "calling station" or playing over the top aggressive will inevitably introduce you to more bad beats than someone as calculating and cautious as a Chris Ferguson. You're setting yourself up to have the odds of the flop, turn, and river go against you more often. But, what you don't want to be is someone who is constant chaser of baby flushes and inside straights--you'll leaving yourself open to the bad beat, especially the online poker bad beat, with that kind of unreflecting play. In fact, it can be said that now you've crossed over the line from bad beat to just bad play when you start betting that way.
But if you want to become a true poker pro, and make yourself more familiar than you want to be with the bad beat jackpot, download Absolute Poker. And may the flop be with you...and the turn...and the river...!
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