Monday, April 30, 2007

Bad beats are good!

First off, before I start my rants, let me congratulate Lucko for winning the seat to the WSOP Main Event this year. Surely, it was just a matter of time but nonetheless, very impressive.

So recently, due to work, I haven't really had a chance to post anything worthwhile or even play much online poker. I played a decent amount on Saturday but even then, not quite as much as I wanted to. Locked in some winnings and it looks like April will just be another typical month where I won some money but no record shattering numbers to report.

So, I figured this might be a good time for me to talk about something I've been thinking about recently... a lot. This stems from the discussions I've seen on other blogs as well as conversations I've had with other players and so I wanted to actually write this down. Bad beats are good. Don't get me wrong. It sucks. But it's good. Let me explain.

I mean, how can bad beats be good? You make a perfect read, you put all your money in the middle with the best of it, only to be royally screwed by your clueless opponent who had no business throwing money in there only to hit their 4 outer... or calling with an open ended straight draw when he was clearly priced out... Puts you in a foul mood, all the profits you had from a very good session of focus and good reads evaporate in one nasty hand... but if you look past that, bad beats are good. Let's take a step back and evaluate the situation. Let's say that a following situation comes up. You've been playing tight for over an hour and you find pocket kings from the button. A clear donkey who's gotten lucky a few times raised from middle position and you reraise him preflop. He calls and the flop comes 6-6-4. He checks and you bet the pot size. He calls. Turn comes a J. He checks. You bet the pot again which pretty much puts him all in and so he pushes and you call the extra few dollars... only to find he has AK... and the river comes the dreaded ace... In instances like this, I've seen tons of people berate the caller asking "what the hell are you calling with? What the hell did you think I have?" But let me ask you this. If the opponent flipped over his cards and asked you on the turn if you want him to call or fold, what's your answer? Your answer better be "please call me." Because you want that call right? He's nearly drawing dead (3 outs = 7%) on the turn so there are only 3 cards that can beat you. He's willing to call another pot sized bet to draw to his 7%? Of course you want that call.

So why are bad beats good? Bad beats alone aren't necessarily great and I'm not going to go into the whole argument of how it keeps bringing the donkeys back because that's just obvious. If poker didn't involve luck, then how would the rest of us make money? I mean there would only be a handful of top players and then there's everyone else right? But even more so, if you think that you are experiencing a lot of bad beats, then that's good... because that means you are a very good player.

Think about it. For something to be a bad beat, there has to be one consistent factor. That is, you always have to be putting the money in the middle with the best hand. Because if you needed to improve and you didn't, that's not a bad beat right? It's a bad beat if you are a clear favorite and you lose. And if you are experiencing a lot of bad beats, don't let it get to your head. Take a positive spin and look at it this way. The fact that you are experiencing a lot of bad beats means you are playing rock solid poker. You are getting the money in there with the best of it. What more can you ask for (better luck, sure but I meant realistically, what can you ask for)? I've heard players complain that they experience so many more bad beats dealt to them than they deal to their opponents. That only means that they are better players than the opponents because that means that they are putting the money in when they have the better hand. And the more times you are ahead, the more chances of bad beats there are and there's nothing you can do about that.

So, next time you think you are starting to tilt because all these idiots call and get lucky on you, just know that in time, you will be the one scalping them of their undeserving money as long as you keep playing your game.

7 comments:

JT said...

Great blog and I agree. Bad beats are the result of you putting your money in with the best hand/read. The only downside is that if you're a player getting these beats and have a relatively small bankroll to start with (read: JT) these beats can end your playing for a while....

Alan said...

That, my friend is a bankroll mgmt issue...

JT said...

Oh, it's no issue if you almost double your initial buy in and then lose it in 2 bad beats...

JT said...

Oh, it's no issue if you almost double your initial buy in and then lose it in 2 bad beats...

Alan said...

10 bad beats still shouldn't eliminate your bankroll... if it does, you're playing too high. Bankroll mgmt is more important than cards or hand reading skills.

Sia said...

Well April was easily my worst month when it came to bad beats. Somehow i'm even through May but I swear it was bad beat after bad beat in both cash games and tourneys. I guess that makes me a really really really good player ; )

Alan said...

Shoving 2-7 off into pocket aces and losing is not bad beat dude. It's just bad play. :)