I have read several books where they say, "Embrace The Bad Beat." If you are getting bad beats this means you are getting your money in as a favorite. The job of a poker player is to get your money in good and make your opponent make mistakes. So if you are getting bad beats you are doing your job and you shouldn't be upset.
I started a little monthly poker league in 2005. There is a 24 player limit and we toss in $20.00 and we have had the same guys playing for 7 years. I know these guys, how they play, what they play. Many of them are casual players who want to drink a 12 pack and gamble. Others are just out to have a good time. there are only 5 players, who in my opinion, have an interest in learning the game.
So the last 2 tournaments I've played I cashed in the 1st and made the final 6 in the other, when this happens. I'm in the small blind and I'm the short stack. UTG who is a LAG shoves all in. It fold around to the button and he calls. I look at my cards and I have pocket queens. No brainer I call. So we flip up the cards and UTG has pocket 4's, Button has Ace 10.
So I'm feeling good, dodge an ace and I triple up and have a good shot at cashing. We pay 4 spots.
So flop, no ace. Turn no Ace, River..... a 4.... Huh?? a 4?? So I'm out 6th.
But as I analyze the pre-flop action I understand everyone's play. UTG who is also short picks up a pocket pair. He's going all in. The button, has Ace 10, and although it could be considered a loose call he had enough chips to call and could be a favorite. I have queens so I'm not folding.
So it's a bad beat, but not because of bad play.
Now lets fast forward to the next month. I have a table of good players who understand the game and one dope who love to make unorthodox plays. Again my stack get to 10x the big blinds. I'm playing well, I'm in a zone where it's almost like they are dealing my opponents cards face up. I'm not playing loose and I have only shown quality hands. The table is down to six players and this hand happens.
I'm on the button and it folds around to me and I have ace 9 suited. I make a raise. Small blind folds and when Mr. Unorthodox looks at his cards he min re-raises me. Now I know..... I just know he is making a play. He has nothing.... So I just have him covered in chips so I go all in. Knowing he has nothing, he can't call. So as soon as I say all in he drops his head. He knows he's caught. Now he starts thinking. "Well I already have half my chips in, I don't think I can fold." So now, I'm hoping he does call. So he says, "I Call"
We turn up the cards... I have Ace 9 Suited, he has 4 - 7 off suit. So now I'm sweating. If I lose this.... Come on, one time. As the dealer puts down the flop I see an Ace of spades in the window, Ace, Jack, 10 with 2 spades. I start to breath. The turn is the 7 of spades. So now he picks up outs. I got to dodge a 4, 7 or any spade. The river... A spade... he catches a 4 card flush 4 high.
I can feel my ears turning red. I just can't believe it. I have 3 black chips left. I toss him the 3 chips and say, "Here you deserve my last 3 chips. Anyone who can call off all his chips with a 4-7 off suit and wins is a way better poker player than me." So he say, "Sorry."
Sorry? So let me get this straight? You meant to lose? Ohhh, this is a mistake? I'm not out? I felt like Phil Helmuth.
Now I know I shouldn't be mad at this guy. He did everything in his power to give me all his chips. But honestly, I want to stick my finger in his eye.
He ruined my whole night. I know I will be tilting for the second game so I just got up and said goodnight to everyone and walked out the doors. I couldn't drive far enough away from the game.
The difference in the two bad beats... I can't explain his play at all. Maybe I understand re-raising me if he thinks I'm stealing, but once I shove the hand should have been over.... OVER!!!
Sorry I just can't embrace that kind of bad beat. Can anyone? I mean this was a 3rd degree Donkey Bite.
I know poker players do not like listening to bad beat stories. I understand, we all have them.
But as poker players we should listen to other bad beats. Like a poker public service. Poker Therapy if you will. Just be there for you fellow player. Is that too much to ask?
In Fact, I have an idea. We should rate the beat. Kinda like the way they rate hurricanes. Category 1 to 5. The first bad beat I described would be a category 1. The second one, in my opinion, would be a category 5.
Someday I want to here Mike Sexton say, "WOW! Now there is a Cat 5 beat."
Maybe the bad beat rating systems can be my gift to the poker world. Give it a try.