Poker Tips: The truth about bad beat stories

Bad Beat stories, we all know them. When you suffer a bad beat, you want that comfort of hearing another person say: What a horrible beat! That guy was an unbelievable moron for calling. How can anybody be that stupid? Oh, you really should have won that pot. You poor, poor thing! Problem is, bad beats are so commonplace in poker that bad beat stories have become commonplace as well. In other words, they get old real fast. Just about everybody loves to tell bad beat stories, but almost nobody likes to hear them.

Poker Bad Beat StoriesThere are hands you shouln’t lose. It still happens – luckily!

It has been said many times before, but it always bears repeating: Those uber-loose idiots who put bad beats on us are the very same people who pay us off in the long run. A big part of what fuels any bad beat story is the sense of indignation that this person who sucked out on us didn’t play the game how it should be played. He wasn’t supposed to call there, dangnabbit! Didn’t he know that he wasn’t even remotely getting the right pot odds to chase? Didn’t he realize how much of a longshot he was to win? Well no, he didn’t, and he didn’t. And all those incredibly loose calls born of poker ignorance are ultimately the reason why skilled players can make money off the game.

One appeal of these stories is that they reassure us that we are not the only ones who suffer improbable bad beats. The poker gods dump on all of us, sooner or later. The real question is- how do you react when things don’t go your way?

Whining and moaning about the loss can be therapeutic up to a point. But eventually, dwelling on losses and negativity is a dead end. After any tough loss, the best reaction is to ask yourself if you made any mistakes in the hand. Is it possible that the moron called when he shouldn’t have because you didn’t bet enough? If the answer is no and you did everything right in the hand, and it was just pure dumb luck that killed you, then you must learn to let it go.

Human memory is a funny thing. We remember all the bad beats other players put on us, but we hardly ever remember (let alone complain about) the bad beats we put in our opponents. All of us at one time or another have made a call we knew was a too loose, and then caught a lucky card to snatch the pot away from somebody else. Perhaps even more important, we don’t dwell on all those times when our good hands hold up and we win a few extra bets from the chasers. It’s like that old saying: Whenever a plane crashes, it’s big news. But when a plane lands safely (which happens infinitely more often) it’s just the same old ho-hum. That’s human nature. But in the world of poker, where whining about bad beats has become almost epidemic, it’s not such a bad idea to spend some time dwelling on all those times when things go right.

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Josh Miller Josh Miller

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