“Bad Beats”

Who knows how long this blog will hold my attention (past the finales of Lost and Idol, that is) — but from time to time I will probably include “war stories” of poker hands I’ve played. I’ll do my best to keep the analysis simple and understandable, as my P.R. department has informed me that 81.8% of this blog’s registered subscribers are female.

Today’s is a “bad beat” (when you are WAY ahead in a hand, and someone [typically “an idiot”] gets lucky). Generally, they’re the kinds of war stories you NEVER want to hear about from other players. They all end the same… and they happen to everyone, time and again. They’re even more tedious to listen to than the standard getting-to-know-your-dog chitchat at a dog park.

I play a very boring, consistent, conservative, smart game of poker — usually against a table full of people who are not as skilled as myself — so bad beats are going to happen now and again, no matter what. I used to get really upset; now I’m more philosophical about it.

But today I was “running bad,” as we call it; laws of probability had their way with me; and hands like this happened, seemingly, every twenty minutes or so.

I was in a pot versus one player who had established himself as a reckless idiot — it was just a matter of time until someone took all his money. I had an Ace and a Jack, and here’s what the board looked like after the flop (first three cards) hit:  (NOTE — this isn’t what it looked like at the time — this is a screenshot from a program I used afterwards… and the rules are, you use your two cards plus the five on the board, and make the best hand)

I don’t know that the other guy has a pair of tens — not yet. But I’m willing to bet all my money that I have him beat (which I do)… namely because he’s God-awful.

At this point, he bets out a small amount, and I raise it big-time, for almost all his chips. He re-raises, putting all his money at risk, and I quickly call. Then I see his hand, and it confirms everything we thought about him. So all we have to do is dodge a 10 (there are two cards to come, and only two 10’s remaining in the deck) and we win a big pot.

But some days, those fucking miracle cards end up hitting the board again and again. But, as They say, “that’s poker.” Then They shrug Their shoulders.



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4 responses to ““Bad Beats”

  1. Wendy

    a very clear, well written post about poker… I followed along and felt the suspense. I’m sorry you lost to “An idiot.”
    Also, I hope you don’t get bored with blogging… you have a real talent here, Mathers. a real talent.


  2. Gary

    Was the opponent by any chance named BOB? And when he won did he shrug his shoulders obnoxiously?

  3. Gary

    Was the opponent by any chance named BOB? And did he shrug his shoulders obnoxiously as he raked in your chips?

  4. Bob

    I resemble that remark, Gary.

    OK, so this one time, I’m playing this hand? And I was holding great cards — it was A 9 suited — wait a second they weren’t suited — but the A was a heart — and the board flopped J 9 8 of hearts — [sound of chin hitting chest, eyes closed, gentle snoring, dreaming of Idol-related blog posts]

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