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sif3506's blog

/Aug/2007

Bad Beats A Poker Player's Best Friend?

By: sif3506 @ 10:33 (EDT) / 789 / Comment ( 0 )
I thought this title may catch your attention! LOL The correct quote is..... "BAD BEATS ARE A GOOD POKER PLAYER'S BEST FRIEND!"-Mathew Hilger(2004) Currently I am reading a book suggested to me by Al Spath. The book is The Poker Mindset by Ian Taylor and Mather Hilger. This has to be one of the best books I have ever read about poker. It is in my opinion an essential read for any poker player wanting to take their game to the next level. This book has nothing to do with the mechanics of the game. It is strictly about the psychology of poker and attitudes needed for success in poker. When I first started reading I was thinking to myself here we go again..... I shouldn't let bad beats bother me....blah blah blah....yada yada yada. I want players to make these mistakes....blah blah! The same ol song and dance. But as I continued to read something just clicked. I realized how these attitudes were actually hurting my game. I also realized something significant....... BAD BEATS REALLY ARE MY BEST FRIEND!!!!!!!!!! In the book they shared some key points about bad beats. I thought I would share a few. 1. BAD PLAY MAKES YOU MONEY IN THE LONG RUN. The book empasizes looking at poker in the long term not the short term. Every time your opponent makes a bad call against you, you make money, whether or not you win the hand. They point out that in the short term your opponent has the luck factor. But over the course of a thousand hands luck ceases to exist. The authors' main point is bad play is the ONLY thing that makes you money, so don't complain about it! I love that. It hit home for me. 2. BAD BEATS KEEP BAD PLAYERS PLAYING. If bad beats didn't exist, then bad players would seldom win. If bad players seldom win ....they go broke...and they lose interest in poker. Bad players are sucked in to poker by the idea that any two cards can win....that it is all about luck. That on any given day they can be a winner. This is what keeps the suckers coming to the table day in and day out. So, let luck be their friend once in a while....but in the long run we are going home with the chips! LOL 3. BAD BEATS ENCOURAGE BAD PLAY BY REWARDING IT. I don't know how many times I have seen in the forums or in the chat how PSO rewards bad play. And I have to admit sometimes I have agreed with this. How many times have you been sucked out on by a weak player calling you with a gut shot with no pot odds....and it hits AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! Or that damn pesky flush draw that they called down to the river for!!!! UGH how crappy is that! The book agrees bad beats do encourage bad play by rewarding it. But their view is that IT IS A GOOD THING! Weak players like winning money! When they make a decision even a terribly poor one that makes them money.....they will remember it...and make that decision again. They are rewarded like Pavlov's dogs. They don't understand the concept that this will cost them money in the long run! They just remember the time they called and hit runner runner whatever. They forget the times it didn't work out for them. All they can remember is that great big pot they won once. Every time you take a bad beat....just remember you have reinforced the weak player's belief he played correctly. So ring the bell and watch that little puppy salivate! lol 4. A GOOD PLAYER WILL TAKE MORE BAD BEATS THAN HE GIVES. This is my favorite....I am just gonna quote this directly from the book. "Taking bad beats is a sign that you are playing well. When you are playing against weaker oppostion, you will take far more bad beats than you will give out, because you will generally have the better hand when you elect to play. In fact, when you are dishing out a lot of bad beats and not getting any, THAT is the time to worry!" 5. BAD BEATS ARE AN INTERGRAL PART OF THE GAME. When we started playing poker we knew that luck was part of the game. You have random turning of the cards. When there is a random element there is luck. And as the book states where there is luck there is always BAD LUCK!!!!!! Again the book stresses the long term. It says in the long term, bad beats happen no more or no less often than they should, and without them poker would be a dull game! "All in all, good players should like bad beats. Once again, bad beats are a good poker player's best friend! While you should learn to handle the loss of all big pots in the correct manner, you should actually be pleased with bad beats. Your opponent's bad play is the key to your success!" Maybe some of you will have the attitude I did after first reading this.... Yeah yeah....blah blah blah! But, after reading all the points of the book not just this little section it made sense. This is definetly a valuable way to look at things. It defintely will help take down my tilt factor. So the next time I take a bad beat....instead of getting emotional....throwing the laptop in the pool....or screaming at a computer screen. I will consider this is just one hand. Ask myself the two valuable questions the book has taught me to ask after losing a big pot. 1. What does that hand teach me about my opponent's play? 2. Can I have played that hand any better? After that I move on to the next hand. That hand is over. I will not let it influence the rest of the tourney or my session. I will remember my opponent's poor play and try to exploit later. If I could have played the hand better....I will make an attempt to do so next time. I will try to stay away from reacting emotionally to the short-term and think about the long-term. This seems to be the key to success in poker. I am going to try to work on this in my game. This is my goal. To play good correct poker consistently and exploit bad players mistakes. I guess the point is if everyone played good correct poker and the bale chewers, donks, and calling stations didn't exist.....WE WOULDN'T MAKE ANY MONEY! Best of luck to all in their poker journey! Shannon
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