There are times when you are playing Texas Hold’em, either online or in a live game, when you experience bad beats. Nobody likes to be sucked when you have a 4: 1 advantage, but that’s part of the game. My book (The No B.S. Guide To Winning Online No Limit Texas Hold’em) covers in depth how to deal with bad beats and how to have a healthy poker “mentality”. I believe this is an important part of the game that many players, especially online players, are missing out on. You have to find a way to deal with the inevitable bad beats in a positive way that will keep you in the position to keep making good decisions and playing your best poker. Otherwise, you will never become big at Texas Hold em.
For example, I had a difficult weekend. It seemed that whenever I had a big hand, I came across a pair of Aces. Not one in five attempts have I broken someone’s Aces. If that wasn’t bad enough, I was continually sucked in when I was the big favorite to win the hand.
I lost a hand in the Full Tilt Daily Double tournament when I called an all-in with K-Q with Q on the table. My opponent had Q-8. For sure, 8 on the River eliminated me instead of doubling up.
I almost lost in the bubble of a Full Tilt 90 player Sit n Go DominoQQ Online when I moved all-in with A-K, my opponent showed A-Q, and sure enough, a Q came on the Flop.
I lost 2 hands in which my sets were beaten by higher sets and, of course, I lost twice with pocket aces when they were broken by 6’s and a player playing T-2 suited made his flush draw.
I could go on, but what good would it do? All of the above hands illustrate the fact that sometimes luck just doesn’t go your way. In fact, everything goes against you. Things must be going really badly to lose hands like in the clashes above, let alone the same day. However, you cannot change the way you play the game. Even if you don’t go on tilt, sometimes all of these bad beats can affect your thinking. Soon you will be playing scared poker and you will never get anywhere like this. The right move is the right move, whether or not it happens at that specific time or not.
If you are a 3: 1 or 4: 1 favorite, you put your money on time, just let the cards fall where they can. The worst thing you can do is let it get into your head. Take a break, go for a walk, drink a beer, whatever the cost, but don’t let that irritate you. For me, in this case, after those beats, I just hung up for today. I have as bad a temper as anyone else, and before my laptop ended up in the garage, I just turned it off overnight.
Sometimes, all you can do is just realize that it is not your day and try again at another time. It might not be fun and it sure drives you crazy, but just don’t let it change the way you play poker. Realizing this will, in the long run, make you a much better player.