Bad Beats Are Awesome
Published: February 17, 2020
They raise from under-the-gun. You call on the button with an eight of hearts and an eight of spades.
The flop is the deuce of hearts, the four of clubs, and the beautiful eight of diamonds.
They bet. You raise. They re-raise. You raise all-in. They call without hesitation.
The dealer pulls all of the chips into the middle of the table. This is a big pot. This pot is more than you go home with most nights.
You turn over your top set as a courtesy.
The dealer burns one and turns over the queen of spades. The dealer burns another and turns over the queen of hearts.
Your opponent almost jumps out of their chair turning over their hand, queen-eight offsuit.
How do you feel?
Bad beats feel awesome
Bad beats are necessary. If there were no bad beats, there wouldn’t be a poker game. And it is awesome that there is a poker game.
Even better, bad beats reward bad play. And when people get rewarded for doing something, they do it more. Bad beats literally train players to play bad.
And finally, bad beats are reassurance that you are playing better than your opponents.
The better you play and the worse your opponents play, the more bad beats you will experience and the worse those bad beats will be. Bad beats are the most immediate evidence that you are a winner in the game.
This is why bad beats feel awesome. And the worse they are, the better they feel.
Bad beats don’t feel awesome to everyone
Most people don’t feel awesome about their bad beats.
They don’t get the pot.
And for some people that money makes a difference in their lives. Even if it is not significant financially, it can determine if they are a winner for tonight or for this hour and that could be important to them.
That pot doesn’t matter to you.
You know your win rate and you know exactly how accurate it is. So you know that this pot has effectively no impact on your long-term winnings.
But knowing that you will win in the long run doesn’t help if you don’t know if you will make it to the long run.
When you know (with mathematical certainty) that you have a large enough bankroll for your game then it doesn’t matter how large the pot was or how bad the beat was. You will smile and relish how awesome it feels.
If bad beats don’t feel awesome
If bad beats feel less than absolutely awesome to you, it is because:
- you aren’t certain of your win rate, or
- you aren’t certain of your bankroll.
This is normal if you are guessing or using a simple rule of thumb to estimate your win rate and your bankroll requirements.
If you want mathematically exact answers to your hourly expected value and minimum bankroll requirements, The Definitive Guide to Poker Bankroll Requirements will show you how to calculate that.
If you want to do it the easy way you can sign up for a free account on Neverbust.
After you do that, if you want tell me how awesome your bad beats feel, or anything else, contact me here.