Thursday, October 01, 2009

Poker gems, #314

Mike Caro, in Caro's Most Profitable Hold'em Advice, pp. 298-299.

At the first event at the 2006 World Series of Poker, I held 8-8 when the flop was 8-8-6. You're right. I lost to a straight flush. Couple this with a myriad of two- and three-card "miracles" with which opponents recently eliminated me from the rare tournaments I enter and I could get to feeling sorry for myself.

Now, are those sad stories, or what? At least one kibitzer thought so. On my way out the door at a tournament, he commiserated, "I saw that beat you took with the two jacks last time, too. You really get a lot of good hands beat, don't you?"

I said, "I think I get beat, on average, with better hands than almost anyone else."

He seemed surprised that I would say that. "So, you're usually unlucky?"

"No," I corrected, "I'm not unlucky at all."

"But you just said you got beat with big hands."

"That's right," I told him. "But I don't mind."

Moral of the story

Getting beat with bigger hands on average than your opponents is not a sign of misfortune. Aspiring professional players need to understand that. If you play skillfully, if you have a winning game plan, if you succeed, then you will absolutely lose, on average, with bigger hands than your opponents. That's because the hands you play are, on average, stronger.

Players complain about being drawn out on. Even world-class players complain about it. But, if you're a great player, you should be drawn out on much more often than other players. Why? Because you usually have the stronger hand to begin with. In fact, if you always started with the best hand against an opponent, then every single time you lost, you would take a bad beat. How else could you lose?

So, now you have new goals in poker.

Your New Goals

1. To have as many of your losing hands as possible be bad beats, and
2. To never complain about it.


Keiser said...

#1, check.

#2... well at least I wait until I get home and have a wall to yell at. said...

I had read about a few of these things on other sites but they didn’t go into as much detail. Thanks for the posts.