Saturday, September 22, 2007

Poker gems, #24

Jesse May, Shut Up and Deal, p. 29:

So all in all it’s a pretty good game. It’s a very good game and the pots are big, but the live ones have all the money and they might leave. I just wish I could pick up a hand soon because this game doesn’t have a lot of staying promise. I mean two guys already left with big loads and all the wrong guys are stuck. And if the three live guys with all the chips take off as they maybe are wont to do, the game will break up in ten minutes flat and I’ll be left with no option but to put what’s left of my money and chips in my box, go up the escalator, trudge to the parking lot, climb in my car, and when I’m sure that no one can hear me, yell “Aarghh” at the top of my lungs before driving home and collapsing into a fitful sleep plagued by poker nightmares of cards, chips, and disreputable characters robbing and cheating me ad infinitum.

Bigfoot (zero poker content whatsoever)

A friend took me to my first monster truck race/show last night. I captured the coolest moment on video, and made it into my first YouTube clip. Now I'm going to see if I can successfully embed it here, since I have no other place to experiment with this kind of stuff.

Monster truck show, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Sept. 21, 2007. This dirt mound was used as the landing ramp during a motorcycle-jumping event. During the monster-truck freestyle competition, Bigfoot drove up the steep side of this ramp and down the landing side. Not a single other truck driver even attempted to surmount this obstacle, from either direction. Bigfoot should clearly have won the freestyle for this feat alone, but with obviously fixed judging, they gave it to TMaxx instead.

Here it is:

Poker gems, #23

Jesse May, Shut Up and Deal, p. 16-17:

Ever since I started playing poker it seems like it’s always been the same. Win a little. Lose a little. Stay in action, afford the buy-in, keep my head above water and keep moving, always moving. And watch people go broke. Watch 'em fold up and go broke.

Then I go on a losing streak. Or have one bad night, or whatever. Just something that makes me question everything I know about poker—no, everything I believe—and consider giving up and be scared to go in the card room and not know when to fold or when to raise or when to play or when to stop.

And then it turns around. Pop. Just like that it turns around and I start winning and don’t stop winning and start playing higher and faster, and then the cycle starts again. Over the last six years this cycle has been perpetual, and always vicious, and always of lunar-type proportions. And these cycles have been punctuated by leaves of absence, lots of them, because basically I can’t deal, I’m dysfunctional, I need to reorient myself, my place in space, my poker philosophy…. And every time I’m away, I’m away from the table, but the game is right there next to me, it’s living with me as I replay hands and people and conversations and games and days and plays and angles. And every time I come back, I break through, my thoughts are different, my understanding feels deeper. And here’s the funny part. I always think I understand. And everybody else doesn’t. And they’re all thinking the same thing.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Las Vegas police (only tangentially related to poker)

My car was stolen August 10 from the Hilton parking lot while I was inside playing poker. This rant is about how the local police handled the whole thing.

The Hilton security guy filled out his forms and called the police for me. They took a bunch of information over the phone, then asked me to wait there until an officer could come by to complete the incident report. After an hour, nobody had showed up, so the security guy suggested that they probably had all the information they needed, and I could just call them the next morning to be sure. Sounded like a good idea to me.

Wrong. When I called the next day to tell them about nobody showing up to complete the report, I was told that it's often three or four hours, but that one has to wait, or the report doesn't get entered into the system. So for the first nearly 18 hours that my car was missing there was no report on it anywhere, because they deleted the information I had given them over the phone when I wasn't there to give the officer the rest of what they needed. (And thanks, too, Hilton security team, for the great advice on this point. I assumed you had dealt with this situation before and could be trusted to know what needed to be done.) I had to go down to the nearest precinct station, wait in line, and give all the information--again--to a woman through a plexiglas window.

I just assumed the car was gone and never coming back, rented one for a week, then bought a used car. The dealer issued a temporary (30 days) permit for driving it.

About a week into that time, I got stopped by the police not because I was doing anything wrong, but just because I had a temporary permit instead of real plates. The officer explained that it's common for car thieves to make phony temp certificates for stolen cars to avoid the registration process. (The things do look like they would be incredibly easy to produce on any cheap color-capable photocopier or computer scanner/printer. Not a very secure system, if you ask me.) He verified that the car was really mine, and I went on my way.

Yesterday I got a call telling me that my car had been recovered two days earlier. They could tell me the street and block where it was found, but not anything else about it. They said no arrest had been made, and it hadn't been in an accident, but that was all I could get from them. I have no idea what circumstances led to its discovery. They couldn't even tell me if it was driveable.

So I had to go to the lot of the towing company and pay $241 to get it out.

Why didn't they call me as soon as it was identified, so that I could claim it immediately without the tow and storage fees? I don't know. Why did they wait two more days to notify me? I don't know.

Did they set up some sort of surveillance in the hopes of catching the felon who had stolen it? Nope. Did they take fingerprints to see who had put the last 200 miles on it? Nope. Did they even bother to contact me to ask whether there was damage to the car that hadn't been there before, or to ask whether maybe the thief left something inside that might identify him, etc.? No, they did not. Basically, they seem to care not one whit about actually finding, arresting, and prosecuting whoever stole my car--at least as judged from their actions.

Now I have to get it repaired, because in the process of wrecking the ignition interlock system, the thief screwed up the whole electrical system, so the thing won't start without a jump. (No, it's not just the battery.) I have no idea how much that will cost.

I wasn't going to write anything about this, but tonight I got the icing on the cake. On my way home from the Hilton, I got stopped again. The officer says I rolled through a stop sign. I won't deny that that's possible, but by long habit even my not-quite-complete stops are awfully darn close--not the classic slow-down-and-go that one commonly sees. The intersection in question is barely even a real intersection; the "cross-street," which comes from only one side, is the private drive to a gated community, and has a lift gate for which exiting cars have to wait. In other words, of all the intersections in the city controlled by stop signs, this one may be the very least likely to have a collision result from failing to come to a complete stop.

I really hate the "don't you have anything better to do" speech that many motorists give police officers when being ticketed for minor traffic offenses. I recognize that enforcing traffic laws protects both lives and property. Still, I couldn't help but think about the insanity of the situation. I get stopped by police officers twice in a month--once for no violation at all, and once for possibly the most inconsequential, hypertechnical violation he could muster--but they couldn't ever stop the actual criminal who was driving my stolen car around for a month??? What, was he the world's most perfect, careful driver? That seems unlikely.

So the Metro police twice stop the law-abiding victim, never the car thief, and make, apparently, zero effort to actually solve the felony that was committed, reasoning, I guess, that if the car gets back to the owner all is well.

No, all is not well. This whole thing was handled with a complete lack of professionalism on the part of the police, both in terms of communicating with the crime victim and in terms of solving the crime. Harassing me twice in approximately the same month that my car was being joy-ridden by somebody else makes the whole experience so damn ironic and galling that I finally had to gripe about it.

Las Vegas Metro police, you suck. Now I know a large part of the reason that Las Vegas is the capital of car theft in the United States: it's because you guys barely lift a finger to stop it, and spend your time and energy harassing the victims instead of the criminals.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yet another horrible quasi-poker movie

Last night I taped a movie on Showtime, because of this description from the channel's web site:

Blowing Smoke (2004): A group of eight men playing poker at a club in Beverly Hills are busy bemoaning their fate at the hands of manipulative women, when a damsel in distress shows up at their door and proceeds to take them to the proverbial cleaners in this comedy-drama starring Estella Warren, Sean Michael Allen, Jack Axelrod, Daniel Roebuck and Shaun Baker.

See also

So the action takes place over a poker game (at least initially), but it's not a poker movie at all. Not a single hand is shown. It's just the lame background for one of the most stupid and pointless movies I've ever sat through. Appallingly bad writing and acting--far, far worse than a typical made-for-network-TV-movie (which this isn't, by the way)--no plot to speak of, and just generally offensive dialogue, with every "joke" old and ripped off.

I've mentioned before that I notice things in movies that characters do wrong with guns, and this is another example. One character handles a part of a shotgun, after firing it, that would be so hot it would burn his hand. (I know about this because in rapid-fire shooting competition using a shotgun, one of the biggest challenges is reloading it quickly without burning one's hand on the extremely hot parts. Also, two characters consecutively pump a round into the chamber, without the gun having been fired in between--why??? Another guy makes a big show of cocking a pistol, but very shortly thereafter you can see that the hammer is down, the gun uncocked. Stupid things like this annoy me no end. Filmmakers in general just don't care about getting things right, or even plausible.

Anyway, there is absolutely nothing to recommend this piece of trash as a movie of any sort or genre. And it's definitely not a poker movie. If you think about seeing it because it looks like it might be sort of a poker movie, don't bother. And if you think about seeing it for any other reason--again, don't bother.

Where do I apply to get an hour and a half of my life back?

Poker gems, #22

Jesse May, Shut Up and Deal, p. 30:

But sometimes if you can catch a guy right after a big win then he’s an easier touch and he’ll still hem and haw, but a broke might be able to squeeze a few hundred out of him that will rarely to never get paid back. Some people think that it’s kind of a winner’s tax that they pay and spread the money around a little bit and then when they run bad or go broke everybody will help them out a little too. But maybe they’re thinking that they have a peer group and they have some buddies in there and they haven’t found out that everybody hates you under their breath if you’re doing well, that poker peers feel no sympathy and no pity for you when you’re doing bad, they’re merely glad it’s not them and move in for the kill like big buzzards who know it’s much easier taking money from someone on his way down.

Getting things right--or not

There's concern in some circles about a serious security breach at Absolute Poker. This appears to go beyond the usual "online poker is rigged" conspiracy theories, though I freely admit I don't have enough expertise to render a useful opinion on whether the hypothesized problem is possible or probable. You can read more about it here:

Anyway, a spokesperson for Absolute Poker recently posted the company's official response in an online forum. I was struck by how poorly composed this post was, for a formal corporate announcement. I wrote and posted my thoughts about how the carelessness of the writing reflected on the substantive issues involved. This is the kind of post that an online forum, if heavy-handedly moderated, might take down, because some will see it as a personal attack on the author (a woman named Danielle, about whom I know nothing). So I'm reproducing it here, since it is definitely in keeping with this blog's general critical approach to everything that's wrong in the poker world. The original thread can (at least for now) be found at

First, here's the Absolute Poker message:

Hi All,

Thank you for your patience in this urgent issue.

Let me start off by stating in 100% confidence that, fair play and security is of paramount importance to Absolute Poker. We have temporarily frozen accounts that have been brought to our attention while we perform an extensive investigation.

While we are continuing with our investigation, we have yet to find any evidence of wrong doing. Our game client only receives data regarding the individuals hand and no other players hole cards, except in the event of a showdown.

The player’s and their respective actions that are in question, all come from a small sample of Hands. We have researched their play exhaustively and have found no proof that they had any knowledge of other player’s hole cards.

There were hands that were played poorly -- from a poker strategy perspective -- and these players did receive a fortunate result.

So far we have no evidence that substantiates claims that any of the players were involved in chip dumping, or any other improper activity.

Because of the seriousness of these allegations, we have not closed the investigation and are continuing to look very closely into this matter.We will notify you if we obtain any new information regarding these claims.

Kindest Regards,


And here's my reply:

Undoubtedly some readers will think I'm just nitpicking here--but there is a larger point to it.

There are at least ten obvious errors of grammar, spelling, and punctuation in Danielle's post, which is pretty remarkable in a message of only 11 sentences--pretty remarkably bad, that is.

I fully recognize that, for the most part, online chats are highly informal. I certainly don't proofread and rewrite as carefully for such posts as I do for, say, business letters or for things intended for publication. Hell, there may be little errors left undetected in this very message (though I'll try to eliminate them).

But when one is posting a formal message in one's capacity as a representative of a company, one presumably uses one's utmost care in getting things right. This presumption implies, then, that Danielle's very best writing as a spokesperson for Absolute Poker means about one orthographic/grammatical error per sentence, a level of carelessness--or outright ignorance of the basic tools of the English language--that one might expect in, say, a sixth-grader.

Here's the larger point: Danielle proves beyond any serious doubt by this post that she doesn't care one bit about getting details right. We can also assume that nobody checks her work (or that whoever does check her work is just as careless as Danielle). If she can't be bothered to care about the *form* of her official response, on what possible grounds can a reader be convinced that she pays any more attention to getting the *substance* of it right?

In my experience, people either pay attention to details or they don't, and either way it's not a phenomenon that is limited to grammar and punctuation, isolated from everything else that they do. A person who makes a large number of such errors when trying his or her best to get them right probably makes lots and lots of other kinds of errors in his or her work, too.

I know nothing about Danielle other than this one post, but I think it's a highly revealing window. To me, the message is that neither Danielle personally nor AP corporately can be trusted to care about getting things right. This isn't to say that either she or the company is deliberately dishonest, but it *is* to say that she is probably not the kind of person who would really be sure to know enough detailed facts about the situation to be reliable.

Naturally, just because a post is perfectly constructed by a bevy of skilled PR people and lawyers wouldn't mean that the claimed underlying investigation was thorough, or that the facts reported in the post were correct and honest. You don't even need a high school diploma in order to compose a short letter with good grammar, spelling, and puncutation. But the *lack* of those things pretty clear implies, to me, a general lackadaisical approach to things, at least by Danielle, and very possibly by the AP staff generally. This is not a good thing when one is attempting to convey an image that everything has been looked at in intricate detail, and all found to be in order. All is *not* in order, quite clearly.

A clean restroom in a restaurant doesn't necessarily mean that the kitchen, too, is spotless. But if the restroom is filthy, there's a good chance the kitchen is, too--because if they don't care about uncleanliness where they know you *will* see it, they can't possibly care about uncleanliness where they know you *won't* see it. AP doesn't care if we see egregious sloppiness in public missives; why should we assume that there isn't egregious sloppiness behind the scenes as well? If they won't even bother to proofread the official, public response to these rumors, on what basis would I conclude that they bothered to do a careful investigation?

Danielle's post sounds, to me, suspiciously like a bedbug letter--and a very poorly written one at that. (Google "bedbug letter" if you don't understand that term.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Poker gems, #21

Jesse May, Shut Up and Deal, p. 6:

Everybody wants to know about skill. Who’s the best and who’s got it and who ain’t and what we’ve got here, and all I can say is that the answer is never that easy. Like for example there’s this guy, call him Ace, and he plays well, I mean he plays really well, better than me, like if we were ever to get involved in a heads-up match, Ace would clean me up. And he has. Nothing to it. But one night maybe Ace and I are in a Hold 'em game together, and we both have bad luck and we both lose five thousand dollars. Now Ace, what does he do? He gets so mad at losing that five thousand dollars that he stalks off into the pit to try and get even and blow off some steam and he ends up losing twenty thousand more playing craps. Meanwhile, I get so mad at losing my five dimes that I go home, get in my closet, stuff a pillow in my face, and scream until I lose my voice. What’s the difference? Twenty thousand dollars. Now who’s the better poker player? It ain’t that easy.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Poker gems, #20

I'm reading Jesse May's 1998 novel, Shut Up and Deal. It's brilliant, not in terms of traditional literary values, but because nothing else I've ever read, in fiction or non-fiction, has so perfectly captured the deeply cynical, selfish, and lonely existence of a poker grinder. This is a book that could be written only by one who has been through it. There are likely to be a bunch of excerpts from it posted here, because I'm finding so much in it that resonates with my recent life. I start with the most famous passage:

Poker is a combination of luck and skill. People think mastering the skill part is hard, but they’re wrong. The trick to poker is mastering the luck.

Information parasites

I was about to start this grump with "Not much bugs me more than (what I'm going to talk about)." But then I realized that it's really hard to rank what annoys me most at the poker table. It varies so much from day to day. Let's just say that a whole hell of a lot of things irritate me--which shouldn't be too surprising, since I decided to run a blog that is basically devoted to complaining about all the things that other players do that make me want to throttle them.

Today it was one of those guys who want to know how a hand went down, but was too busy watching a football game to pay attention. He even missed the showdown. He just saw a big pot being pushed and the loser pulling out more money to re-buy. Then he asked, "What was the winning hand there?" Ace-king. "What did the other guy have?" Ace-queen. "Was there a king or a queen on the board?" Yes, a king hit on the river. "Did he [meaning the winner] raise before the flop?" Yes.

Fortunately, today he was asking the person next to me, not me. I wouldn't have told him.

In no-limit hold'em, only a minority of hands get played out to a final showdown. Probably eight out of ten hands end when somebody makes a bet that no other player is willing to call, and he wins the pot by default, without having to show his hole cards. Even on hands with a showdown, lots of them are pretty lackluster, in terms of betting. Often this is because there's something scary on the board (e.g., 3 diamonds flop, and none of the players in the hand has one), and nobody wants to bet at it.

So on the relatively rare occasions that a large pot has developed between two or more players, with betting and raising at every opportunity, naturally the other players--if they're paying attention--are making silent guesses about what the contestants hold, and then we get to see if we were right, or at least close. It's one of the most interesting parts of the game, in my opinion, and a skill that takes constant honing.

More importantly, this kind of hand contains a wealth of information about the players involved. To put it into useful form, though, you have to see the showdown, then mentally backtrack each stage of the hand in order to understand why each participant did what he did. You can then discover, for instance, that one of the players will pay any amount for a flush draw, regardless of his pot odds or whether he's likely to get paid off if he hits it. You can sort out which players tend to bet when they have just draws, and which wait until they have made hands to bet. You discover who was bluffing. You learn who can't let go of a big pocket pair, even when they should know that they are beat. You find out who plays in a straightforward, A-B-C style and who is tricky and deceptive. You see who's a poker savant and who's a numbskull. Who was aggressive and who was passive? Which player more accurately gauged the relative strength of his hand at each point? Who sets traps, and who is able to detect them? This is all crucial stuff.

One way to think about the game of poker is as a contest of information. Whoever has the most and best information about his opponents, and exploits that information most skillfully, will win the most money over the long haul. If you try to bluff a guy that habitually calls any bet with any mediocre hand, you'll lose. If you call down a player who only bets when he has the nuts, you'll lose. You have to know opponents' tendencies, or you'll make a lot of otherwise avoidable--and very expensive--mistakes. The kind of information revealed when there is a showdown between two or more players, with a big pot being contested, is by far the most valuable information available about opponents in a poker game.

It doesn't come easily, because, as I said, you have to remember who did what through the whole hand, and mentally reconstruct what information they had at the time. It requires paying a lot of attention--putting in some work. But the result can be tremendous insight into how the other people at the table approach the game.

It seems, though, that there is always a leech, somebody who wants that information without putting in the effort to gather and process it himself. This idiot today was one of this ilk. He couldn't be bothered to watch the hand play out, because his football was more important. But once he realized that he just missed out on one of the rare opportunities to peek inside how two of his opponents think and play, he wanted to know all about it.

These people are like the other animals in the story of the Little Red Hen (see, e.g.,, who aren't willing to help make the bread, but want to share in the meal when it's ready. They're information parasites.

It's rare that I lie at the poker table. I realize that most players consider lying just part of the game, but I don't like it. If I win a pot without a showdown and somebody asks me what I had, my stock answer is something like, "If I answered that directly, I'd just lie, which wouldn't do you any good." Or I'll lie in a way that makes it obvious that I'm lying ("Aces, of course--that's all I ever play!" "I can't remember--my memory just went blank!"), which I think doesn't carry the ethical problems of genuine lies. I consider both of these options to be a polite way of saying, "I'm not going to tell you."

But today's situation is one where I will lie every time. "Sorry, I wasn't paying attention," is the usual reply. Sometimes it's the truth, of course--nobody can pay full attention all the time for hours at a stretch. But even when I know exactly what went down, and have new, cherished nuggets of insight about opponents, I answer the same way. I do this because I think it's so incredibly rude to try to extract this information from other players. I'd rather lie and keep up a decent social facade than give the heartfelt response, which would be along these lines: "Look, asshole. If you really cared, you've have paid attention during the hand instead of watching the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders jiggling on the sidelines. If you want instant replays, keep watching television--ESPN will give them to you, but I won't."

I never, ever ask another player to rehash events for me; if I'm daydreaming, it's my own damn fault and I just accept that I missed out, mentally slap myself in the face, and remind myself to pay more attention. In my opinion, asking another player to give a retrospective play-by-play is every bit as out of line as asking, "Can I have your stack of chips?" Information is money at the poker table, and I'm not going to give away either one just because you ask.

Unlike money, the information is freely there in the open for everybody to take in. If you pass on the opportunity, don't come to me looking for a handout.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Poker gems, #19

More from Antonio Esfandiari's book, In the Money: Strategies for Winning Texas Hold 'em Cash Games, p. 15:

What's the best way to play fearless? First and foremost, you have to divorce yourself from how you traditionally think of money. Money outside of the poker room is different. That is money to be spent wisely or invested discriminately. The money you bring into the poker room is your means to winning. Do not think of this as money. Think of it as the tools of your trade. You should no more think about the dollar cost of an individual chip than a carpenter thinks about the cost of the nails he's driving. That carpenter will drive all the nails he needs to in order to do the job. That is what I am going to do at the poker table, and that is what you should do as well.

Consider your chips to be the cost of doing business, nothing more and nothing less. As with any buiness, you will have overhead. Think of bad beats as your overhead. Furthermore, as Doyle Brunson once wrote, when you make a big bet, you cannot think, "Oh man, I'm betting a Cadillac." Even if you're a recreational player, if you're thinking of the steak dinner you could buy with the chips you're betting, you're dead money. So look at those chips as the tools of the trade. You will free yourself from the fear of losing them, and then you can go win more.

Poker gems, #18

I realize that lately I've had a long string of these "poker gems," which I originally intended to be just occasional diversions from my rants, not the main menu of this blog. But for whatever reason, I haven't gotten myself up into a good lather about much of anything lately. The muse hasn't been pushing my annoyance buttons, which is what has to happen for me to write up a good grump. So these thoughts from other writers will have to suffice until I get unblocked. Never fear: I have a long list of topics yet to write about, as soon as I get in the mood for a good rant.

Continuing with advice for bad beats, this is from Antonio Esfandiari's book, In the Money: Strategies for Winning Texas Hold 'em Cash Games, pp. 13 and 36. Antonio does take his own advice here; I remember reading (in one of his columns for Bluff magazine, I think; it doesn't seem to be in this book) that he has a standing deal with a friend, that if either of them ever hears the other tell a bad-beat story, the teller of the tale owes the other something like $5000. I haven't gone that far, but I do make a point of not sharing my poker woes, either with friends and family or with other players. I make some exceptions when writing--but only when there's some larger point to be made from the story, never just because I'm feeling sorry for myself.

Be positive. You will never hear me tell a bad-beat story. Nobody wants to hear it. Think about it. When somebody tells you a bad-beat story, do you care? Besides, everyone who plays the game will suffer his or her fair share of bad beats. That's poker.... If you play poker, bad beats are the cost of doing business. Take it in stride and move on. If you dwell on it or let it get to you, it can only have a negative impact on your game.


If you let the emotions of these moments affect your play, you will lose focus. One simple way to avoid this is to never tell a bad-beat story. This is such an important point that I am going to repeat it for emphasis: Never ever tell a bad-beat story. All that does is reinforce losing--and nobody wants to hear it, anyway.

Poker gems, #17

Today I was the chip leader in the Hilton weekly tournament with only seven players remaining, the top four finishers to get the money. The player with the second most chips moved all-in (a huge overbet--really bad play) from first position with 8-8. I was on his immediate left and called with K-K. I'm an 80:20 favorite. He spikes a third 8 on the turn. I was crippled and finished in 6th place. Then I moved to a cash game, and within the first hour had K-K again. A player raised from first position. I put in a small re-raise to try to induce an all-in from him and got it. I call. He has A-Q. I'm a 68:32 favorite. He catches an ace on the river to win a $400 pot.

Neither of these is extraordinarily unusual; they're in the "run-of-the-mill" category of unluckiness. It was just unusually annoying because of the probable financial loss in the first instance (absent that 8 hitting, I would have had nearly half the chips in play just at the time that the other players were going into survival mode to be sure they made it into the money, and I could have aggressively accumulated a truly overwhelming chip lead, with a very high probability of winning the tournament outright), and the large, tangible financial loss in the second instance, both happening within such a short time span.

So I'm taking this occasion to remind myself (and any readers) of perhaps the wisest words I've read about bad beats. It comes from Mark Blade's excellent book, Professional Poker: The Essential Guide to Playing for a Living, p. 257. I can't say I'm yet able to muster the mental discipline to actually do what he suggests, but I do try to keep it all in proper perspective:

Bad Beats Are Your Best Friends

So how should you react when you experience a so-called "bad beat?" You should shout inside your head, "Yippee!" And do a little mental jig while you're at it. I'm not kidding. Bad beats mean that there are still players out there who play badly. That means the games are still beatable. The day you stop having any more bad beats is the day when you should crawl into a fetal position in the corner of the casino and bawl like a baby. Your career is over. The worst case scenario...has just played out. Your competition all plays as well as you do and you are just passing money back and forth among yourself with only the casino take coming out ahead. Don't scoff at the title for this topic. Bad beats truly are your best friends.