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How to Survive a Bad Beat

By Dan Loomis

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Every poker player suffers from a bad beat. The key is how do you recover.

At a recent trip to a casino, I suffered through a horrifying bad beat in a cash game. The game was just a cheap $1/$2 buy-in. I was dealt KQ offsuit. Someone raised it to $7. I called, and so did 5 others. The flop came AJT rainbow. I flopped an Ace-high straight, with no possible flush draws. Someone raised it to $30, and then the player to my right re-raised to $70. Naturally, I went all in (I had about $100). All the other players folded, except for the re-raiser, who called. So I went heads-up with my straight against pocket jacks, which turned into trip jacks. Then the turn came - another ten. I lost my straight on the flop to a full house.

So what do you do next?

I could have become irate, tossing chairs, cursing out players, damning the cards, etc. I would have every right, considering I had him 50/50 before the flop, I had him dominated after the flop, and yet he lucked out on the turn. Yet, instead, I entered a tournament of 110 players and won it.

There are three key things to keep in mind when you have suffered through a bad beat:

1. Bad beats are rare. Well, they are rare if it truly is a bad beat. Losing pocket QQ to a pair of Aces is not all that rare. A true bad beat is statistically uncommon.

2. It's nothing personal. The guy you lost to doesn't have a personal vendetta against you. He probably doesn't even know your name. He just happened to have alot of luck, and your luck disappeared for that hand.

3. The game must go on. Pining over lost cash will not win you your next hand. You need to get your game-face back on, and win the next hand.

Remember these keys when you suffer through a bad beat, and you will be able to move on and win some cash.




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