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My First Bad Beat (Play Video Poker)
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My First Bad Beat


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Anyone who has ever played poker for any amount of time knows how fickle Lady Luck can be. You peek at your cards, try not to give any sign of the incredible joy you feel washing over you like wave after wave of the ocean. Straight faced, or with as much of one as you can manage, you set your trap. We all know how this story ends . . . with you staring in utter disbelief. How could everything go so horribly wrong? How could every trap be set, every card played? Enter every bad poker playing cliché, every scene in any movie ever taking place in a bar after losing the big hand.

As an avid poker player (draw, stud, Omaha Hi-Low, Texas hold ‘em, Caribbean—you name it, I have played it) I have played tens of thousands of hands and have had my shares of the highs, and the lows. Since poker player is usually synonymous with “glutton for punishment” and “repeatedly punched in the gut” it should come as no surprise that the bad beats stay with us more than the highs. How many pocket aces hands do you clearly remember? Now, how many of those hands were when your pocket aces got beat on the river? Check, and check mate.

We carry our bad beat stories around, and I am no exception. One of my favorite bad beat stories to share with fellow players while swapping the sob stories stayed with me because it was a bad beat that did two things. That bad beat kept me from my first $100 day (this was back when I only played small kitchen games or one dollar on-line tables), and it left a sour note on a day that was otherwise a breakthrough in my game.

My nemesis of that day was one of my best friends, Tom “Lucky Draw” Shover. We were heads up in an all or nothing table game for $50, which was a great pot for a college student scrounging to get the $5 entry fee each week.

He bet heavy before the flop, and somehow I knew, for the first time in my poker playing career, I knew what his cards were. He was holding the Q-K of clubs. I had a pair of twos. Usually I would not play such a pair, but in heads up, and knowing his cards, I called. The flop came down Q-Q-2. Ever try to keep a straight face? He hit his hand huge, and I had him trapped. I decided to push all in quickly, to make it look like a bluff. Tom looked at me like I was insane, and then called. Sure enough, he held the Q-K of clubs, and I had the full house. The glory of victory, the stunned look on his face, the king on the turn.

Yes, the king on the turn. Just like that, I was down to one out in the entire deck, and it didn’t come. The biggest breakthrough of my young career ended with a bust, once again proving that Tom’s nickname was very well deserved, and that $100 day, that early benchmark, would have to wait another day.

Tags: Gambling Articles

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One Response to “My First Bad Beat”

  1. Second Part of …How to play Pocket Kings (Play Video Poker) Says:

    […] The thing to remember with pocket kings is to not overanalyze when you seem to have the lead. Yes, there will be times where you get a really bad beat, there will even be streaks that seem unbelievable (I once was knocked out of a tournament in three hands–my three hands were pocket A’s, pocket Q’s, and pocket K’s in that order!), but play the odds for the long run. The odds say pocket kings are 70%, so play them and play them strong! It is the only winning strategy for the long run. […]

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