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Sh!t Happens

Chops here.

cowboysYou’re about equi-short-stacked with another person at the table.  Six rounders are left in this 9-person one table tournament. You’re the big blind. The small blind limps in. You look and see a beauty—pocket Kings.

You raise about 4x the blind and are called.

Flop comes up A-10-x. The small blind bets into you, it’s half of your remaining stack. You decide he doesn’t have the ace or a set, and push your remaining chips all in.

This hand happened to me last night in our weekly Wicked Chops Poker game.

The small blind decides to call, leaving him with not much left.  And I can't believe my frigging eyes when I see him flip over an unsuited Q-7. He didn’t even pair the board.

"I’m going to need a lot of help on this one." he says.

The next card is a King, giving me a set. Just as my arms are reaching out to rake my pot, a Jack falls on the river, knocking me out of the game as the small blind hits a straight.

I proceed to stand up and knock my chair over, then knock a Coke can over one of my friends at the table.  Somehow this bad beat caused me to completely loose my motor skills.

But the reality of it all is this: bad beats happen. If you play online, they happen all the freaking time.

But you can't get ripped up about it.  If you get your money all in when you know you have the best hand by a wide margin, and then end up getting sucked out on, well, that’s poker. Don’t play if you can’t handle it.

As I’m typing this, I’m watching the latest World Poker Tour episode (the Aruba Poker Classic).  Layne Flack just had his pocket Aces cracked by a Mike Matusow set on the river. While Matasow is screaming like a retard and prancing around the table, Flack just stands up, composes himself, and moves on.

Total class.  Total pro.

I don’t think he even spilt a drop of beer. Or knocked a chair over.

This is a great cathartic thing for me to watch though, because...

EVERYONE gets smacked upside the head with a bad beat. And NO ONE will feel sorry for you. The only people bad beats matter to is the person who just got beaten badly. Everyone else is glad to see you either: 1) with less chips, 2) totally crippled, or 3) gone, because 1) that puts them one spot closer to the money.

So sh!t happens, in fact, it happens all of the time. It’s how you deal with it (that is, if you’re still in the game) that determines what kind of a player you are.

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That is a pretty bad beat. You are right though that the best players, in general, handle bad beats with a large degree of class.

Bob Murphy

Yeah, but you can't get too upset with yourself for losing your mind for a bit after a shot like like that. That's just the emotional factor of the game. I love watching people lose it. It adds some drama, excitement, hilarity, and if it's a bad enough tantrum, a little tension for the rest of the evening. We're not sitting around negotiating business deals, fuck it. Yell a little bit.

"Will the real Bob Murphy please stand up?"

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