I like to laugh off bad beats. Its nice and carthatic and helps me remember that for every bad beat I get, they pale in comparison to the big wins we will make in the same spot, same cards, same fish opponents but just a different side of that coin.


Last night I had a couple of rough beats.

AA vs KK, opponent flops a King

KK vs AK, opponent flop a Straight


I chuckled, took my ITM MTT knockout and moved on, its an experience and all our experience makes us better, the more we play, the more we learn.


I do dislike the over-use of the term Bad Beats though.

When you flop a set, your opponent has a few rag cards, the turn brings a straight draw and the money goes in... he rivers his OES and you say "Bad Beat" - but really it wasn't

My judgement of a bad beat comes down to a few factors


First, it can only be judged once the money goes in and there is a card to come. You can't claim a bad beat when you called a bet on the river with a set and your opponent had a better set. There still has to be some luck involved to turn your hand which is ahead into a loser, losing on the river when all cards are dealt to someone who has a better hand is just straight poker.


Second, it must be single digit percentages to improve. What this means is that if your opponent has a loser on the flop, the money goes in, he can only be working with a 2 outer like set vs pair.

Since we know we get roughly 2% per out, per street.. thats 2 outs on the flop or 4 outs on the turn.

If your opponent has a 10% chance to beat you, its rough and is defintely a beat if they pull it off but in my eyes it doesn't qualify for the term "bad beat".


I am sure there are those out there that might argue with my justifications, perhaps a bad beat depends on the game you are in.. 20% beat in the final table of the Sunday Million is worse than a 2% beat at a 25c SNG in the first few hands of the game.

I think if we use that rational, we are judging beats to be conditional on results and in poker we don't ever want to be results focused since it puts us on a losing mentality.


So for my two hands.

AA vs KK, My opponent had 20% chance to win from the preflop - hardly a bad beat but hurts all the same

KK vs AK, My opponent had a 30% chance to win from the preflop, again isn't really a bad beat after all.


So whilst they hurt, it is hardly like I was top set over bottom set and my opponent rivers quads...

Even AA vs 72o, with both suits dominated is still only a 10% chance.. I am still not even calling that a Bad Beat because we still have so many more cards to come.


Perhaps 10% is close, but single digits only for me... creates a fine line between when I get miffed by a hand and shurg it off and the type of hand that haunts my dreams.