Quick! Hands up!  Who here likes coolers?  Anyone?  Me neither.
How about set up hands?  No?  Me neither!
Bad beats?  Nope, not for me!

Only on the winning end do we feel good about them, right?  But, for those of us who are (and will be) on the receiving end, we tend to remember them and feel the need to talk about them more.

And that’s where I’ve noticed a peculiarity about it.

People talk about winning.  It’s on the news and people get recognized for it all the time.  People love to hear about it and talk about it.  No one likes to talk about losing nor does it get recognized on a grand scale.  I will put everything I own on the fact that no one can tell me (off the top of their head) the 29th person who got knocked out of the last EPT.  And I’m pretty sure that player won’t really talk about it to many people. UNLESS he hit a cooler!  This is the only time people talk love talking about losing.

If you think about it, being on the receiving end, you’ve typically “made the right move”.  You had great EV, great position, pocket aces, yadda, yadda, yadda, and in the end, your opponent hits runner-runner to complete his/her flush.   You go on tilt and feel the need to talk and/or write about this ONE hand to let people know that you are still a great player.  I have been guilty of it, but I have figured something out; no one really cares!  In the end, they all say the same; “That’s poker!”  And before you can even say “but…” you’ve lost them.

We feel this uncontrollable need to dwell on ONE hand to forcefully tell ourselves we were right, dammit!    And you probably were!  NO ONE ever talks about the time they were on the giving end because it ultimately makes them look like a donkey, doesn’t it?  I have never heard anyone say “So, I push all-in against the big stack with 7-2 in the small blind and he calls.  We turn them over and he’s got aces!  The flop comes 7-7-7 and I win!!!  Aren’t I amazing?!”  No sir/madam, you are not.  You are just a lucky donk.

What I am ultimately trying to say here, is that there will be coolers and bad beats and that it’s all part of the game.  There really is no use talking about it, is there?  I know that it is a form of coping, but does it REALLY help?  Probably not; especially not at PSO where everyone already knows that it’s part of the game.  Instead, why not offer up a ‘Play My Hand’ blog post?  I think they’re great!  Because, maybe, you didn’t play the hand perfectly after all.  You could lead it up to just before your final decision and ask the community what they think?  That way, it not only challenges us to analyze tight calls, it will also benefit you in receiving FREE hand analysis from the community.  Who knows, it may even open up your eyes to some insightful suggestions that may plug up a leak in your game.  We could even add a second part called “What do you think happened?” because we all know it’s going to be a cooler!

I will go first.

This was my first local tournament game with a $50 buy-in and about 200 people.
The third hand in and I get dealt A-K suited on the button.  4 limpers before me, and of course, I raise.  I get two callers.

Flop comes : Qc-Jd-10s rainbow

I flop the nuts!  Third hand in!  Awesome!
The big blind donk bets, the other guy raises, I call the raise as does the big blind.

Turn comes : 4h

The Big blind checks, other guy raises, I re-raise and big blind shoves all-in.  The other guy looks pissed and folds.

1.  What do you do?
2. What do you think happened?

I really hope this post didn’t come across as condescending and/or offensive to anyone who has posted cooler material.  It all comes from a place of sympathy and understanding.  However, I feel that by doing it this way, the blogs will be much more interactive and helpful for everyone.  In the end, we all know that they will happen so why not just chalk it up to the ol' "That's Poker!" column and get on with the next hand and save a computer screen or two? 


Feel free to leave comments/answers/suggestions