Everyone knows what I'm talking about: you get it all-in preflop and you dominate the opponent. You flop the stone nuts and your opponent shoves. And as we happily walk along the road to the river, we completely disregard the 1, 2 or 3 outs he has.

Until the dealer shows you the river. Time stops. You see your life flash before your eyes. A palette of words start forming in your mouth, that makes you glad that a] there's no little kids around, and b] your sitting behind your computer and not in a cardroom because you definitely would get thrown out.

Twice today in a tourney. First I have KK, make a pretty standard 3x raise, and the guy shoves. Now mind this is the first hand he played out of the 35 we'd been dealt, so basically, you're looking at KK or AA. Since I have KK, I doubt he has too. So AA then? Well, if he does, kudos to him. I'm not good enough to lay down pocket cowboys against a shove preflop where calling will cost me only half my stack.
So he turns over 88.

You can see where this is going, and I don't have to tell you the river.

Later - start of the final table, I'm 3rd in chips. AK off suit. I make a raise, guy before me shoves, and I call. He shows A10 off.

Well, let's not say any more about it.

So what is it about the river that makes it the most liked and the most hated card of all at the same time. Is it just that we don't like to get beat with only one card to come, where the opponent will hit his miracle only once in twenty hands, with no hope of escape?

Or does it hurt just as much to get outdrawn on the flop?

Or is it just the imagination that says it hurts a lot more on the river than on the flop? I don't know, but perhaps I'll figure it out somewhere in the next millenium....

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