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Poker Luck

What Can You Do About Poker Luck?

No matter how good you are. No matter how much you practice. No matter how often you read $30 books written by pro players, no matter what 2 cards you have…It ALL comes down to luck sometimes.

I hear it over and over again at the tables…”Man that guy sucks…But he sure is catching good hands.” I’ve caught myself thinking this too. Maybe you have also.

It’s a very funny thing to hear in no limit Hold’em because often people will ridicule the play of other players that are doing well at the table. I’m not saying that calling a large bet pre-flop with Q 6 off suite is smart play. But when you hit the flop like 10, 6, 6 you are always getting paid off on a big over pair. Is it smart? Is it the right decision? Well that all depends. A lot of players go with a gut feeling. Some players take these risks just to capitalize huge when they hit it. Is this inherently bad play? All of this is situational. Poker is a game of situations. The beauty of poker is that your opponent can have any 2 cards in the hole…and so can you.

Think of it this way. Most of the time this player is going to miss this flop huge. But occasionally he will call this against pocket Ace’s and win a large pot. It all depends on the timing and luck. There is nothing you can do about what cards come out.

The best you can do is get your money in the pot with the best hand, cross your fingers and hope for the best. We all have bad beats. We all get sucked out on and in contrary we all give bad beats and we all suck out on other players. Having pocket Ace’s lose to a 5 7 off suite hurts. It always will. But if you don’t think poker is just total randomness than you will never feel good about it. It will hurt more when you lose and you will feel falsely superior when you win.  This is why some players think they are good enough to tell you how bad your play is.  They have had a few luck hands.

It is all random.  There is an enormous amount of skill involved in poker, but against bad players it can be just luck. Take a deck of cards and deal out 2 cards in 5 places. Just like you were dealing Hold’em to 5 players. Deal them face up. Now deal out a flop, turn and river. With no influence by players see what 2 cards win. Now do it again and again. See if the best pre-flop hand wins every time. You’ll soon notice it does not. Makes you think twice about slow playing those Ace’s huh?

Time and time again you will see hands like 5 7 win, 2 4 and even K 3 wins a few of them. Now you see it is all random. Now you have to adjust your game to that. You need to put your player on a hand and you need to force your player off hands too.
This is where the skill comes into play.  By being able to read a player you can adjust your game just enough to limit the amount of luck they get off really bad hands.  Take this along with my 10 Mistakes in Limit Hold'em article and you will be on your way to a better player sooner than later.

     Don P -


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