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Leak #7 - Not Believing

seeing draws

Leak #7 "not believing" is illustrated by a UFO. If you were shown one, you would not believe it, because it is so improbable. Note that we said improbable, not impossible. It seems that some people can believe the impossible, but can't believe the improbable. And this is a situation constantly taking place in poker.

When your opponent makes a strong bet on a scary board, it means that he is representing a big hand. Do you believe him or is he bluffing? There is a nickname for holdem players who always want to catch bluffs, "sheriffs".

If you realize that you have a tendency for not believing while playing poker, remember the UFO image and the fact that poker is not science fiction.

Because the sample in any poker hand is indeed very small with a 52 deck cards, no event is usually "that" improbable in a poker hand. Take the case of a one outer, which is in most people's mind the most unlikely type of event in poker. If you are heads up by the river against a one-outer, he needs one card out of the 44 cards from the deck, i.e. he has a 2.3% chance to hit. If you are allin in from the turn, this one-outer can occur either at the turn or at the river, and the chance of that outcome is 4.5%

It appears that if you get allin at the flop against one opponent who has only one-outer to beat you, he will beat you once every twenty times. This is improbable but not impossible, so when it happens to you, it belongs to the realm of reality.

Observe that there are events which are even less likely than a one-outer and which are truly improbable. These events are what we call runner-runner one outers. Let us say for example that you hold AA against an opponent who has K♠T♠ and the flop is A♠A4. Nice quad.

Are you certain to win? No, because your opponent can beat you with a runner-runner straight flush. For the next two cards to be Q♠J♠ in any order, the probability is only 0,10%. If this happens, this would be a true bad beat, as this event only occurs once in 1000 trials. Anyway this situation is the rarest of bad beat that can come about.

You may legitimately not believe it if it happens to you, but this situation has been seen in online high stakes poker involving a huge pot. Quite a shocker! And it does not mean pokertars is rigged.

It is during the time of the Far West that poker started to be popular as there were not many forms of entertainment at the time. Poker was played as 5-cards draw poker as can be seen in some movies. The favorite technique used by the numerous cheaters was to deal a Four of Kind kings to their victims. Imagine their faces when they realized they were beaten by a Four of a Kind aces. These were really improbable events, but how to prove swindling?

This is such a type of event with very low probability that is rewarded by bad beat jackpot at some online poker rooms such as Carbon Poker. For the bad beat jackpot to hit, a hand at least as good as a Four of a Kind 7s must get a bad beat by a hand at least as good as a Four of a Kind 8s. These are typically one outer or runner-runner one outer cases.

Leak #7, not believing often strikes when you have a strong hand beaten by an even stronger hand. It is hard to believe that when your long patience has finally paid off and you get the long awaited monster, it is behind an even larger monster.

The answer is that you must learn to lay down big hands and this is admittedly a very difficult skill to develop. The very famous poker player Phil Hellmuth is renowned for insisting on making big lay downs. And sometimes he lays down the best hand.

Let us now review an example of a hand played at PokerStars in a NL50 Texas Holdem full ring game. Hero is UTG with 88 and limps. Six players see the flop, which is 85♠4♠. The blinds check, the hero bets $1.50 and get raised to $5 by UTG+1. Two players fold and the small blind 3-bets to $16. What should hero do?

Note that the player who 3-bet is a solid player and not a maniac. Hero has top set and the only dangerous hand is a straight provided by hole cards 67. Should we believe that SB has the nuts straight? His action indicates that he has the nuts, but how could he possibly have this straight just when hero has the best hand he has had in the past 100 hands?

The hero does not believe. He thinks that it is probably just a straight draw with a hand like 77. So he 4-bets allin, and the three players end up allin. UTG+1 shows 55 for the middle set. SB shows 76 for the flopped nuts straight.

When you are not believing, remember the UFO picture. Poker is not science fiction. Very often players have what they represent. Learn to lay down you big hands, and you will become a more profitable player!

By the way, do you believe that there is pokerstars rakeback. Click on the link to find out.


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