With that in mind, I give you the top five worst feelings in poker, not including when the waitress refuses to give you her number for the sixth time.
5. Making a Bad Call
Making the ace-high hero call can be a pretty great feeling. Making the hero call against a player holding the nuts? Not so much.
Internal dialog goes something like this:
Look at the size of that pot... maybe he was betting some sort of draw... he didn't raise pre-flop;, he's got to be bluffing.
"I call!" Other player shows the nuts. $@!#
4. Getting Sucked Out On
Once you start running bad, you start getting the sucked-out feeling every time you put it all-in.
Get it all-in AA vs. KK pre-flop, and you start murmuring "Don't you dare spike that king" to yourself. When you see that big K hit the board, the standard thought seems to be along the lines of
Are you joking me? ... Seriously?
4. Getting William H. Macy'd (Get it? He was the cooler in The Cooler.)
Yes I know that I have two number 4's; it's because they tie. Get over it.
A cooler hand, getting cold-decked or a setup hand; whatever you name it, it sucks just the same. But since I'm talking about them, and I like this kind of geekery, I'll let you know the origins of these names.
Cooler: A cooler is someone who works for the casino and is viewed as "unlucky." The casino feels that them being at your table will make you lose. How they do it, if they have techniques, or are just naturally unlucky, - who knows. I'm not sure if any casinos actually still employ coolers, but lots used to. The movie The Cooler is a good watch; I recommend it.
Cold Deck: When you hear someone getting cold-decked these days, it has nothing to do with the origins of the phrase anymore. When a cheater switches the active deck with a setup or "stacked" deck, the second deck is known as a cold deck.
A deck of cards heats up from being held and played with; a newly switched-in deck will feel physically cold to the dealer, ergo a cold deck. People who say they got cold-decked now are no longer implying they've been cheated; they're saying that what happened was so unlikely, it could only happen in a bad poker-cheat movie.
Setup Hand: Has two meanings, one is the same as a cold deck, saying the deck was set up or "stacked." The other is that you have been set up to lose the money.
So yeah, flopping set-over-set hurts, sucks and is expensive.
3. Bluff No Good
She's called every bet and raise I've made on every street... man that pot's big... maybe she'll fold if I move all-in...
"All-in!" "I call." !@#$
I honestly can't think of anything I hate more than getting counterfeit. It hurts less to lose to a two-outer than to get counterfeit. Flopping bottom two against AA, to have the top card pair the board hurts. It's not as bad mathematically; it's just so damn ugly.
1. The Moment Before Yelling for More Chips
Each of the previous four examples all suck. All of them give you a horrible feeling, and can make you question why you play this damn game. But none of the above is as bad as this second before yelling for chips.
When the mistake, or unfortunate event, goes from you losing chips to cash money from your pocket, that's when it really hits home. That's when you start thinking "If I had gone to Best Buy instead, I'd have a whole new entertainment system right now... but nope, I came to play cards."
Only the realization that the sole reason you had that money in the first place was from your previous history of winning sessions can assuage your pain in this case. Roll with the punches, and hope they don't leave marks.
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