River'd 18 times!

Yes, 18 tournies in 2 days! Lost my stack on the river on every one of them! Worse is that most of the hole cards that won were bad hands. I’ve said it many times - I would NEVER bet big money on this game. I might buy into a game for $40 or $50, but no more. I see too many stupid hands that win big stacks. Playing for free on Replay is the only way to play - I can laugh about getting river’d 18 times in a row!

Update: Now 19 in a row. and the winner had a 7h3s in the hole and completed a straight with the river - that has to be one of the stupidest hands I’ve seen - but it won and knocked me out.

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Hi, millhunk. I’ve just looked at your 200 most recent hands (that’s all a player’s profile usually shows). Your games appear split about evenly between 6-seat tables and 9-seat tables, and it looks like they are mostly tournament games. Of those 200 hands, you won 24, 10 without being called (one 'win" was split with another player, but it still counts as a win). A random hand at a 9-seat table should win about 11% of the hands played; at a 6-seat table, around 16%. Your 24 wins is exactly 12 % of those 200 games. I suspect that’s within the normal range to be expected (12% to 15%), as it is unlikely to ever work out exactly (too many variables are involved to get closer than a range). The only way you can claim 18 river beats in a row is by counting hands you folded before the river was dealt.

Hold’em is a SEVEN card game, not a five or six card game. All the cards count equally. There is no special advantage due to what order the cards fall in. The game isn’t over until ALL the cards are seen, ALL the bets are called, and the hand cards are revealed. I did notice, though, that at least two of the 24 hands you won were connections YOU made on the river. So it truly is a two-way street. It isn’t just you, it’s every one of us. Today I lost with Aces full to four 2s, caught on the river. That’s the way it goes. Sometimes we live by the river, sometimes, we get flooded and lose our house. That’s the way the game of poker works. Enjoy the games. Poker is a lot of fun, if you can keep it in proper perspective. And, be thankful we aren’t playing for real money. Good luck.


Thanks for the vote of confidence. I know I have won on the river, but it’s rare, and 200 hands is not much of a sample. And I know that this is just a bad streak that’ll balance out. However, it can get very frustrating losing to the bimbo that goes all in after the flop with nothing and crap hole cards, then completes a straight or flush on the river…over…and over…and over. It’s not fun. Also, the last 2 days have been full of pre-flop all-in’s - which is another bonehead move - but it forces folding good hands and we don’t get that many of them.
The question I’m now asking myself, is do I want to continue to play with these…um…uh…unique players, yeah, unique, that’s the ticket!, lol!

Are you saying the game is much more about good bluff and less about good hand? If so, that actually makes sense considering the things I’m whining about, and see as dumb like pre-flop all in’s, and calling with crap hole cards. Maybe those players get away with the bluff more than not? Maybe those players are consistent winners? Is that true?

Very few “concept questions” like this have simple yes/no answers that are always valid. There have been serious studies done on the question of how often players should bluff. It has applications far beyond the poker table, war and business, for example. As far as I know, no one has found a definitive answer, but most thinkers seem to believe the optimum is somewhere between 5% of the time and 15% of the time.

But, there isn’t even agreement on what constitutes bluffing. Is it going all in on an air hand? Is it representing a bust when you actually do have the goods? Is it “over-betting” your second tier hands in an effort to force the best hand to drop because the cost is out of proportion to the possible loss? All of the above? More? Less? I consider slow-playing a monster to be bluffing. Do you? I think they are ALL bluffing. But, there is no settled agreement on it, and perhaps never will be. The only time a poker player is forced to tell the truth is at the showdown when he/she gets called. Then, they have to show the cards. The rest of the time, they can lie.

Not to make myself an example–I know I have too many weaknesses for that–but I get called about 75% of the time. That’s because I take the trouble to size my bets so I WILL get called in most cases. I WANT my customers to call because I wouldn’t be betting if I didn’t think I had them beaten. I check a lot, too, which saves me chips, gains me information, and projects weakness that sometimes isn’t real, which also gains me chips by inducing bluffs for me to snipe at. If I hold a Royal Flush and no one calls, I might as well have held trip 2s. We need to capitalize on our good situations, but we can only do that by getting other players to put chips into “our” pots. Could I win more hands by bluffing more with air? Maybe. But, that’s a discussion for another day. I should’ve gone to bed three hours ago. Good night.


David Sklansky wrote a book in 2002 called “Tournament Poker for Advanced Players,” and the book detailed his “All In or Fold” strategy, which was basically designed to give less experienced players a chance against top pros. If I’m remembering right, he created it specifically for a friend’s daughter who wanted to play in the WSOP, even though she was new to the game. The basic idea is that good players will outplay you post flop, so moving in eliminates their advantage.

Many people consider Sklansky to be a poker genius, and he has written many books on the subject. “The Theory of Poker,” “No Limit Holdem Theory and Practice,” and “Tournament Poker for Advanced Players” are somewhat dated today, but still well worth a read.

Anyway, the point is, allin or fold can be a valid strategy if you understand its proper application.


I concur with SPG, 100%. And, yes Sklansky is a genius. I have some of his and Malmouth’s books in my office.


Thanks Alan & Sun, lots of good food for thought! I’m over my hissy-fit, lol! and ready to play. And thank you Alan for the 3am post. I’m no longer ashamed to buy-in to a tourny at 2am! hahaha


Sklansky may be a genius. I have no idea. If its attributed because of FTOP that won’t be correct. FTOP is played by people for a long time. Sklansky merely spelled it (in 1987). People who haven’t heard of Sklansky or FTOP still play FTOP. FTOP, viz a viz, assessing others cards is a very common sense way of playing the game. Sklansky gave a convenient term to describe such a play.

Are there really true genius in poker, which is a game of luck given the basic standard skill of playing. Probably who reads the luck is a genius. In these days with the advent of computers and online games, where so many people participate and horn their skill everyday, where such intuitions are giving way to finer calculations and consistency, you can’t call anyone a truly great player unless its proven, like a master poker tournament is conducted similar to mater pair tournament in bridge, where same set of cards are played by different players and adjudged by better play.

Not enough to count just the winners. You have to count the close hands. A close hand is thrice worse than a winner.