A Bad Beat with Pocket Jacks

This is just to show how Poker can be sometimes…Like they say, “it is just a game”, well, I can understand, sometimes it is hard to see it that way.

Just to give you a simple example of when I find it hard to see poker without any anger….

My money-balance: € 0.50, my last money on this poker site…(not NoPayPOKER by the way)

My hand:  Pocket Jacks (cJsJ)  I’m on the BigBlind, €0.01/€0.02

Someone is raising up to €1,- and about 5 people are in. This makes me all-in, wouldn’t you be..?

On the flop: h5 – sQ – dJ so, I hit my pair! Knowing I got a good shot to hit the pot, we are going to the Turn: a h6, nothing good nor bad

Two more people are going all-in, and so I see what is going on…

My neighbor hit his pocket Queen, and so, it is looking bad for me..

The River: d5 does not make it any better for me….

My neighbor won the pot and I leave the poker room, somewhat irritated to be honest, as I know that this is my last hand on this poker room, and I’m not willing to deposit any time soon… So, I got to do my best during the freeroll, hoping I can get some money back there ☺

Besides, let’s think on the other hand; It could have been me with pocket Queens, so I guess, better luck next time! Still, it sucks, don’t you think so..?

NoPay editor – Oh well, that does suck bad, but never mind, when you’re all out of money and luck you can still play free online poker games with us :)

Oh, and by the way, pocket Js when you’re big blind is a hand that should actually be folded as it has a negative expected value. See Building Your Bankroll part 2 – playable pockets – for why this was not actually a true bad beat after all…just an expression of probability –

In early position the ONLY playable pockets with positive expected value are:

  • AA
  • KK
  • QQ
  • AK suited
  • AQ suited
  • AK unsuited
  • That’s it….every other possible pocket you could be dealt while seated in an Early position has a Negative Expected Value (-EV).

    Then again, to be fair to our player, if folding means you’re out of cash then it’s all rather acamedic anyway!

    Plus the probability expressed here is based on a 10 player table so with 5 seated only…possibly it is fair enough to try JJ. Comments?

    One Response to “A Bad Beat with Pocket Jacks”

    1. D_M_Vadnais Says:

      Pocket JJ in the Big Blind with 5 players in the hand, and he needs to go all-in to call the bet. Bad play, good play, bad beat, or serendipity?

      The chance of an Ace, King, or Queen hitting the board, without a Jack hitting the board, during the hand are, on average, in the area of 85% (including the probability that someone holds a pocket overpair)…..and, that makes the pocket JJ an 11 to 2 underdog. Thus Pot Odds of 9 to 2 are a long-term ‘dead even’ proposition.

      However, with 5 players in the hand, our friend with pocket JJ is getting 5 to 1 on his money. And, that would be a long-term 11% advantaged return (11 to 2 versus 5 to 1). Now, would a ‘solid’ player would walk away from a long-term ROI of 11%? The answer is “Yes”….the ‘solid’ player is looking for plays where the ROI is equal to or greater than 40% (at the very least, many will only play at 50% or better; me included).

      So, in the end, it’s not a good play, it ain’t serendipity that caused the loss, it was definitely a bad play, and it sure as heck wasn’t a bad beat….in fact, there’s no such thing as a bad beat; it’s poker.

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