When we talk about good hands that end up losing, it is inevitable to talk about the cooler. In poker, a cooler is mentioned when there are a series of conditions that make it impossible for one excellent hand to beat the other.
This happens because both hands facing each other are of very high quality, but they are destined to lose. Something frustrating to say the least, taking into account that you lose not because you have played badly, but because both players who reach the showdown do so in very even conditions.
But let’s go by parts and see what a cooler in poker implies and what requirements must be met for it to happen.
What is a cooler in poker
Let’s start at the beginning: understand why in poker something like a cooler happens. The cooler in poker has a very specific meaning: two players who have put together extremely strong hands that have led them to fight over a huge pot, which one of them will lose.
It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it seems like fate, or a whim of chance, that both players have seen themselves with the possibility and exploited their skills to be able to challenge for the pot with two premium hands destined, however, to lose.
And why is it called a “cooler”? The concept derives from the word “cooler” in English, cooler, and refers to when there is a cold situation in which there is no possible way out, or that is impossible to avoid. There are no shortcuts to avoid it and it is impossible to avoid, so, if it happens, you will have to expose yourself to lose with a more than good hand.
It is important here to manage the frustration it generates and avoid the tilt, because it is very easy to fall into a maelstrom of bad results when you realize that a very well-played game has resulted in a defeat.
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Examples of cooler poker
To understand how in poker the cooler is gestated, it is necessary to understand the development of the game as an accumulation of circumstances and actions of the players that leads two of them to form a very good hand and that, at least for one of them, will mean losses. Examples of cooler in poker? Here are a few:
- Set over set. A set over set occurs when two players have a pair in one hand and a pair on the flop. Imagine you have 8♣ 8♥ and your opponent has 9♥ 9♣, but the flop shows 8ª 9♦ 2♥. You will both have a strong hand, but surely the one with the pair of nines will end up losing.
- Flush. When two players have a flush (five cards of the same suit), but one of them has a higher flush than the other, it will cause the one with the lower flush, despite having formed a premium hand, to end up losing a large amount of chips. For example:
- You: A♣ J♣ 10♣ 8♣ 6♣.
- Rival: 7♣ 6♣ 5♣ 4♣ 3♣.
- Full House vs Full House. When for example one of the two players in the showdown has a full house of aces kings and the other has a full house of aces kings. Without being a bad hand at all, the aces full house will most likely end up losing to the kings` full house.
- Straight flush. Perhaps the most painful cooler. Getting to tie the best hand there is in poker and see how you lose because of the hierarchy of cards is frustrating to no end. This can happen when, for example, you make 5♥ 6♥ 7♥ 8♥ 9♥ and your opponent makes a 10♥ J♥ Q♥ K♥ A♥, the royal flush.
Now that you know what a cooler is in poker, it is important that you know how to act in case you experience a premium hand and still lose. The thing to avoid above all is to fold, because if you let that one-time flop have a negative impact on your future play, all your aspirations will be compromised.
You should keep in mind that, in a cooler, as with bad beats, you lose because of the circumstances of the game, not because of poor play. Although that makes it more frustrating, it is actually better than losing because of poor play.
Maintaining confidence in your abilities and having a long-term perspective and vision is crucial to avoid a cooler becoming more important than it really is. The cooler in poker has no hidden meaning or anything like that, so forget about it, even if you are superstitious. Poker can be fickle at times, but your game has been good and you should continue to play that way. That’s what will lead you to success despite the game sometimes going against you.
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