You may be at the height of your game and feeling great, until a awful suck-out leaves you feeling like you want to burst something. The competitive sporting nature of any game is often founded on the assumption that if you are the top player, and if you play a perfect match you are assured a win. A lot of us think of ourselves as the greatest player at the table, and we surely feel superior to the fool that called your all-in bet with one card to go and hit his four outer, but all of that is in reality based on a false premise.
Poker is not a sport in the traditional way and you are not always repaid for positive strategy. In fact, you can have a streak of tournament or cash game sittings where you would be challenged to find a single fault on your part, and still be stuck.
True, bad beats are part of the game and we mostly recognize this, but the trick with this, is to turn a bad beat experience around and make it lucrative for you long-term. In reality, most players take a long time to be able to cope with bad beats. Of course bad beats pain everybody, even knowledgeable players, but if you look at bad beats from a mathematical perspective, you also must accept them as indifferent to your lucrative strategy.
What this means is that good players, will normally laugh off a bad beat because they recognize they made a moneymaking play regardless, and the winner of that particular hand committed a poor EV play. They also figure that if players did not make negative EV plays, then this profitable game of poker would not exist. They understand that they require players at the table who make mistakes and suck out to win a pot.
Frequently, I am in poker tournaments and look at weak players who just gathered a huge pot and think to myself, “well I am glad that guy has a stack”. You too should want weak players to have money or stacks at the table.
Good players that really understand the bad beat dilemma have an inherent numbness towards the net result of a hand, and are more engaged in how their antagonists actually played the hand, and what was the thinking behind their strategy – if they had any. Moneymaking players carefully observe events of the situation, and their adversaries, and simply wait for an chance to gain their chips back and then some.