Example of a cooler in poker.

What Is a Cooler in Poker? – Poker Fortress

Poker is a sport that requires a number of expertise and a little bit of luck, however there are occasions when luck can bankrupt even the most effective poker gamers. A cooler is likely one of the worst issues that may occur to anybody as a result of it crushes any technique that you need to use in poker. It takes a number of braveness to get away from it, however what does it actually imply?

A cooler in poker is a really sturdy hand that loses to an opponent with an excellent higher hand. The perfect examples of a cooler is a participant holding A♥ A♠ on a desk with Ok♦ A♣ A♦ J♦ 10♦, whereas the opposite participant has Ok♠ Q♦. Even the most effective gamers might discover it onerous to fold quad aces, however it’ll get crushed.

Example of a cooler in poker.How possible it’s that you just fold your quads if you end up going through large motion on the river?

Whenever you hit quads, any participant will almost definitely lose some huge cash within the situation above. That may be a actual cooler. Nevertheless, figuring out every thing about it might probably assist save your stack subsequent time, or forestall you from going into tilt. So, let’s undergo it in nice element, together with a number of hand histories displaying how a cooler might be devastating for any participant.

Cooler: What Is It and Why Can It Be Devastating?

The instance that we offered within the intro might look like an unattainable hand (royal flush over quads), however it’s an precise hand historical past from a PokerStars sport between “Luca$$$ino” and “trivett123”.

A cooler is sort of easy—it’s a card that you just’ll discover very tough to fold, however it should get crushed as quickly as you attain the showdown.

Nevertheless, because of the very low chance of it ever taking place, many assume it solely occurs when taking part in on-line video games. That’s not likely the case. Actually, right here’s the primary instance of a cooler that occurred in a Reside on the Bike sport:

Coolers do occur in dwell video games additionally. On-line you play many extra palms every hour so it feels you get into coolers extra usually.

As quickly because the flop hits, everybody is aware of that it’ll be a giant pot. Nevertheless, what no person anticipated is that it’ll be a bloody sport. Listed here are the gamers’ palms pre-flop:

Griffin under-the-gun wakes as much as 9♥ 9♣Gal at UTG+1 picks up 7♦ 4♦Jonathan at HJ will get a premium A♥ Ok♥

When the seller attracts the flop, it hits A♦ 9♦ 6♦. It offers Gal a made hand (flush), Griffin with a set, and Jonathan with a high pair (A♥A♦) high kicker. Simply by these palms, you’ll know that each one three have a decent hand that is sufficient to see the river. Nevertheless, when the seller attracts A♠, issues change!

By the flip, Gal nonetheless has a comparatively highly effective hand, sufficient for many individuals to play the river and even attain the showdown. Nevertheless, a full home 9♥9♣ 9♦ A♦ A♠ (Griffin’s hand) will at all times beat a flush. Jonathan has the weakest of the three, however a high set remains to be dominant in most video games, and it’s the one one with the prospect of beating Griffin’s hand.

At this place, everybody has each cause to play their palms, and nobody might blame them for attempting to extract worth. Are you able to think about your self folding any of those palms at any sport?

Griffin and Gal checked their palms to try to bait the following participant to take advantage of the flip. A high set is a dominant hand, and plenty of micro-stakes gamers will even play it till the showdown. That’s what Jonathan did: he took the bait and went all-in regardless of having the weakest hand.

A cooler might be devastating for anybody as a result of most gamers would do what Jonathan did. It’s not likely a flawed transfer, and after two checks from the opposite gamers on the flip, there’s not a lot for a participant with a high set to do. Griffin, being the participant who has the nuts, calls the guess.

Gal, the UTG+1, is the following to maneuver. It’s the place you see the distinction between professionals and informal cash gamers. At larger degree video games, like our instance, folding a flush on the flip is likely one of the many issues {that a} skilled considers. It’s, maybe, one of many causes it took so lengthy for Gal to hitch the pot and name $12,050!

When the seller drew Ok♦, we knew that this sport could be devastating and tilt-triggering. Earlier than you proceed, take into consideration what you’d do if in case you have any of the 2 palms remaining: a flush as early because the flop and a full home (9♥9♣ 9♦ A♦ A♠) by the flip.

Griffin, being the UTG, did a fast all-in, attempting to extract worth from his full home. There’s not a lot of a call to make, pondering that he has the most effective hand and solely Gal left on the desk. His 9s filled with aces, on this spherical, solely loses to 3 different palms: kings filled with aces (extremely unlikely to achieve the river with the flip’s motion), aces filled with kings, and quad aces.

For Gal, the selection was easy as a result of he was already having doubts that he’s drawing lifeless by the flip. He rapidly folds his hand, however when you’re on the identical spot, would you do it with a flush? We all know that many gamers would name the all-in, pondering that it’s their good likelihood to extract worth from the opponents. 

Jonathan most likely had the evil grin inside when the seller attracts a Ok♦. Actually, when you watch intently, you’ll discover a micro-expression he did at 4:47 as quickly as he realizes that he’s made the stone-cold-nuts. The one factor that he most likely regrets is that he doesn’t have any chips left to make the ultimate guess.

In hindsight, it seems like Jonathan had the premonition that he’s going to win the hand. That’s why he went all-in by the flip, proper? Nevertheless, what occurred to him was that he took the bait laid by Griffin and Gal. Though he’s within the place to characterize a a lot stronger hand, most of it loses to 9s filled with aces. It was solely a fortunate river card that turned every thing round and made the total home a cooler for Griffin.

Regardless of folding the river, Gal additionally suffered a large loss as quickly as he referred to as the all-in guess from Jonathan by the flip. We are able to say that his hand was additionally a cooler as a result of, finally, his flushes will lose to aces filled with kings.

Example of a cooler on the river in poker.Each gamers with a powerful hand, and it’s onerous for any of them to fold on the flip.

That’s how devastating a cooler might be, and it might probably occur to anybody. Actually, when you’ve been taking part in poker for a while, we’re positive that you just’ve encountered it greater than as soon as! It may be difficult to handle as a result of, typically, a cooler has 0 EV (Anticipated Worth), and there’s no strategic relevance to taking part in it. The one factor that may save a participant from it’s his gut-feel and whether or not he follows it or not.

Is It Even Doable to Keep away from a Cooler?

There’s no easy strategy to keep away from a cooler, however it’s doable. It’ll be a tough activity, however the extra you perceive it, the extra possible it’s so that you can keep away from it.

Earlier than we proceed, at all times keep in mind that a cooler will hit:

whether or not you prefer it or not;whether or not you’re prepared or not;whether or not you’re taking part in micro-stakes or high-stakes; andwhether you’re working good or dangerous.

You’ll by no means know when it’ll occur, and when it does, it often takes an enormous chunk of your chips. Understanding that it might probably occur anytime, at all times think about a small share that you just is likely to be holding a cooler earlier than you play unfastened. Simply because you may have a flush or full home doesn’t imply that you just rule out every thing and go all out along with your hand.

Recognizing a Cooler When Taking part in On-line

In case you’ve watched sufficient poker cooler movies, you already know that among the commonest feedback you’ll learn are much like any of those:

So it occurs in dwell video games as nicely.It occurs to me each time I’m taking part in; it’s not that unusual.I get the identical each hour on any day that I play.

Most definitely, these are heads up SNG (HUSNG) gamers or those that play at on-line poker websites. In HUSNG, the definition of a cooler is just too broad. Actually, when you flopped straight and also you’re drawing lifeless, it’s cooler in HUSNG. It additionally occurs too usually when taking part in on-line poker as a result of there may be minimal knowledge that you need to use to keep away from it.

Most gamers who’re taking part in on-line poker will go nuts with a powerful hand. Since there are not any tells or flaws that you need to use to learn a participant, it’s nearly unattainable to determine if in case you have a cooler. The best, and doubtless the one, approach so that you can keep away from it, is when somebody who bets passively out of the blue begins betting aggressively—extra aggressive than anybody in your desk.

When that occurs, it’s time to offer a cooler the next chance when deciding your subsequent transfer. Passive gamers, particularly nits, will solely play aggressive after they have two issues: tilt or dominant hand. Sadly, that’s the one approach so that you can keep away from it when taking part in on-line poker, and even with that, it nonetheless has 0 EV with no strategic relevance.

Even with the obvious signal that you just might need a cooler when taking part in on-line poker, it’ll nonetheless boil all the way down to intestine really feel.

Some gamers have a intestine really feel that is sufficient to save them, whereas others don’t. That’s the way it works and why it’s one of many worst issues that may occur to you.

Recognizing a Cooler When Taking part in Reside Video games and Tournaments

A cooler when taking part in dwell video games or tournaments is simpler to identify, however nonetheless not easy. In case you’re taking part in dwell, you’re going through your opponent—you may see his reactions, his tells, and if he has a flaw, you need to use it to your benefit. All of those are simpler mentioned than performed as a result of it takes intensive expertise for a participant to identify a flaw or inform and exploit it.

In fact, some gamers appear to have the best degree of instinct when taking part in poker. Earlier than we present you a video, allow us to ask you this primary: will you, in your wildest dream, ever fold pocket aces pre-flop? There are literally a number of situations the place folding aces preflop is an accurate determination, and never due to a intestine feeling.

David Fishman folds pocket aces preflop!

Except for the uncontrollable smirk he had after waking as much as pocket aces, there’s no different cause to fold the most effective hand pre-flop. Possibly it was as a result of he made probably the most obvious expression that he has a dominant hand, or maybe he knew what was coming and averted it. Nonetheless, his determination to fold pocket aces pre-flop appeared to repay as quickly because the flop hit quad 6.

This was a part of a particular promotion the place one novice poker participant was taking part in towards an entire desk of well-known poker gamers, and he would have the ability to preserve his winnings if up on the finish of the session. Subsequently it makes some sense to fold some good palms pre-flop, to not play large pots, and to keep away from the chance of shedding all of it. Apart from that it’s best to by no means fold pocket aces preflop in money video games.

There’s no straightforward and dependable strategy to spot a poker cooler apart from the tells and flaws that your opponents have, which can be difficult to be taught. It’s much like taking part in on-line video games the place gut-feel will at all times be the easiest way for anybody to keep away from a cooler.

Though you’ll have further knowledge to work with, corresponding to your opponents’ tells, micro-expressions, and different flaws that you would be able to exploit, avoiding a cooler will, nearly, at all times don’t have any strategic relevance and is just primarily based on gut-feel.

Not all hope is misplaced, although, as a result of there are gamers who’re so good that they’ll keep away from a cooler. Right here’s one other video that’ll present you a possible cooler that top-of-the-line poker gamers ever, Phil Ivey, managed to flee.

Daniel Negreanu explains the hand between Phil Ivey and Antonio Esfandiari.

One of many elements that Ivey used was the failings—when you can name what Esfandiari did as a flaw—that his opponent did within the flop and switch. Regardless of having a number of potential for the river card, Ivey had the gut-feel that he ought to fold his hand, which saved him from a probably devastating river card.

Cooler Arms in Tournaments and Reside Video games

Cooler isn’t enjoyable whenever you’re on the shedding finish, however let’s discuss each. How superior wouldn’t it be so that you can win a 203.6m pot over a cooler? One in every of these movies will present you ways that feels, however as an alternative of simply watching the movies attempt to pause and assume what you’d do with such palms.

It takes a number of braveness and talent to fold a powerful hand, however watching these movies will make you perceive why {many professional} gamers assume that it’s irrelevant. 

Bear in mind, in tournaments getting away from a cooler is simpler as a result of gamers will do their greatest to guard their stack and keep within the sport for so long as doable.

Regardless of that, many professionals nonetheless fall prey to shedding over a cooler.

Poker Cooler #4 – Prime Set Turned Sick Cooler

Have you ever ever puzzled what occurs when you had the sensation that it’s best to fold your hand, however it’s simply too good so that you can do it?

This video reveals you what occurs when you may have the highest set:

It’s enjoyable to look at this hand in hindsight and see the gamers’ playing cards. Nevertheless, when you’re in the identical scenario, would you have the ability to fold a high set? It’s onerous for anybody, and also you’ll actually need a number of time to decide. Sadly, she didn’t, which ended her bid for a WSOP bracelet a bit too early.

Poker Cooler #3 – Sickest Poker Hand of 2017 by a Mile!


On this video, you’ll see how straightforward it’s for the river card to show a probably devastating hand into the stone-cold-nuts:

This cooler was so dangerous that anybody could be nuts to not guess all-in by the river. In case you’re on the identical spot, taking part in micro-stakes at a web based poker web site, you’d additionally try to extract worth from a 10s filled with aces, proper? Sadly, the river card hit aces filled with kings—the best doable full home in any sport!

Poker Cooler #2 – Vanessa Rousso Shuts Up Tony G

Poker gamers are allowed to speak to one another, and typically, they’ll use it to tilt their opponents. That’s what Tony G did, and every thing gave the impression to be going nicely for him, however watch and see what occurs by the river:

Vanessa vs Tony G.

That’s like karma immediately. Regardless of speaking all through this put up about how a poker cooler sucks and why it’ll be onerous for anybody to flee, for some cause, we predict that this one is well-deserved!

Poker Cooler #1 – Set Underneath Set Coolers

Not all coolers are made equal, and whenever you’re on the poker desk, something can occur.

This video reveals you a technique that took a day to repay:

One of many the reason why Josephy referred to as Vayo was one thing that he did in a match a day earlier than this hand occurred. Whenever you’re in a match, your opponents will use every thing that you just do on the desk towards you, however Vayo used it to his benefit. He performed unpredictably, which paid off by changing into the chip chief in a single sport!


A poker cooler is a really sturdy hand that any participant will discover very onerous to fold, however loses to an excellent higher hand. It has led many gamers to lose their bids in tournaments and HUSNG gamers shedding their stacks immediately.

Though it’s doable to identify a cooler, it gained’t be straightforward for anybody to fold it. It’ll take distinctive expertise, focus, card-reading skills, and gut-feel to flee it.

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Author: Randy Perez