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Getting Hit by the Deck

Getting Hit by the Deck
by Chad Holloway of

As most players have come to learn, poker is a game that comes in streaks. When you are running badly, it seems that no matter what you do you cannot win. You will be three-outed repeatedly, won't catch any decent cards, and will continuously lose money. However, when you are running good, it is an experience that'll boost your poker confidence and game tremendously. "Getting hit by the deck" is an expression used to describe when a player cannot seem to lose, is catching amazing cards and is on an unstoppable win streak.

A great example of the two contrasting streaks happened to me not too long ago. I had been running bad for eight sessions where I barely caught any cards and when I did I would still lose; for example, in one hand I had pocket sevens and the flop was 7-2-5 offsuit. I checked, an opponent bet $25, another opponent raised to $50, and I bumped it to $125. My first opponent folded while the other went all-in for about $500. I insta-called for almost all my chips and flipped over the nuts. My opponent showed K-K and quickly scooped a massive pot when the turn brought another king. Things like this are common when running bad; however, it wasn't too long after that that things turned around.


I was running dangerously low on my bankroll and could only spare $100 (the minimum buy-in) to play in a $1-$2 No Limit Hold'em game. Even though I was playing with a severe short stack, I played patiently and top notch poker. It was then that I was "hit by the deck." Within a mere six hours I had taken my $100 and turned it into $1,600! This was the first time I was able to 16x my money in such a short period of time. I was catching unbelievable cards, flopping sets, catching draws, having my opponents bluff into me when I had the nuts, and having my hands hold up.

I was running so well that in one hand I was dealt pocket queens and continued to call my opponent's bet when an ace hit the flop. I knew he had an ace in the hole, but his $15 bets weren't enough to drive me out when I knew I was running good. I know these were terrible calls but it did pay off when I hit a queen on the river. It was unbelievable how well I was running.

There are two important lessons to be learned from these streaks. The first is that no matter how long and how bad you're running, it will eventually turn around. You will need to be patient, play correctly, avoid tilt, and roll with the punches until the time comes when things turn. When this happens, it is important to ride your streak and use it as a confidence-building event. It should be a time that reaffirms your belief in poker that good things happen to you as well. Aside from all of that, just be sure to enjoy being "hit by the deck," because it is an occurrence that is few and far between!


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