What Is a Cooler in Poker? – Poker Fortress

Example of a cooler in poker.

Poker is a sport that requires plenty of abilities and a little bit of luck, however there are occasions when luck can bankrupt even the perfect poker gamers. A cooler is among 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 plenty of braveness to get away from it, however what does it actually imply?

A cooler in poker is a really robust hand that loses to an opponent with a fair higher hand. One of the best 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 perfect gamers might discover it onerous to fold quad aces, nevertheless it’ll get crushed.

Example of a cooler in poker.How seemingly it’s that you just fold your quads when you find yourself going through big motion on the river?

If you hit quads, any participant will almost certainly lose some huge cash within the state of affairs above. That may be a actual cooler. Nonetheless, realizing every part about it may well 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 will be devastating for any participant.

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

The instance that we supplied within the intro might seem to be an not possible hand (royal flush over quads), nevertheless 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 troublesome to fold, however it can get crushed as quickly as you attain the showdown.

Nonetheless, 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 probably not the case. In truth, right here’s the primary instance of a cooler that occurred in a Dwell on the Bike sport:

Coolers do occur in reside video games additionally. On-line you play many extra arms 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. Nonetheless, what no one anticipated is that it’ll be a bloody sport. Listed below are the gamers’ arms 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 vendor attracts the flop, it hits A♦ 9♦ 6♦. It offers Gal a made hand (flush), Griffin with a set, and Jonathan with a prime pair (A♥A♦) prime kicker. Simply by these arms, you’ll know that each one three have a decent hand that is sufficient to see the river. Nonetheless, when the vendor 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. Nonetheless, a full home 9♥9♣ 9♦ A♦ A♠ (Griffin’s hand) will all the time beat a flush. Jonathan has the weakest of the three, however a prime set continues to be dominant in most video games, and it’s the one one with the possibility of beating Griffin’s hand.

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

Griffin and Gal checked their arms to try to bait the following participant to take advantage of the flip. A prime 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 will be devastating for anybody as a result of most gamers would do what Jonathan did. It’s probably not a unsuitable transfer, and after two checks from the opposite gamers on the flip, there’s not a lot for a participant with a prime 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 increased stage video games, like our instance, folding a flush on the flip is among the many issues {that a} skilled considers. It’s, maybe, one of many causes it took so lengthy for Gal to affix the pot and name $12,050!

When the vendor drew Ok♦, we knew that this sport can be devastating and tilt-triggering. Earlier than you proceed, take into consideration what you’d do when you’ve got any of the 2 arms 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, making an attempt to extract worth from his full home. There’s not a lot of a choice to make, pondering that he has the perfect hand and solely Gal left on the desk. His 9s filled with aces, on this spherical, solely loses to 3 different arms: 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 shortly 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 excellent probability to extract worth from the opponents. 

Jonathan most likely had the evil grin inside when the vendor attracts a Ok♦. In truth, 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 appears like Jonathan had the premonition that he’s going to win the hand. That’s why he went all-in by the flip, proper? Nonetheless, 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 part round and made the total home a cooler for Griffin.

Regardless of folding the river, Gal additionally suffered an enormous 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 will be, and it may well occur to anybody. In truth, 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 Potential to Keep away from a Cooler?

There’s no easy approach to keep away from a cooler, nevertheless it’s attainable. It’ll be a troublesome process, however the extra you perceive it, the extra seemingly it’s so that you can keep away from it.

Earlier than we proceed, all the time 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. Figuring out that it may well occur anytime, all the time think about a small proportion that you just could be holding a cooler earlier than you play free. Simply because you might have a flush or full home doesn’t imply that you just rule out every part and go all out together with your hand.

Recognizing a Cooler When Taking part in On-line

Should you’ve watched sufficient poker cooler movies, you already know that a few of the commonest feedback you’ll learn are just like any of those:

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

Almost certainly, 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. In truth, 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 not possible to determine when you’ve got a cooler. The simplest, and doubtless the one, means so that you can keep away from it, is when somebody who bets passively immediately begins betting aggressively—extra aggressive than anybody in your desk.

When that occurs, it’s time to provide a cooler a better 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 means 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 right 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 Dwell Video games and Tournaments

A cooler when taking part in reside video games or tournaments is less complicated to identify, however nonetheless not easy. Should you’re taking part in reside, 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 stated than completed 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 stage 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 resolution, and never due to a intestine feeling.

David Fishman folds pocket aces preflop!

Other than the uncontrollable smirk he had after waking as much as pocket aces, there’s no different purpose to fold the perfect hand pre-flop. Perhaps 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 prevented it. Nonetheless, his resolution 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 in opposition to a complete desk of well-known poker gamers, and he would be capable of maintain his winnings if up on the finish of the session. Due to this fact it makes some sense to fold some good arms pre-flop, to not play big pots, and to keep away from the danger of shedding all of it. Apart from that you must by no means fold pocket aces preflop in money video games.

There’s no straightforward and dependable approach to spot a poker cooler aside from the tells and flaws that your opponents have, which may also be difficult to be taught. It’s just like taking part in on-line video games the place gut-feel will all the time be the easiest way for anybody to keep away from a cooler.

Though you’ll have further knowledge to work with, resembling your opponents’ tells, micro-expressions, and different flaws you could exploit, avoiding a cooler will, nearly, all the time haven’t any strategic relevance and is barely 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 among the finest poker gamers ever, Phil Ivey, managed to flee.

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

One of many components that Ivey used was the issues—when you can name what Esfandiari did as a flaw—that his opponent did within the flop and switch. Regardless of having plenty 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 Palms in Tournaments and Dwell Video games

Cooler isn’t enjoyable whenever you’re on the shedding finish, however let’s speak about each. How superior wouldn’t it be so that you can win a 203.6m pot over a cooler? Certainly one 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 arms.

It takes plenty 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 less complicated as a result of gamers will do their greatest to guard their stack and keep within the sport for so long as attainable.

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 questioned what occurs when you had the sensation that you must fold your hand, nevertheless it’s simply too good so that you can do it?

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

It’s enjoyable to observe this hand in hindsight and see the gamers’ playing cards. Nonetheless, when you’re in the identical state of affairs, would you be capable of fold a prime set? It’s onerous for anybody, and also you’ll really want plenty 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 can be nuts to not guess all-in by the river. Should 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 attainable full home in any sport!

Poker Cooler #2 – Vanessa Rousso Shuts Up Tony G

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

Vanessa vs Tony G.

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

Poker Cooler #1 – Set Below 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 explanation why Josephy referred to as Vayo was one thing that he did in a match a day earlier than this hand occurred. If you’re in a event, your opponents will use every part that you just do on the desk in opposition to you, however Vayo used it to his benefit. He performed unpredictably, which paid off by turning into the chip chief in a single sport!


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

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

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