Poker is an incredibly exciting card game that covers numerous aspects and is multi-layered. Players who choose to try this popular game must be attentive and stress-resistant in order to compete at a high level. On top of that, they need to understand that the luck factor is also incredibly important in the game, especially if they know what is a cooler in poker.
Even if it seems to you that your hand is the best, you will certainly come across a gambler who thinks the same way. In such cases, only luck can determine the winner who is fortunate enough to take the entire pot. As for their opponent, they will fall victim to a cooler – a game situation that we will discuss in detail in today's article.
Cooler poker meaning
A cooler is a term used in poker to describe the situation where one player thinks their hand is the best but is faced with an even more impressive hand and loses due to poor card combination. The term comes from a card game called "beat-the-button," which was popular in 19th-century America. In this game, players threw down their cards at the same time, trying to get the highest combination of cards; if multiple players threw down a winning combination, they would then have to throw down again to determine who won.
If you wonder whats a cooler in poker is, there are many different ways to create one. The most common way is when two players have excellent hands, and one of them is sure of his coming victory. As a rule, this confidence is accompanied by some kind of trash-talking and attempts to influence the decisions of other players.
When another remaining player with a superb hand gets the best final cards, they cool off the overconfident gamblers and make them behave much more calmly at the poker table.
Why do coolers matter in poker?
Since poker is based not only on the players’ ability to capitalize on the game rules but also on their psychological preparation, coolers are extremely important in any poker session. When players get a hand with amazing cards multiple times in a row, they tend to be defiant and bet aggressively. And in many cases, such successful gamblers can destroy their opponents from a mental perspective.
On the other hand, if one of the players manages to get a terrific hand and goes into one on one battle against the perceived “hot” gambler, they can change the course of the game dramatically. Once the overconfident player realizes that they are not the only one claiming the pot, they begin to act much more calmly. And when they see how their seemingly unbeatable hand leaves them with nothing, their playing style changes. They often begin to behave more cautiously, which affects all subsequent rounds.
Successful female poker player Vanessa Rousso definitely knows a thing or two about these situations. She constantly participates in prestigious tournaments and competes against top-tier opponents. In the event from this video, her loud opponent was Tony G. Being confident in his cards, he could not stop talking about the potential outcomes of the game, while Rousso tried to focus on the next decision.
As the round progressed, the overall pot reached $192 000 when Vanessa went all in. Her move was correct, Tony finally shut his mouse, and the whole landscape of the game changed. If we are talking about the poker cooler definition, this case describes such a set of circumstances perfectly.
The most memorable poker coolers
Professional players encounter cooler scenarios quite often. Here are a few cases that are considered iconic in the poker world.
- Achilleas Kallakis vs Tim Flanders vs Donnacha O'Dea;
- Gaelle Baumann vs Vanessa Selbst at the 2017 WSOP Main Event;
- Gus Hansen vs Daniel Negreanu on the High Stakes Poker TV program.
How can players avoid coolers in poker?
One of the most common ways that poker players can bypass a cooler is by avoiding certain cards that they have no use for in their hand. For example, if a player has a pair of kings and they are dealt an ace and another king, they may not want to keep both of those cards on their hand because they will be unable to make any good combinations with them. Instead, they would discard one of the cards so that their opponent cannot make a pair with their own ace.
Another way to avoid a cooler is by staying focused on what your opponent is doing and trying to figure out what they might have in their hand. This can help you prevent yourself from making flawed decisions when it comes down to betting or folding your hand.
Regardless of what level of poker you play, you should know cooler poker meaning as you will inevitably experience this situation at some point in your gambling life. When two or more players get a promising hand, each of them counts on luck to bring a perfect card combination. However, as we know, this “capricious lady” tends to favor only one gambler, and it is they who emerge victorious from cooler situations.
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