What Is a Cooler in Poker? – Poker Fortress

Example of a cooler in poker.

Poker is a sport that requires numerous abilities and a little bit of luck, however there are occasions when luck can bankrupt even the very best 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 numerous 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 good 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 very best gamers might discover it exhausting to fold quad aces, however it’ll get crushed.

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

Whenever 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, figuring out every part about it will possibly assist save your stack subsequent time, or forestall you from going into tilt. So, let’s undergo it in nice element, together with just a few hand histories displaying how a cooler may be devastating for any participant.

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

The instance that we offered within the intro might seem to be an inconceivable 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 simple—it’s a card that you simply’ll discover very tough to fold, however it’s going to get crushed as quickly as you attain the showdown.

Nonetheless, because of the very low chance of it ever occurring, many suppose it solely occurs when taking part in on-line video games. That’s probably not the case. In actual fact, right here’s the primary instance of a cooler that occurred in a Reside on the Bike sport:

Coolers do occur in reside video games additionally. On-line you play many extra fingers every hour so it feels you get into coolers extra typically.

As quickly because the flop hits, everybody is aware of that it’ll be an enormous pot. Nonetheless, what no one anticipated is that it’ll be a bloody sport. Listed below are the gamers’ fingers 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 supplier attracts the flop, it hits A♦ 9♦ 6♦. It provides Gal a made hand (flush), Griffin with a set, and Jonathan with a high pair (A♥A♦) high kicker. Simply by taking a look at these fingers, you’ll know that every one three have a good hand that is sufficient to see the river. Nonetheless, when the supplier 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 at all times beat a flush. Jonathan has the weakest of the three, however a high 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 fingers, and nobody may blame them for attempting to extract worth. Are you able to think about your self folding any of those fingers at any sport?

Griffin and Gal checked their fingers to attempt 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 may 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 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 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 supplier drew Ok♦, we knew that this sport could be devastating and tilt-triggering. Earlier than you proceed, take into consideration what you’d do when you’ve got any of the 2 fingers 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 choice to make, pondering that he has the very best hand and solely Gal left on the desk. His 9s filled with aces, on this spherical, solely loses to a few different fingers: 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 useless by the flip. He rapidly folds his hand, however should 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 in all probability had the evil grin inside when the supplier attracts a Ok♦. In actual fact, should 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 in all probability 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? 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 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 robust hand, and it’s exhausting for any of them to fold on the flip.

That’s how devastating a cooler may be, and it will possibly occur to anybody. In actual fact, should you’ve been taking part in poker for a while, we’re certain that you simply’ve encountered it greater than as soon as! It may be sophisticated to handle as a result of, most often, 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 option to keep away from a cooler, however it’s potential. It’ll be a tough process, 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 operating 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. Realizing that it will possibly occur anytime, at all times think about a small proportion that you simply may be holding a cooler earlier than you play free. Simply because you may have a flush or full home doesn’t imply that you simply rule out every part and go all out together with your hand.

Recognizing a Cooler When Enjoying On-line

When you’ve watched sufficient poker cooler movies, that a number of the most typical 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.

Most 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 simply too broad. In actual fact, should you flopped straight and also you’re drawing useless, it’s cooler in HUSNG. It additionally occurs too typically when taking part in on-line poker as a result of there’s minimal information 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 robust hand. Since there aren’t any tells or flaws that you need to use to learn a participant, it’s virtually inconceivable to determine when you’ve got a cooler. The simplest, and possibly 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 the next chance when deciding your subsequent transfer. Passive gamers, particularly nits, will solely play aggressive once 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 simply 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 Enjoying Reside Video games and Tournaments

A cooler when taking part in reside video games or tournaments is simpler to identify, however nonetheless not easy. When you’re taking part in reside, you’re going through your opponent—you possibly can 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 carried out as a result of it takes in depth 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 just a few eventualities 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 purpose to fold the very best hand pre-flop. Perhaps it was as a result of he made essentially the most obvious expression that he has a dominant hand, or maybe he knew what was coming and prevented 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 maintain his winnings if up on the finish of the session. Subsequently it makes some sense to fold some good fingers pre-flop, to not play big 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 simple and dependable option to spot a poker cooler apart from the tells and flaws that your opponents have, which can be difficult to study. It’s just like taking part in on-line video games the place gut-feel will at all times be one of the best ways for anybody to keep away from a cooler.

Though you’ll have further information to work with, similar to your opponents’ tells, micro-expressions, and different flaws that you would be able to exploit, avoiding a cooler will, virtually, at all times don’t have 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 will keep away from a cooler. Right here’s one other video that’ll present you a possible cooler that among the best 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—should you can name what Esfandiari did as a flaw—that his opponent did within the flop and switch. Regardless of having numerous 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 Fingers in Tournaments and Reside Video games

Cooler is rarely 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 among these movies will present you ways that feels, however as an alternative of simply watching the movies attempt to pause and suppose what you’d do with such fingers.

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

Keep 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 potential.

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 should 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. Nonetheless, should you’re in the identical state of affairs, would you have the ability to fold a high set? It’s exhausting for anybody, and also you’ll actually need numerous 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 simple 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. When you’re on the identical spot, taking part in micro-stakes at a web based poker web site, you’d additionally attempt to extract worth from a 10s filled with aces, proper? Sadly, the river card hit aces filled with kings—the best potential 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 will use it to tilt their opponents. That’s what Tony G did, and every part gave the impression to be going effectively for him, however watch and see what occurs by the river:

Vanessa vs Tony G.

That’s like karma instantly. Regardless of speaking all through this publish about how a poker cooler sucks and why it’ll be exhausting for anybody to flee, for some purpose, we expect 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 method that took a day to repay:

One of many explanation 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 event, your opponents will use every part that you simply 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 robust hand that any participant will discover very exhausting to fold, however loses to a good higher hand. It has led many gamers to lose their bids in tournaments and HUSNG gamers shedding their stacks immediately.

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

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Author: Charles Cox