Everyone knows that there's a lot of luck in poker. But not everyone appreciates exactly how much luck is involved, or the various forms that luck can take. When we see someone stay alive by hitting a 45-to-l shot on the river, we all say "What luck!" In this hand, we might think that Sam Farha was very lucky to hit trips on the flop (and indeed he was) but we might not notice some of the other big lucky swings in the hand.
For instance, let's go back and look again at my decision to just call, rather than raise, with my AVK4 before the flop. I thought at the time it was a very close play, and a couple of factors pushed me towards a call. But suppose I had been just a little impatient, or had let my concentration flag for a bit, and decided to raise instead? Here's what would have happened:
Going the other way with my close decision would have radically affected the situation at the table — a hugely lucky (but invisible) swing for everyone concerned.
Playing Styles and Starting Requirements
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