The way to tell a excellent bad beat story (with a master story teller)

Ever noticed a great bad beat story? Neither have we. We requested multi-award winning storyteller Matthew Dicks to describe what makes a great person, and the way it is possible to create your next bad defeat less debilitating (and more enjoyable ) for the remainder of us.

Plus, you will not ever think of this movie Titanic at the Exact Same manner again…

It is not that bad beat stories are inherently awful, however because you know, all are.

Within time, your friend tells you in becoming his pocket aces cracked by runner-runner deuce, although there’s real pain on your buddy’s voice because losing cash is obviously painful but particularly significant when we feel as if we have already made it means nothing for you. It is like listening to someone tell you concerning the makeup of the fantasy football club or their birdie on the seventeenth hole orthe worst of all, even their newest Dungeons and Dragons campaign.

Not one of those things, such as your bad beat story, are great stories as they aren’t really tales.

Most bad beat stories really are a straightforward recounting of a hand. A reflection of chance. Yes, having experts divided by runner-runner is poor, but additionally, it occurs about three% of their moment. It is not just a special occasion.

Nor can it be interesting at all.

Stories aren’t statistics. Stories aren’t unfortunate draws in the mathematical tote of probabilities. They aren’t opportunities to complain about bad fortune and get reassurances which you played with the hand correctly.

The Stories Worth Telling Are About 1 Thing: Change

I was one sort of person, but today I am a different sort of person.

Whether it is a film or a novel or perhaps a television series, this formula is true for virtually all stories. The most persuasive stories are those regarding the means human beings alter. These modifications take one of 2 kinds:

Transformation or understanding.

I had been just one sort of person, but something occurred, and I’m a different sort of person.

Or…

I’d like to believe 1 way, then a thing occurred, and I think otherwise.

That is it. The stories that folks wish to listen are constantly concerning the development or devolution of a personality. In the instance of this bad beat story, this personality is that. Big or small, it is these transformations which are necessary for a narrative to be meaningful to a viewer.

Matthew Dicks performing stage

Bad Beat Stories May Take Many Forms

For instance:

  • I was able to believe player throughout the desk was still an idiot, however, it ends up I was the fool.
  • I thought I possessed the tablebut runner-runner deuce educated me that nobody owns anything .
  • In theory that my future was sure, then that instant in the poker table reminded me that life is more arbitrary, and nothing ought to be taken for granted.
  • I’d like to believe the world despised me, but the idiot throughout the table struck runner-runner to fulfill a dual gut-shot right, and that I knew it for sure. The world hates me.
  • I’d like to believe that making the perfect choice was all that mattered, I flipped over the desk threw my beer in the walls, and understood that creating the ideal decision does not mean squat if your competitor busts you onto a two-outer.


Stories Also Needs to Be Interesting

If your intention is to recount your poor beat encounter to a buddy absent any comedy, suspense, surprise, or some sudden twist, then please do not.

In case you are not attempting to amuse, then you’re just begging for empathy. Appealing to other people to affirm the world turned on a specific hand.

I am not a terrible player. I only got unlucky. Right?

In case that is your target, stop today. Nobody likes your dumb bad beat story. Nobody wishes to listen to it. At bestthey may listen because they want you, but finally they will quit liking you since sympathy-scrounging is a bad approach to waste someone’s time.

But fear not, intrepid card player. There’s a means to tell a bad beat story. There’s a means to talk about your expertise without being loathed.

Start by restricting the amount of awful beat stories you inform. In case you’ve got over half a dozen, then you’ve a lot of. Every participant that plays poker for any period of time will encounter bad beats. A lot of these. Too many . A fantastic storyteller knows that just the top stories must rise into the very best and be informed.

Not each Bad Beat Story is Value Notification

Your task us to inform just your very best bad beat stories. Those which are definitely the most enjoyable. Those which are the most special. The tales which include the maximum surprise, humor, comedy, and/or joy.

YesI stated delight. Your work telling a bad beat story isn’t to alleviate yourself of any weight. It is not to affirm you made the perfect choice. It is not intended to serve you in any manner.

We tell stories to entertain our viewers. To pleasure them.

Here is the way a story will finally serve us. A well told tale is likely to make a viewer feel more attached to this storyteller. It’ll make them wish to invest additional time in the business of this storyteller. It’ll make an audience such as the storyteller more.

Good storytellers do not look for sympathy or verification they were wronged. “Woe is me” Is just woe for your viewers. Rather, wonderful storytellers try for link through vulnerability, credibility, and also the capability to amuse.

Here is how:

Three Keys to Telling a Fantastic Bad Beat Story

Stakes: Stories desire bets. You have to continue to keep your viewers wondering, hoping, wanting, scratching, or flashing for or against you personally. Since the protagonist of the narrative, you have to want or want something. There has to be resistance and hazard.

Matthew Dicks in The Liar Display

Those bets can’t merely be processors. In case your bad beat story is finally the story of the way you dropped chips or cash, nobody wishes to hear that story. That narrative is as normal as the day is longterm. Anyway, There are a Lot More fascinating things at stake in a poker table:

Reputation. Self-confidence. Self-respect. Your winning series. Your losing series. Your quiet, private, continuing war against a competition. Your capacity to return home for your partner with evidence that poker could be your next career move.

Among my favourite bad beat stories entails a hands against a man who I will call Sweeney. Sweeney and that I have a relationship relationship. I understand that in his heart, Sweeney is a fantastic individual. Devoted husband. Terrific dad. Runs a nonprofit that’s making a difference on the planet. However, his appetite for popularity, his urge for admiration, and his always inept way of getting these items frequently lead him to frighten me no end.

“Hey! Would you enjoy my conversation?”

“The way to a shout-out in your own podcast?”

“Yo! How do I score some free tickets to my friends into your display?”

“Would you capture this putt if it belongs in? I would like to place on Instagram.”

Sweeney’s soul at in the perfect location, but his approaches suck. Because of this, dropping to him in the poker table could be catastrophic. Not only can it make me question his ability for a card player, but Sweeney would definitely parlay his sudden success into several frustrating attempts at attention-seeking. Social networking mentions about his success. Endlessly repeated references to this terrible beat for ages. Crediting himself to get a wise drama once the math ordered I had the very best of it once we pushed. And because we work my coworkers would definitely be regaled concerning his success for a long time to come.

My bad beat story is not about processors or cash lost. It is about the consequences of this type of loss. The human effect to the reduction of fries.

All these are bets. That is the reason why dropping to Sweeney hurt a lot and leaves for a fantastic bad beat story.

Characters: Each fantastic story needs great characters. Authentically recognized human beings. Your bad beat story can not be on your cards. The narrative should be about individuals. Four queens beating experts full of kings isn’t a persuasive narrative. Even slow rolling four queens against aces full of kings is not very amusing. But in the event the participant sitting across from there is a fully realized human being that your audience could see and understand, then the terrible defeat along with the slow roll imply something.

Do not overlook that your story needs characters

That is the reason why movies, television, and publications are in their finest if their antagonists are fully realized characters, finish with nuance, sensible motives, and relatability. Within my bad beat story, I would like you to view Sweeney on your head. I would like you to have a feeling of this guy. I need him to replicate a person in your life.

Die Hard is really a fantastic movie because Bruce Willis plays a likeable, relatable, totally amusing protagonist, although it is because he plays an antagonist as brightly recognized as Han Gruber the movie soars. Gruber is a wonderful bad guy. Ruthless, funny, encouraged, and much likeable. If Willis was fighting nameless, faceless terrorists,” the movie would muster, it is just when we may observe the protagonist and the antagonist as actual people an audience is really participated.

In poker, we do not play with the cards. We perform with our opponents. Stories are the exact same. Inform the story of you and your competitor. Perhaps not the cards.

Surprise: Last piece of information may be the most significant. Surprise is the very best thing which a storyteller can provide an audience. Nothing seems better. Surprise generates the tears, laughter, gasps, and crazy verbal exclamations which make tales great. Surprise is the manner a storyteller generates an emotional reaction in their crowd.

so as to surprise your crowd, begin by not giving your own story. Do not let your viewers know that you’re telling a bad beat story. Should you start your story with,”You aren’t going to believe what happened,” I guarantee you your audience won’t just think you but will probably not need to listen to it.

should you start your story with,”Want to listen to the worst bad beat story of all time?” The solution is no. Maybe your friend will gratify you to be considerate, however, why bother telling you? You have given away the narrative. Yesthere are a few details to disclose, however, we know what will take place.

Cards will be flipped. Chips will be missing. You’ll be mad.

Rather, start your narrative with no of the verbal detritus that destroys the conclusion of numerous potentially great stories. Do not open with a sentence such as,”This needs become the worst bad beat of time.” Save some mention of this terrible defeat for the moment as it really takes place in the narrative. Keep your viewers wondering if this really is actually the narrative of a poker success or even a poker defeat.

Wondering is exactly what keeps your crowd listening. Wondering is exactly what audiences need to perform.

The Guideline is that this:

If you’re amazed over the context of the narrative, your viewers also needs to be amazed. Bad beats are almost always surprising. They constantly shock and dismay us. Though the chance of runner-runner deuce is present, the show of the instant deuce is astonishing. Devastating, also.

Do not deny your viewers the exact same surprise. Do not steal off that gut attack by providing up the end from the very first sentence.

Titanic is a Bad Beat Story.

Some reason that the very calcified poker participant wept at the conclusion of Titanic is since we did not believe Jack was about to expire.

The protagonist enthusiast Jack that saves the day expires since the love of his own life will not slip over two toes so he can climb on such a doorway. The crowd is really surprised that Jack has expired in the north Atlantic.

Exactly the exact same is true for The Sixth Sense. Another bad beat story for a personality that sees out just at the close of the movie which he is dead.

Imagine how dreadful it would have been had you understood this secret in the beginning of the film.

Filmmakers comprehend the significance of sudden their own audience. Do the exact same for the bad beat story rather than permitting the viewer to find that the terrible beat coming before the last card drops or the other hand is shown. Enable your reduction to be surprising to your viewers because it was for you.

Titanic is also a fantastic bad beat story as it’s actual stakes. Not merely can there be a life-or-death struggle for success, but there’s also a guy attempting to win within the center of a lady. Upper course teeming with lesser course.

Additionally, it has excellent characters. Jack and Rose are the figures that we believe around in Titanic, however Billy Zane’s portrayal of this upper-class Caledon Hockley (what a title!) Is equally as significant. We hate Zane’s character as much as we all adore Jack and Rose, and without him, the story is all about man versus sinking ship. Not a bad story, but not quite as fantastic as such as an antagonist that we could despise.

It is tough to despise an iceberg. It’s simple to despise Zane’s personality.

Sweeney conquer me at a money game, breaking me forcing me to rebuy. The touch hand was one in which the kettle was enormous. After several increases and re-raises, Sweeney turned upwards of a flush to conquer directly (grabbing runner-runner nightclubs to do this ) however slunk back into his seat and said,”Two group ”

He did not find the flush. He believed he’d dropped to my own straight.

Among my tablemates, that had been reveling in my losses during nighttime, kindly pointed out to this moron I had misplaced. And as though on cue, Sweeney cried,”You never saw it coming!”

Yeah. Neither did .

Just as anticipated, he is still talking about that night to the afternoon.


Matthew Dicks is a 50-moment Moth StorySLAM winner and 6-time GrandSLAM winner whose stories are showcased in their nationally syndicated Moth Radio Hour and also their weekly tradition.  One of the stories has also appeared on PBS’s Stories In the Phase.  You will discover more about him on his site and then follow him Twitter @MatthewDicks.