Capitalize on poker mistakes in the right way



Beginners make mistakes while learning to play no-limit hold’em. You must be alert to pick up on these miscues and then exact a premium price for their blunders.

For example, most novice players will continue to make the same mistakes, or at least until they go broke repeatedly, before making an adjustment or quitting the game.

Your objective is to relieve them of their chips every time they cross this mistake line:

• When they make improper bets
• Play weak cards out of position
• Continue to draw without having the proper pot odds
• Get involved with marginal cards
• Pay the wrong price to continue in the hand
• When they don’t know when to cut their losses
• When they try to bluff when it’s obvious they shouldn’t
• Allow many callers to limp in pots
• When they bet a hand that obviously can be beaten
• When they fail to ever defend their blinds, thus allowing others to run over them time and again.

When you have players at your table that demonstrate a propensity for making critical errors and wrong decisions, how should you position yourself to make the most profit?

At the top of your list should be your ability to get into hands heads-up with this player and garner the most chips without making the player feel intimidated, humiliated or overmatched.

NOTE: You’ve likely heard of the Don’t Tap On The Glass Syndrome. The last thing you want to do is scare away the fish. To isolate this player, you must position yourself and skillfully bet enough to chase off other opponents, who, incidentally, if savvy also should be aware of the soft target, without causing your potential ATM from deciding not to engage you.

Don’t focus all of your attention on the easy money, as you’ll often forget to factor in what others yet to act may do to derail your plan of attack.

CAUTION: If you narrow your vision and look only to win against the weaker opponent, you may inadvertently allow another strong player to intercept your play and take down a pot that now includes a good portion of your stack.

While maintaining your patience, discipline and awareness of the table, however, be certain to devote ample consideration to winning pots contested by weaker opponents.

— Al Spath is the former Dean at Poker School Online and continues to teach live and online. His free YouTube Channel (Al Spath) has 200-plus instructional videos. Al’s live broadcasts are on TwitchTV: follow (PositivePokerInsiders). Contact Al at with questions coaching inquires.

Ante Up Magazine

Ante Up Magazine