Players at the table, if poker-savvy, should not and will not be criticizing the play of individuals who are making mistakes or unforced errors. And if you watch closely, whether live or online, they’ll tend to shield or protect them if anyone makes a verbal abuse run at that them.
They know making fun or making a fool out of this person will eventually, if not immediately, send them away from the action, the table or the game.
You might notice players giving encouragement and occasional praise to these individuals in hopes of “shining” them on, a term for leading them to believe one thing when the opposite is true.
Those at the table want these individuals to win a hand occasionally, as long as it’s not against them, so the chip flow continues and the player believes they have a chance from time to time.
This will entice them to repeatedly reload their chips when they bust, instead of departing for the day.
One thing you won’t see or you shouldn’t see, is someone coaching or teaching a player at the table. This is frowned upon by opponents and should be left for after the session or when on a break privately. If you genuinely enjoyed their company and want to provide them with some uplifting motivation and reasons to continue playing, pull them aside after they depart the table and consider offering, if they seem receptive to it, ways they could improve or get help for their game.
When at the tables, you generally have no mercy and play to win, but afterward, a number of us want to help a fellow struggling poker player in hopes they can improve and help the game grow stronger and richer.
On a final note, the days in which you play poker should be some of the most memorable days of your life. It’s not advisable to spend time dwelling on negative results such as bad beats.
Learn from them, of course, but focus your positive energy on not repeating a bonehead move and stay focused in the present.
Don’t let losing a hand or a session deter you from having a great time; learn from your mistakes so you don’t repeat them. Replay hands in your mind to see if you could have done things a bit differently to change the outcome and always play fair and play to win.
— 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with questions coaching inquires.