Poker’s like a box of chocolates

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Are you acting as Forrest Gump’s mother suggested, stupid is as stupid does, or are you able to avoid making stupid moves at the table? Understanding it’s not all that hard to make a mistake, are you the one who turns the making of a simple mistake into a new art form?

We’ve all been there, trying to make a hand in an attempt to take down a pot when we know we have no business being in that hand.
Lately, I’m seeing repeated attempts to play this way, leaving no doubt as to the caliber of competitors.

Just this morning I was told, “I’m here for the fun of it and enjoy playing the way I do.” I was so glad others at the table didn’t lash out at him, but rather embraced his presence.

Having multiple inexperienced or “stupid” players at your table means you need to learn to produce winning sessions while not going on tilt.
If you’re decreasing your starting-hand criteria or playing hands out of position in an attempt to get in more pots with players with inferior skills, you have left yourself vulnerable to some horrific beats from these unworthy adversaries.

To win, you must be vigilant in your ability to play your best poker. And even then, with so many players entering most pots, you’re still subject to the occasional suckout. Poker is about percentages. Having the best of it is exactly the position you want. Getting your money in any pot and leading in the hand will net you more money in the long run than being behind and always needing a card to win.

When players complain about the looseness or stupidity of others at the table, I really have to laugh. Would you rather all opponents be pros or solid players?

I want to have a mix. I believe when you identify the styles of players, it’s your job to exploit them. It’s much easier for me to lay down a hand to a solid player, who occasionally needs to dust off his chips, than to play someone who is unpredictably good, changes speeds and is observant.

Next time you play, don’t be put off by those making bonehead plays; you need someone to play that way. It’s their way of offering you a “box of chocolates.”

Just don’t play their way in an attempt to crush them. That would be stupid and we all remember: “Stupid is as stupid does.”

— Al Spath is the former Dean at Poker School Online and continues to teach poker online and live. His free YouTube Poker Channel (Al Spath) has hundreds of instructional videos to view. Al’s live broadcasts are on TwitchTV: follow (PositivePokerInsiders). Contact Al directly at alspath@alspath.com with questions coaching inquires.