There is more to poker than ‘seeing’ it

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Someone from Sweden emailed me to ask some relatively easy questions: Could I teach him about position, appropriate bet-sizing and pot odds? Sounds simple, right?

At the end of the email, he told me he was blind, which meant I couldn’t share my screen with him, like I do at first with all prospective clients.

He had software that allowed him to hear commentary as the cards were dealt at PokerStars.

I decided to be his eyes and ears and do a video broadcast, like play-by-play on the radio.

I did my best to describe every detail as if he could visualize what I viewed.

I quickly dumped the first two videos, I was forgetting so much to comment about, and this was much harder than I initially thought.

Finally, I picked a micro-limit cash game and began to describe the action: where the button was in relationship to my position, how much money everyone had, stats from a poker tracker to indicate loose or tight play, any notes I had on players, how much the blinds were and what each player bet in succession.

I still was all over the place and had to refine and define terms and actions quicker.

I then made a video, the first one I sent to him, with a better understanding of how to proceed and to help this client. He played the video and had a lot more questions, so I listened carefully and then the a-ha moment occurred.

Why not switch him to becoming a single-table tournament expert? He loved this idea. Everyone started with the same amount of chips, the blinds were known and the intervals moving up were established.

All he needed to know was the bet-sizing before him and his position. This is where the aforementioned software aided me. It told him amounts bet, though he had to figure out the total and calculate what his bet should be if he for example, reraised.

To finish the story, I produced the video (it’s on YouTube) and he appreciated the information and set out to play a few tournaments.

He finished third in his first SNG and won his next tournament. Of course, he has been having mixed results since, but he is gaining more insight daily.

— 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.