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Top 10 Worst Mistakes a Poker Player Can Make: Finale

October 23rd, 2016 by Justin Buchanan

It’s the end of the line. Only two Worst Mistakes a Poker Player Can Make remain. These are, hands down, the worst of the worst. We’re not talking about decisions that are pretty darn stupid, or really stupid, or so stupid you just shake your head at how stupid it is. We’re talking so freaking stupid that it genuinely makes me feel bad for the human race for the fact that it’s even possible for people to be this damn stupid.

Brace yourselves.

SOAPBOX WARNING: The following contains strong opinions, passionate language, and melodramatic soliloquies. Reader discretion is advised. (Source:

SOAPBOX WARNING: The following contains strong opinions, passionate language, and melodramatic soliloquies. Reader discretion is advised. (Source:

#2: Ordering alcoholic beverages at the table

This one is so high on the list because it really shouldn’t require any explanation to anyone who can legally play in the first place. Alcohol impairs judgment, lowers inhibitions, kills brain cells, and generally makes people more reckless and less alert. And it’s one of the safest bets in the world that everyone else at the table is going to know this. If you just want to play poker while drinking THAT badly, I say you should just go all the way with your stalwart commitment to being parted from your money. Wear a t-shirt that says “I’m not playing to win. I don’t WANT to win. Please take my money.” Because the moment the other players see you drinking alcohol at the table, metaphorically speaking, you already are wearing that t-shirt.

And so, we’re finally down to what I consider to be the hands-down dumbest, most vile, just why-the-hell-would-you-ever-do-that-EVER thing that I believe a poker player can possibly do. This goes way beyond a pet peeve for me. I believe that the poker world would be a better place if people would just NEVER DO THIS.

Without further ado…

#1: Playing “shove or fold” poker in the early stages of a tournament

ALL that buildup for ANOTHER rant about this crap?! Grab your pitchforks guys! (Source:

ALL that buildup for ANOTHER rant about this crap?! Grab your pitchforks guys! (Source:

If you were already familiar about my sheer despise for this practice, you might have been wondering why this little item hadn’t already shown up on this list. Well, now you know. I understand that I’ve talked about this before. I understand that there are people who disagree with me, particularly since this practice hardly ever shows up outside of freerolls or very low micro stakes.

I don’t give a single crap. This practice isn’t just stupid and luck reliant at face value. It reduces the entire table you use it on to playing something less than poker. It takes a game with a significant enough skill component to cause massive political debates on whether poker is even properly a game of chance or not and resolve the debate firmly in the favor of chance. It’s disrespectful to the other players at the table, as an attempt to invalidate any skill based play they might otherwise try to perform. It’s an insult to the game itself. It’s an insult to the person who even performs such an act, as they’re basically saying, “I don’t believe I can possibly win this game without relying completely on pure dumb luck.” Emphasis on dumb. And they take out this lack of belief in their own abilities on everyone else at the table.

That’s not just wrong, it’s SICK and wrong. If you’re one of these people, then I implore you–forget trying poker and just get a friendly BINGO game together if you want to play a game without being burdened with the slightest semblance of a strategic decision. Or hell, just make yourself a Facebook profile and get on one of their ten kajillion virtual slot machines. What I’m trying to say here is if you enjoy playing this way, you have better options than poker, far better, to derive your enjoyment from. And I would earnestly think the world of you, despite absolutely loathing you right now, if you’d do me the favor of being honest enough with yourself to realize this.

And as for the rest of you, those of you NOT holding a torch and pitchfork right now, I’d like to extend my personal gratitude for hearing me out on this. And I apologize if it really is annoying since I don’t really have any actual way to know.

I promise the next one will be a lot more light hearted. Dare I say...zany? (Source:

I promise the next one will be a lot more light-hearted. Dare I say…zany? (Source:

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3 Responses to “Top 10 Worst Mistakes a Poker Player Can Make: Finale”

  1. Rueben Says:

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I really hope to check out the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal blog now 😉

  2. skaterick Says:

    The author did so well till his #1 of the top 10 ! Yes , it is really annoying . however , once you have paid for your buyin you are allowed to play in a style you want . also it never really was explained why it was such a mistake , except that other players may not like it .Shove or fold involves mathematical calculations , just like decisions made when short stacked , at the bubble, or waiting for a pay jump . Poor Justin you went tilt on this one .

  3. Lheticus Says:

    Hey, as far as I’m concerned skaterick, 9 out of 10 ain’t bad! XD I just couldn’t resist. (puppyface)

    Also, I did explain why it’s such a mistake. It reduces what should be a game with a significant, nigh HUGE skill component, to basically pure chance on the part of the player who uses that style. Poker isn’t supposed to be a game of luck. People who do this are LITERALLY ruining the game. I guess it doesn’t fit as well as the others phrasing it as a “mistake,” but really if you play like that then you’re making a mistake playing poker in the first place. Like I said in the article, go find a dang bingo hall or something if you want to rely on luck that much.

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