Top Five Worst Poker Mistakes

Top Five Worst Poker Mistakes

Poker is a game of seriously fine margins, and players at the top level cannot afford to make any mistakes.

They’re not immune though, and when they do make a mess of something it is usually on a huge scale, and rather embarrassing to boot.

For example, you could accidentally fold by knocking your cards over to the dealer, or even misread your opponent’s cards when they’re turned.

Below, we’ve found five monster mistakes that professional poker players have made, to show you that even they are capable of doing the unthinkable.


5. Mikalai Pobal vs Joni Jouhkimainen

Mikalai Pobal’s error against Joni Jouhkimainen doesn’t lose him any money, but it is still rather embarrassing.

Pobal starts with the Ace and 9 of Hearts against Jouhkimainen’s King and 9 of Spades, and the former immediately raises to $450,000, which is called.

On the Flop, the Belarussian gets a Flush draw, with the 4 and King of Hearts being drawn, as well as a 6.

As he only has a Pair of Kings, Jouhkimainen elects to check, though this is met by another $450,000 raise by Pobal.

Both men check after the 3 on the Turn, but the River strikes lucky for Pobal with the 7 of Hearts.

In this tournament, when you have the best possible hand available you have to place a bet – which seems to have slipped the mind of Pobal.

After Jouhkimainen checks again, he follows suit and hands his cards in.

While he still wins $1,990,000 pot, he gets a one orbit penalty, meaning he has to sit out of the next two hands. 


4. Daniel "Jungleman" Cates vs Antonio Esfandiari

Daniel "Jungleman" Cates has a complete nightmare following this hand against Antonio Esfandiari.

Starting with the 4 of Diamonds and 2 of Hearts against Esfandiari's 3 of Hearts and 8 of Spades, Jungleman is unquestionably in the better position.

He then gets a Straight draw on the Flop when the 3 and 8 of Diamonds are produced, along with the Ace of Spades, needing only a 5 in the next two cards.

His opponent has Two Pair, and he bets $3,200 which is called by Jungleman.

With a 5 on the Turn he has now got a Straight, putting him in an unassailable position in the hand.

Strangely, he only calls Esfandiari's $10,100 bet, when he really could've pressed home his advantage.

Following an Ace on the River both players check, and after seeing the cards Jungleman decides to muck his hand.

He immediately realises his grave error, and literally throws away a pot worth $31,400.


3. Phil Hellmuth vs Phi Nguyen

Phil Hellmuth gets himself in all sorts of trouble against Phi Nguyen, and this schoolboy error leaves him in peril of going out of the game.

An amazing Flop allows Phi Nguyen to rinse the “Poker Brat”, playing this hand to tactical perfection.

Nguyen gets the Jack and 10 of Diamonds from the draw, while Hellmuth has the Ace and Queen of the same Suit.

Unbelievably, a 9, Queen and King come out of the pack, and Nguyen is all but over the line with a Straight.

He starts to trap Hellmuth by checking, luring his opponent into a false sense of security.

After the Turn pulls out a 3, Hellmuth bets $1,000 and is smoothly called by Nguyen, making sure he doesn’t give any clues about the strength of his hand.

The next mistake he makes is betting another $2,300 after a 2 on the River, as it gives Nguyen the power to make a big raise.

He ups the stakes to $6,8000, and Hellmuth then realises his monumental error and starts to tilt.

Despite saying he was going to fold, he compounds his nightmare hand by calling, even though he knows he’s lost.


2. Estelle Denis vs J. C. Tran

Both Estelle Denis and the dealer must take some responsibility for the mess they created in this video.

Denis is in a hand against J.C. Tran, and the latter placed a bet of $32,000 pre-Flop.

After this, Denis goes all-in with her final $142,000, but the dealer mistakenly mucks her cards, making her hand dead.

Denis is understandably perplexed and remonstrates that she was still active in the hand.

As the commentator points out, however, it is the duty of the player to protect their cards, so she must share the blame.

She tells the floor supervisor what her cards were in an effort to rectify the error, but it is no good, and she loses out on the $32,000 call.

Denis then reveals that she had Pocket Aces, which would've left her in a fantastic position on an all-in call.

This was certainly a costly mistake, and Denis gets up and leaves the table less than impressed.


1. Sandra Naujoks vs Tony G

Somehow, Sandra Naujoks throws away victory by managing to fold her winning hand by mistake.

She starts with a 10 and 9 against Tony G’s King and Queen, so both of them are in a decent position.

A Jack, 10 and Queen come up on the Flop, giving each player a Pair, though they are one card away from completing a Straight.

Another Queen is produced on the Turn, which puts Tony G at a 91% chance of winning the hand with Three of a Kind.

Tony G bets $400, to which he is raised $1,100 by Naujoks, so he takes it up to $2,400.

However, it appeared to be a bad move in hindsight as Naujoks completes a Straight on the River with an 8.

Strangely, both players check, and as they turn the cards over Naujoks clearly hasn’t read her hand properly because she folds.

Despite having a Straight, she loses the hand, and she can’t believe what she’s done as she tries to grab the cards back before the dealer can take them in.