Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Table chat

I dedicate this post to Journey__xxx__man54 & comb__xxx__sgator.

As far as I'm concerned there are two golden rules when playing at the tables (online or live)..

  1. Don't berate the bad players
  2. Don't educate the bad players
Rule #1

What possible value is there for you in talking trash to a bad player.. probably after they have made some awful play and somehow got there? If they are bad they are most likely a recreational player and are playing to have fun, pure and simple. If you are nasty to them they are going to be more likely to leave the table with your money without giving you the chance to take it back (and more). Say "nh" and move on. When you suck out or cooler them then say "ul" and move on. When two bad players start at each other then fair enough, but when regular players do this I cannot understand why. If they are smart enough to be regular players and possibly depend on poker for a living then its definitely -EV. I'm sure there are villains who will stay and play even worse if you do wind them up, but unless you have some prior experience with them or a degree in psychology I still don't think its +EV.

If a reg feels the need to vent in table chat then they have a leak imo and need to find another way to deal with it if they have any desire to improve. If I see this going on at the table then I tend to try and deflect attention from the bad player and say something about how terrible the reg is.

Rule #2

Any bad or recreational player is unlikely to have much knowledge of poker terminology, theory or poker tools such as HUDs.

By talking strategy at the tables with another regular player you risk the chance of the bad player reading it and reacting. They might decide to do some reading and educate themselves to become better or more aware; they might discover that people play with HUDs and discover they can store and review their hand histories; they might discover you can (although its not permitted) buy hand histories; they might discover tools such as PTR and realise how much they are losing; they might decide that poker is rigged and they will never win so stop playing.

The table might be full of mainly regs but even a single 45/6 at the tables is enough for me to think its -EV. Maybe the fish that is your biggest donator is on the waiting list and observing waiting for another chance to test their mighty poker skills against you. Do you really want to take a chance (however small) that you might never get the chance to play them again?

Regs should know there are plenty of other ways to talk strat... via IM, 2+2 etc so there is no need to do it at the tables.


Poker is a game of small edges so can you really afford to give up any edge you have?

I moderate comments so if either of you want to discuss rule #2 (or laugh at me!) you can send your contact details. Don't get me wrong.. I don't think you were commiting the crime of the century or anything, but as I now make my living from poker I try and treat it seriously and want to preserve any edge I have at the tables and keep the bad players exactly as they are... at the tables and bad.


Bazclef said...

Well said Ed.

If anyone has a problem where where they feel like berating players then the best thing to do is to contact the site they play at and ask for a chatban to be applied to their account.

I heavily recommend playing with all chat off. There's pretty much no benefit of having it on. It's just a distraction and can be irritating if you see regs berating fish in the ways you describe.

havin_a_laff said...

nice post. I hate it when i find myself typing an insult after a monster bad beat / tilt. I usually type something and then delete it without sending. Makes me feel marginally better...

btw - you have been kind of quiet with updates - hows full time going?

anomaly16 said...

@Baz.. yeah I agree if you can't stop the chat then a selfban is next best step.

I think though, if you are able to stay pretty tiltless then its foolish to switch it off completely.. there is free info there and you are able to jump in to deflect abuse if required. I like to know who is going to be stacking off light against other villains due to something that happened earlier.


Yeah, finding other ways to vent is good (as long as its not stabbing yourself in the leg!).

Its been going really well lately so I've been busy grinding rather than posting. Did you catch my feb review?


I can understand it not being such an issue for anyone who is a semi-reg but doesn't depend on poker for a living. I'll still try and jump in to say something if I think i can change the conversation to something harmless though.