The Health of Poker Requires People Quit Being [email protected]#$%^&

Wanted to share a quick experience with the forum and attach it to a plea for manners.

As some of you know, I rarely play live poker anymore, largely because of health issues. Today was a good day for my various ailments, so a friend and I went down to play the 6pm tournament at SouthPoint. It's the structure around which I based some of the specifics of my intro tournament series.

I am not a sociable person, but particularly when I notice nervous newbies, I contribute to the table banter and try to be pleasant. I'm also not someone who typically has a target on their back for the venom of others, partly because in the early levels I play tight and thus don't get the "you keep raising my blind, buddy, see where that gets you..." line of BS.

Anyway, ITM I make what is a pretty standard 16bb 3-bet jam with ATo over a looseish opener. Folds back to him and he tanks, then finally calls and flips up KQo. Flop comes KQ and I don't spike broadway. Just another day at the office.

However, before the board has even run out, my opponent, who is now chip leader, starts berating me for my 3-bet, explaining what a terrible play it was. Since I've been doing this for decades, I was amused more than anything and quietly thanked him for his input, which seemed to puzzle him. But I realized that if a) I gave a crap about what people think of me or b) was relatively new to the game, this is exactly the sort of behavior that would convince me to spend my time on a different hobby.

So folks, next time you bust someone from a tournament, adopt that Sphinx-like expression that roughly conveys "guess this is my lucky night", which simultaneously communicates condolences. The health of the game requires gracious winners.
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Comments

  • Bigb4919Bigb4919 Red Chipper Posts: 16 ✭✭
    My opinion:
    I think a lot of people play poker to try to prove how much smarter they are than everyone else
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,300 ✭✭✭✭✭
    A gentle and understandable opinion, but if the health of the game required that, it would have disappeared a long time ago.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,340 ✭✭✭✭
    It's not proper to poker. In any environment with competition, you will encounter such people - being poker, board games, warhammer, chess, etc.
    What can you do? Nothing, shitty people are and stay shitty people ; trying to punish or educate them is between losing time and counterproductive.

    What to do ? Don't feed the troll, keep going in your life and focus on the other 99% which are people with a neutral to good personality.
  • RussRuss Red Chipper Posts: 137 ✭✭
    Kat, I've met you at Red Chip events, and if you're not a sociable person, I must be a real asshole. :-)
    TheGameKat wrote: »

    I am not a sociable person,

  • RussRuss Red Chipper Posts: 137 ✭✭
    I agree in part with Red's opinion, but....

    I'm a competitive person and have over the years been involved in a LOT of competition-like hobbies and sports, and the poker pool is by far the worst behaved in which I've participated. Bridge, backgammon, competitive climbing, judo, ballroom dancing, 3-gun competition. I've always been amazed how rudely poker players treat each other, and especially the people that they can easily beat. It's kept me off the tables and fully involved in live poker for many years.
    Red wrote: »
    It's not proper to poker. In any environment with competition, you will encounter such people - being poker, board games, warhammer, chess, etc.
    What can you do? Nothing, shitty people are and stay shitty people ; trying to punish or educate them is between losing time and counterproductive.

    What to do ? Don't feed the troll, keep going in your life and focus on the other 99% which are people with a neutral to good personality.

  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,520 -
    persuadeo wrote: »
    A gentle and understandable opinion, but if the health of the game required that, it would have disappeared a long time ago.

    I dunno man, there's a wide gulf between ailing and dead. Is it a coincidence that 20 years ago I'd see 2-3 women at every live table I played, whereas now it's usually 0 or 1.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,520 -
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    persuadeo wrote: »
    A gentle and understandable opinion, but if the health of the game required that, it would have disappeared a long time ago.

    I dunno man, there's a wide gulf between ailing and dead. Is it a coincidence that 20 years ago I'd see 2-3 women at every live table I played, whereas now it's usually 0 or 1.

    Anyone suggesting I scared them off will get a 48-hour time out.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,300 ✭✭✭✭✭
    God damn it, I missed that low-hanging fruit.

    BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS, twenty years ago limit games were in full swing and the fair sex not only was, but continues to be a bigger part of that scene.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,520 -
    persuadeo wrote: »

    BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS, twenty years ago limit games were in full swing and the fair sex not only was, but continues to be a bigger part of that scene.

    I think we've had this discussion before, trying to tease out which parameters are causally related.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • accessdeniedx2accessdeniedx2 Red Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    I dont ever say anything. Even an "I'm sorry" when I suck out. Unless we've been friendly at the table, I just keep to myself.

    I even made a 450$ over bet on the river and my opponent turned his top paired card in my face (he was my direct left) and berated me because he folded. I still didnt even look his direction, but I wanted to!

    I've noticed most people can be jerks, so at a table where I know no one, I usually say nothing and keep to myself.
  • BigFudgeBigFudge Red Chipper Posts: 35 ✭✭
    I’m with Kat here. Even if it doesn’t kill the game there most certainly are players, usually losing players who play for fun, who will stop coming back or decide on their first couple of trips to not make it a hobby to begin with. Under no possible scenario does that make the game better, and thus must make it worse.

    With that, I also agree that those ego based players who play to feel good about themselves will always be there and probably won’t stop berating players as a practice. Thing is, many of these players are also pretty terrible and usually good for the game because their ego prevents them from actually improving.

    My solution is to embarrass these ego players a little bit, a light joke that’s funny to the big fish so they don’t feel bad about their play and said with humor but yet calls him out just enough to where they get the hint. Sometimes it works long enough for me to finish my session, although don’t expect it to last. It doesn’t hurt to stack these ego players and poke them a little bit back, it’s always fun to tilt one of these asses....
  • MnpokerMnpoker Red Chipper Posts: 136 ✭✭
    There also comes a point where people will not play with you. I was playing at South Point about 10 years ago in a 2-5 game and the board called a name and the dealer and several players said oh shit. Player comes over and 5 players get up to leave. Dealer calls over the floor and tells the floor that if this player is sat at this table the game will break. Floor asked the players why they were going to leave and in one form or another they all said that they would not play with the player being sat do to his behavior. Floor said to the player that he had been warned about his behavior in the past and that he could leave or wait for a different table and if there was any issues with his behavior at the 2nd table he would be banned for a month
  • BigFudgeBigFudge Red Chipper Posts: 35 ✭✭
    This is especially true with games that involve a high percentage of local regs like South Point. Large rooms like Commerce generally don’t get to that level of tight knit regs until you get into the higher limits. The asses are also not usually regs either so the floor is less willing to do something about it.

    I’ve never been a floor tipper but I’ve lately been experimenting (or was experimenting) with squeezing a few bucks from my dealer tips every session and giving the floor a red chip and a quick conversation. It might be a +EV tool if you step away from the table and alert the floor that there is an ass abusing the fish. I really do believe it’s on us to protect the fish because generally the room doesn’t do that enough.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    I dunno man, there's a wide gulf between ailing and dead. Is it a coincidence that 20 years ago I'd see 2-3 women at every live table I played, whereas now it's usually 0 or 1.

    That's because they played Omaha, and Omaha will turn everyone into a grumpy old man if you play long enough.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,520 -
    jeffnc wrote: »
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    I dunno man, there's a wide gulf between ailing and dead. Is it a coincidence that 20 years ago I'd see 2-3 women at every live table I played, whereas now it's usually 0 or 1.

    That's because they played Omaha, and Omaha will turn everyone into a grumpy old man if you play long enough.

    Once again we see the allegorical connection between poker and life.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • KeyserS023KeyserS023 Red Chipper Posts: 30 ✭✭
    Another way to increase the player pool: make it easy for slots players to know what to do if they want to try their hand at poker.
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,862 -
    KeyserS023 wrote: »
    Another way to increase the player pool: make it easy for slots players to know what to do if they want to try their hand at poker.

    This is actually very important. I run classes in the most basic of basics for poker. I spend a decent amount of time explaining the logistics of getting into a game.

    Think how intimidating the poker room would be if you have never played on-line or in a home game. These are feeders to casino poker.

    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • KeyserS023KeyserS023 Red Chipper Posts: 30 ✭✭
    Doug Hull wrote: »
    Think how intimidating the poker room would be if you have never played on-line or in a home game. These are feeders to casino poker.

    I'd played a lot online before I ever set foot in a poker room, and I read several articles ahead of time about what to expect. I still had no idea what denominations of chips to ask for at the cage, and felt like an idiot when I got a bunch of $2 chips to go play $1/$3 NL. Poker rooms could learn a lot from well-run churches: identify the new people, and make sure they feel comfortable.
  • RedRed Red Chipper Posts: 2,340 ✭✭✭✭
    KeyserS023 wrote: »
    Doug Hull wrote: »
    Think how intimidating the poker room would be if you have never played on-line or in a home game. These are feeders to casino poker.

    I'd played a lot online before I ever set foot in a poker room, and I read several articles ahead of time about what to expect. I still had no idea what denominations of chips to ask for at the cage, and felt like an idiot when I got a bunch of $2 chips to go play $1/$3 NL. Poker rooms could learn a lot from well-run churches: identify the new people, and make sure they feel comfortable.

    In most of casinos I played in Europa they provide introduction sessions for newbies or at least a hand-out/flyer. So they are not (totally) lost.

    Also stakes are homogeneous: almost all places use the same sb and bb (2/2€ and not 1/2$). So easier to know which chips to need.
    (I'd add that having a cage is unusual in Europa, and the dealer at the table knows which chips you need)

    Finally you will rarely find different stakes (3 places will provide 2/2, not one 1/2, the other 2/3 and the last 1/3). So same games between poker rooms, casinos, home games, underground games - helps too.
  • elvidaelvida Red Chipper Posts: 5 ✭✭
    The bottom line is that the biggest impediment to taking up poker as a past time is the perception of those who play. People are more than willing to spend money on all sorts or gambling pursuits if it is fun and they feel like they had a good time. What drives them away is the perception that they will be shamed for their play, whatever it is. Shame is probably more potent as a disincentive than pain in many instances. Since I started playing about three years ago, the reason people give about not wanting to accompany me to the Casino is fear of being shamed over their play or their knowledge of the rules. Not losing money, not being mugged in the parking lot, not being cheated by roving gangs of colluders, nothing else. And while I think that the vast majority of people that I meet are jovial and pleasant, unfortunately, there is usually a guy (yes, it has always been a guy) who thinks that his god-given right at the table is to criticize the play of someone inexperienced to show how smart he is. Which is dumb as a bag of doorknobs given the pyramid scheme nature of the game if your goal is to make money. But even for recreational players the game becomes less fun, which means people will play less, which means there are fewer games. Further, it solidifies the stereotype of the game as a bunch of degenerates, which will lead to less political support for poker as a whole. If people want more poker we need more poker wanting people. That won't happen if the game is not inviting to newbies and the inexperienced.

    So what to do about it? Well, I the research would say BigFudge got it right. Bystander effects (the tendency for people to not get involved) are powerful but are easily shattered. In the presence of someone knowledgeable and willing to help, people are more likely to get involved. So if you are one of those people (and if you are spending money to learn about poker, you fit into that category), call out the assholes. You don't have to challenge them to a knife fight, but just let them know that their behavior is not acceptable. Humor works well if you can pull it off, but even just a mild rebuke accompanied with a friendly or helpful statement to the player being targeted will go a LONG way to policing behavior at the table. Giving the targeted player a piece of strategic advice if they ask will be EV+ in the long run if they stay and play. This works to reign in not only assholes but also for bigots, mysogynists, anti-semites, and garden variety idiots as well. It may be uncomfortable, but Shame works both ways. It has been my experience that the dealers are hopeful someone speaks up as well (tips are better when people are having fun). Nine times out of ten you will likely find that the rest of the table is with you and may even join in. They are just looking for someone to speak up first. Be that person. Your mom will be proud of you for it.
  • singularitysingularity Red Chipper Posts: 4 ✭✭
    Pool had an era where they were trying to clean up the image, because it was dying a bit. pool players starting wearing tuxedos, pool rooms started banning foul language and enforcing dress codes as to not scare off women and more casual players. However it wasn't really the correct way to go in my opinion. Pool rooms became more crowded after the movie The Hustler and The Color of Money emerged, Minnesota Fats drew a lot of people into the game because the clean up culture made the game less fun and he was the antithesis of that.

    The things that attract people to poker are the same things that attract them to pool. They like the outlaw nature of the game. The seedy underground, legendary stories and they love the image of the hustler. Get rid of the assholes and the negative imagery and you get rid of the young guys who envision themselves as modern western outlaws. Poker attracts the same types of people as pool and for the same reasons. We can learn from the pool community and it's history.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,520 -
    Interesting points and counterpoints. I'd suggest if we want to draw on our western, outlaw history, there have always been role models exhibiting polite and respectful table presence, even if you know they just shot someone outside for looking at them funny.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • DinnertimeDinnertime Red Chipper Posts: 33 ✭✭
    Whenever I am in vegas I play at Southpoint! Maybe I've ran into you who knows, I play 1/2 usually. I've never seen that level of disrespect there, but I am not a local so it's sad to hear. I am always respectful to everyone I play with no matter I'm glad you remind us about these things.
  • BigDaddyBigDaddy Red Chipper Posts: 67 ✭✭
    @elvida
    Third party involvement in theory makes sense, but the practical aspect of sticking your nose in someone else’s business presents significant hurdles. Specifically, you become the target as well as the newbie who called a huge turn bet on a gutshot because he was “feeling it.” So, when the jerk tells you to stay out of it, it’s none of your @*^&%#@ business (which it’s not), what are you going to say? Me, I’m going to give it back (my mom taught me not to take chit off people), and we now have a full-fledged argument, bigger than the one I was trying to head-off to begin with.
    You did raise one point that I think needs to be explored, and that is the dealer’s responsibility. I agree with you that’s its in their best interests to run a fun table, but to often they remain totally silent during theses skirmishes. How about actually doing something to earn your tips besides dealing cards and reminding people about their blinds?
  • singularitysingularity Red Chipper Posts: 4 ✭✭
    As long as you hold frame it doesn't have to be an argument. I tend to try to tilt people with anger issues by needling them or by making calls with extremely thin value, so they feel they were beat by an idiot. If they want to be yelling fine. I will call them an idiot. Not out if anger but just to piss them off more so their behavior escalates, and then just being silent during the tirade.

    I'm personally not worried about being the target of a bully and prefer to attract that attention myself instead of letting the fish have the attention.

  • John ValentineJohn Valentine Red Chipper Posts: 90 ✭✭
    I remember years ago playing at the Beau Rivage on the coast. Don't remember the hand, but I caught a one or two outer to beat this man. He went ballistic. Called me out about how dumb a play I made, and that I shouldn't have been in the hand or even in the game. I hated it, mainly because I think it was a dumb play. I'm fairly sure that with my experience and core lessons I would never have played that hand. However I do remember picking up my chips, I had doubled up, and leaving. Any chance of the fool getting his money back, gone. Its quite simple, these people buyin with their money. They are allowed to play any hand any way they want. Stop embarrassing the fish.

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