Drinking and poker......

BenLeewoodBenLeewood Red Chipper Posts: 285 ✭✭
edited January 2017 in General Concepts
Ok. I have a unique topic here that I almost don't know how to approach. So I'll just ramble a bit and hope to get my point across. I seek feedback so let me have it.

1st off, I play $2-2 NLhE cash games. I'm a stay at home dad and play poker to have some "me time" and make a part time wage. For the most part I win anywhere from +$500 to -$200 per month. Usually on top. I take my poker seriously even though it's reletively lowish stakes. I study. I care. I don't tilt for the most part.

In a Nut shell, I like to think of myself as a rec player that has the skills of a pro.

Here's the thing....when at the table, I'm pretty stoic. I put my headphones in and grind away without talking. Pretty much a classic TAG (but I also make a lot of profitable plays since I know everyone thinks I'm a nit).

But when I've had a drink or 2, I become the talk of the table. I'm aware of it and use it to make people think I'm just a drunkard who doesn't know how to play poker. But I make it VERY FRIENDLY....ask every name at the table for players that just sit down and keep up conversation with all that are still there

The main point I want to make is that I never get "hammered". I am buzzed from the drinking but not drunk. I am conciously making an effort to make myself look hammered. My main goal is to get the table into a "gambly" mood. The illusion that I'm drunk allows me to win a fair amount of small and big pots. My "constant and annoying" talk seems to loosen the table and get it in a gambly mood.

Here's the problem. If I don't have a beer or two before I play....I' just go to mr. Quiet grinder ( and probably too nitty). I don't engage the table to make it a more gambly atmosphere.

I also find that I decide that I'm "heading up to play" a lot only when I've had a couple drinks. So motivation to play is attached to wheather I've had a drink before. This works for rec players, which I'm considered to by many standards, but not so much for pros.

Long story short, I'm about to move my poker playing from part time to full time and can't start drinking to get me going. What should I do?
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Comments

  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 4,121 ✭✭✭✭✭
    What makes you think this act will work if you are a reg?
  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭✭✭
    try drinking a non-alcoholic beer?

    not trying to be a jerk - but based on your photo, you must weigh 160-180?
    and two beers is NEVER going to make such a manly body "buzz".

    me thinks it's psychological.
    the dude that's talkative and friendly when he's drinking - is still that dude when he's sober. Alcohol doesn't transform your personality. It can amplify it or subdue it... but it's already there.

    Paging @DrTricia... help needed across the pond, stat!
  • BenLeewoodBenLeewood Red Chipper Posts: 285 ✭✭
    It's not an act. I just get really loose and talkative after I've had a drink. I'm not slurring my words or even acting drunker then I am.

    The illusion is that people that play me must think I'm hammered cause I don't shut up. If I order a beer at the table, it just adds to the image of me being a drunkard.

    I just read my post and should correct something. I kept saying "act". I'm not "acting" drunk to fool anyone into playing poorly against me.

    I just happen to be a hell of a lot more fun and engaging at the table when I do drink.

    Not sure where I'm going with this thread. Or what advice to ask. I more was hoping to start an open talk about drinking at the table. Good? Bad?

    It can't be great. That's for sure. kust wanted some pro's advice on the subject.
  • ArtArtBobartArtArtBobart Red Chipper Posts: 356 ✭✭
    kagey wrote: »
    entertaining players at table: +EV
    drinking while playing for profit: -EV

    I won't even have one drink at the table, it affects my focus.

    Also, depending upon alcohol in order to perform anything should be somewhat of a yellow flag.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I know what you mean. Personally I don't drink. If I'm sitting still for that long, a couple drinks tends to make me sleepy and I can't have that. More than a couple drinks tends to affect my focus, and I can't have that either. So I almost never drink, maybe only on the rare occasion where I feel I can loosen up and still win playing on auto pilot, and have enough time before I have to drive home.

    In the Myers_Briggs test, you can be an Introvert or Extrovert. Contrary to common belief, and introvert is not necessarily quiet and an extrovert is not necessarily gregarious. What it means is where you get your energy. When you're tired and down, where do you want to be - by yourself relaxed at home, or with family or friends? This is how you recharge your batteries.

    So while you might love being out with people, it might be draining on your energy to engage them. Drugs such as alcohol can change your chemistry and behavior.

    Personally, I think it would be a terrible handicap to have to drink to go play poker every time. I'd learn how to be more gregarious without drinking. But if it takes too much of your energy to do that, you'll be exhausted at the end of every session. So no answer for you, just food for thought.
  • JulesJules Red Chipper Posts: 440 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2016
    I don't drink whilst playing because I would likely end up on the table! I'm a light weight. I would probably just give you my stack as well! -EV for me. :) I do take notice when someone else is drinking. And that usually ends up being +EV for me.
  • Joshua BJoshua B Red Chipper Posts: 127 ✭✭
    I never drink while playing (with the exception of playing while on a cruise, +$1300 i might add lol).

    You know that its not a great move for you to drink. If what you say is true, it seems like you are a solid player with or without the drinking. If you feel like you have more fun when you have a drink then keep having a drink. However, you know the consequences will be less profit in the long run. Even one drink of alcohol changes the way our minds react. Maybe do some research into the effects of alcohol after one standard drink. This will surely change your mind. If you still enjoy poker with out those drinks, then give them up. You are sure to see the results.

    I feel that I can be quite the comedian at the table sometimes. Other days I dont feel like talking at all. I think that you will probably find that fun entertaining guy without the alcohol to loosen you up. At the end of the day, you know its not a great idea.
  • thepokermonkthepokermonk Red Chipper Posts: 320 ✭✭✭
    Drinking as a poker strategy seems like a bad idea, and a slippery slope. If you think it's +EV to have two beers, doesn't seem like much of a stretch to try 3 or 4. Especially considering the first two lowered your inhibitions. If the idea of you being the entertaining, talkative player at the table is that important to you, just practice doing that without the alcohol. It may be difficult without the alcohol at first, but practice in small chunks. Maybe try starting a conversation with someone or making a light joke to the table until you get more comfortable with it.
    In the end, I'm not sure how truly beneficial being the entertaining guy at the table really is. I think it's much more important to play solid poker. I think I'd much rather use table selection to find the table that has the drunk players than trying to appear as the drunk player myself.
  • Ruxton_AtheistRuxton_Atheist Red Chipper Posts: 152 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2016
    Am I an alcoholic with a gambling problem, or a gambler with a drinking problem?
  • ChipXtractorChipXtractor Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 1,191 ✭✭✭✭
    The funny thing is I think I could order a Corona and just sip it for three hours and people would automatically think I was a rec player and most likely just there to have fun. Perception often times becomes reality.

    Just the simple fact of ordering an alcoholic drink in peoples eyes will put you in a certain category. In many things people do not take the time to look beneath the surface.

    cXt
    Twitter = @ChipXtractor
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If it's image you want, just fill a beer bottle with water or iced tea and sit down at the table and hammer it. Then order another beer. You can keep "sipping" off that one, but never actually drinking any. Or take a little walk and empty it on the way, and order a third. Keep talking just a little on the loud side. They'll have an initial impression of you :)
  • ZENIZENZENIZEN Red Chipper Posts: 166 ✭✭
    The problem is ...Even without catching a buzz your awareness is guaranteed too suffer . Maybe cultivating your social skills without alcohol could be something worth looking into . Lord knows I have had to work on it myself . I also think there is more value in being feared at a poker table then being targeted.
  • delakevdelakev Red Chipper Posts: 36 ✭✭

    I won't even have one drink at the table, it affects my focus.

    Also, depending upon alcohol in order to perform anything should be somewhat of a yellow flag.

    I think we all agree that too many drinks are too many, but what about 'strongly preferring' to have a drink or two before you approach that girl at the bar? If you have the inhibitions to get rejected, etc. that might help. Do you think it is possible that a drink or two will help him loosen up from a NIT status? I have a friend who has very good live reading skills and will call out his opponent's hand, fold only to be shown that he was correct and ahead. Maybe the beer or two can help in a situation like this?

    Just pontificating..
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 4,778 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2016
    Yeah that's true delakev. It's just that most people also think another approach, either in addition to or in lieu of, is to work on your social skills as well so you can eventually do what you want without drugs.

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy drinking and I like the feeling. But at my age if I felt I couldn't talk to a girl without "help", I'd want to work on my game a little :)
  • David Kimweli Jr.David Kimweli Jr. Red Chipper Posts: 161
    Am I an alcoholic with a gambling problem, or a gambler with a drinking problem?

    That was awesome.
  • FilthyCasualFilthyCasual Red Chipper Posts: 871 ✭✭✭
    edited October 2016
    I don't generally drink at the table as I need to make sure if my back starts acting up, I can take appropriate prescription measures. However, with the back pills, it can definitely interfere with thoughts and shortcuts. If you choose to drink, it's gotta be something that you can 'step away from' if you're judgement is being affected. If you're making a play that you wouldn't make sober, it's probably time to at least take an orbit off, go for a lap around the casino, see if it which side of the EV spectre it falls on.

    It's your night to reboot yourself. Have a beer, but i dont think trying to justify it as +ev is going to work. using it as your poker table social lubricant can be tricky. Casual players are more likely to give a talkative player their dinero. It's probably going to have a negligible difference on the serious 2/2 players or buffet pros.

    Oh, and probably steer clear of the double ipas and imperial stouts.
  • BenLeewoodBenLeewood Red Chipper Posts: 285 ✭✭
    jeffnc wrote: »
    If it's image you want, just fill a beer bottle with water or iced tea and sit down at the table and hammer it. Then order another beer. You can keep "sipping" off that one, but never actually drinking any. Or take a little walk and empty it on the way, and order a third. Keep talking just a little on the loud side. They'll have an initial impression of you :)

    Once again, I'm not trying to deceive anyone. I would never want to be considered an angle shooter. And I don't need the angle.
  • BenLeewoodBenLeewood Red Chipper Posts: 285 ✭✭
    ZENIZEN wrote: »
    I also think there is more value in being feared at a poker table then being targeted.

    Very well said
  • BenLeewoodBenLeewood Red Chipper Posts: 285 ✭✭
    The funny thing is I think I could order a Corona and just sip it for three hours and people would automatically think I was a rec player and most likely just there to have fun. Perception often times becomes reality.

    Just the simple fact of ordering an alcoholic drink in peoples eyes will put you in a certain category. In many things people do not take the time to look beneath the surface.

    cXt

    I find this to be 100% true. Even when I see ANYONE with a drink, I label them as a rec or a reg who's in the gambling mood. Usually that assessment is dead on.

    I do sip my beer at a slow pace. It helps that I love beer and want to savor the only beer I can have that night. I also don't get out very often since I'm a stay at home dad. So sometime the conversation, and overall friendliness, comes pouring out of me.
  • JCWJCW Red Chipper Posts: 93 ✭✭
    edited October 2016
    I don't drink and never have. But I know several successful professional and winning recs that do drink, even get drunk and play.

    Drinking can help you by if you are trying to attract losing players to you. It is more profitable to have a whale call you up and ask you if you want to play poker than it is to become a master of fundamentals.

    There is this pro in town, who gets drunk and splashes around like crazy. He would be a huge loser, but he is always in the best games. Whenever I see him, he is carpooling to the casino with massive whales. When they play they are getting drunk. He just gets a little less drunk.

    Anyhow, at lower levels drinking is just -EV. But in the bigger games, if drinking allows you to bond with big losers where they want you in their games, it is big, big +EV.

    It just isn't everyone's cup of tea.
  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭✭✭
    JCW wrote: »
    There is this pro in town, who gets drunk and splashes around like crazy. He would be a huge loser, but he is always in the best games. Whenever I see him, he is carpooling to the casino with massive whales. When they play they are getting drunk. He just gets a little less drunk.
    Limon?
  • JCWJCW Red Chipper Posts: 93 ✭✭
    Nope. But he is a good example too.
  • FilthyCasualFilthyCasual Red Chipper Posts: 871 ✭✭✭
    I could be misremembering a snippet from one of the hundreds a broadcasts, but yeah. My recollection is he drinks at the table, bUT it's more for the table atmosphere. Not turning down a round of shots, buying the next round if one was bought... I don't think he's just getting lit at the table by himself, but more of the 'good time' encouragement, entertainer for the recs
  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭✭✭
    whales definitely love him.
    DGAF too!
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,497 -
    This thread inspired a blog post... http://redchippoker.com/interlude-arousal/
    Moderation In Moderation
  • nicnameksnicnameks Red Chipper Posts: 57 ✭✭
    Boozing is good for the game. I probably drink one or two every time I play. I'll buy shots/ take shots when offered. It's all to a point tho. Getting drunk is not good.

    I'm pretty TAG when it comes to gameplay. Boozing and carrying on helps my image imo. Most players like me and don't mind losing to me, especially the old guys.

    Just like some smart guy said once ... everything in moderation.
  • Mr. DontMr. Dont Red Chipper Posts: 370 ✭✭✭
    Once I got ITM for daily tourney or reach to second break, then I have a bottle of beer, other than that, no booze for me. One thing I rarely does is, drink a little to fool opponent to think Im kinda drunk. LOL
  • ChipXtractorChipXtractor Red Chipper, Table Captain Posts: 1,191 ✭✭✭✭
    I can promise you I will be shit-faced at some point during the RCP Fall East Coast Meetup. Results be damned.

    cXt
    Twitter = @ChipXtractor
  • volcanovolcano Red Chipper Posts: 346 ✭✭
    I drink way too much and do ok at poker. It is horrible for my health and i could play sharper without any of it. But the guys drinking coffee on a friday night never seem to leave with much money.

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